11 May 2017
Belarus is perhaps the world's second booziest nation. In 2014, Belarus topped the World Health Organisation's report on alcohol consumption. According to the WHO, an average Belarusian drinks around 17.5 litres of alcohol per year, while the median global consumption hovers around 6.5 litres.
Meanwhile, alcohol prices are considerably lower than in neighbouring western...
29 December 2016
On 15 December, the best Belarusian crowdfunded projects of 2016 received awards in Minsk. 15 finalists received funding totaling $19,500. Crowdfunding has become one of the simplest and most accessible forms of civic participation. In a nondemocratic environment, crowdfunding is one of the safest ways of practising social activism.
The best Belarusian campaigns of 2016 were mainly...
07 December 2016
This year the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Belarus 30th out of 144 countries in its Global Gender Gap Index.
According to its indicators, Belarus surpassed highly developed countries such as Canada (35) and the United States (45). However, unlike other countries at the top of the list, Belarus does not have any coherent strategy to achieve gender equality.
2016 also saw a...
28 October 2016
On 12 October 2016 Belarus announced its intention to adopt a national action plan for a green economy. This September the country also ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement. What's more, the European Union has invested over €10m in a project aiming to fascilitate Belarus’ transition to a green economy.
What a "green economy" entails could be anything...
29 September 2016
In the first six months of 2016, according to the Ministry of Interior 4,076 Chinese labour migrants entered Belarus. They now outnumber all other nationalities, including Ukrainians, who peaked at 3,334.
The Belarusian government maintains a firm grip on the labour market, and strictly regulates the number of work permits available to foreigners.
While Belarus attempts to re-...
31 August 2016
The first and only Belarusian national hot line for domestic violence prevention celebrated its four-year anniversary in August, 2016. Since 2012 it has received 8,445 phone calls.
The Belarusian non-profit “Gender Perspectives” runs the hotline from Minsk. They pioneered the much-needed service, creating a point of entry for women who found themselves in dire circumstances...
21 July 2016
On 20 July 2016 at 7:45 am a bomb went off in a car in Kiev. The explosion killed Pavel Sheremet, a prominent Belarusian journalist working in Ukraine.
Pavel was 44 years old and was killed in a car of his partner Olena Prytula. Ms Prytula owns Ukrayinska Pravda, an influential online newspaper in Ukraine, one of the media outlets where Mr Sheremet worked.
28 June 2016
On 1 July 2016 a new law on alternative civilian service comes into effect in Belarus. This coming fall,10, 000 young Belarusian conscripts will start their compulsory military service. According to tut.by 20 of these would like to exercise their option for alternative civilian service.
Finally, after more than a decade of debates in parliament and discussions by various commissions,...
14 June 2016
On 16 June the new building of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH) will open its doors in Baraulyany, just 20 minutes outside of Minsk. First of a kind in the country, it has been helping terminally ill children and their families since 1994. They actually pioneered both: hospice and palliative care.
A team of 25 health care professionals at the hospice helps children who are...
31 May 2016
On 1 June children celebrate their day in Belarus. The first day of summer brings break from school, lots of free open-air concerts, markets, and other attractions. Currently, more than 1,7 million children live in Belarus and about 25,000 among them do so without parents.
The number of children in custody stays relatively stable at 25,000 with predictable peaks in times of crises....
27 May 2016
On 5 May 2016, Minsk hosted a rally of Belarusians on wheelchairs, who gathered to remind the society of continuing discrimination.
Neither the state nor the public noticed this desperate cry in the desert, ignoring the needs of about 500,000 people with disability.
In 2015, Belarus was the last state in Europe to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities...
17 May 2016
The Belarusian all-star Olympic biathlete Darya Domracheva will have a baby in October. The news came in April from the future child’s father Ole Einar Bjorndalen, also known as the “King of Biathlon”, the most medalled Winter Olympic Norwegian.
Because Darya symbolises Belarusian pride and holds the title of “Belarusian Hero”, some have insisted she must...