28 February 2013
The Belarusian military forces rarely fall into the spotlight of public discussions. Like in other post-Soviet countries, this institution mainly lives behind closed doors. Army generals normally try to escape contact with the media and their critics in the non-governmental sector. As a result, the lack of official information results in numerous myths and popular rumours about the state of...
27 February 2013
The planned Belarusian-Russian joint military drill, “West 2013”, has stirred up NATO member countries. The armed forces of both countries will hold the drill in the autumn, while some Polish and Lithuanian politicians have already discussed the threat of war.
Alexander Lukashenka said on 21 February that “Belarus and Russia are not going to threaten anyone”....
21 November 2012
On 16 November, Alexander Lukashenka appointed Valer Vakulchyk as Chairman of the KGB. Vakulchyk remains one of the least famous Belarusian security service officials and the Belarusian state leader trusts him a great deal.
A week earlier, on 9 November, Lukashenka discharged the previous KGB head, Vadzim Zaitsau, whom he suspected of being complicit in “betrayal of the state...
29 August 2012
Scandalous news hit many media outlets this week in Germany: German police have been training their Belarusian counterparts for years.
This raised many eyebrows because of the serious human rights violations perpetrated by Belarusian security services. In addition, the German media confuse words by calling the Belarusian security services "militia", which has a...
07 June 2012
On the eve of the recent visit of Vladimir Putin to Belarus, at least three important points of vulnerability of Russia's and Putin's position in relations with Belarus were revealed. First, the importance of a Belarusian foothold for Russia increases in light of the deployment of the US anti-missile defence sites on the territory of the eastern member states of NATO.
18 May 2012
This week Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka attended the jubilee summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
The summit participants took stock of the organisation's evolution since its founding ten years ago on 14 May 2002, on the basis of the 1992 agreement. They also set targets for the CSTO's future development.
Their goals include two...
14 March 2012
To understand the balance of power in Belarus it is important to understand the role of the siloviki (the security services). Although they affect political decision-making and the degree of violence in domestic politics they are not a predominant group within the ruling elite.
Modern History of Belarus Security Services
In 1999 – 2003, heads...
05 March 2012
According to Tacciana Manionak, an independent energy expert, the Lukashenka regime will get $2.2bn in subsidies from Russia thanks to discounted natural gas prices in 2012 and at least $700m thanks to the refinement of Russian crude oil. Independent economic expert Leanid Zaika estimates the volume of Russian oil and gas subsidies in 2012 at about $ 4bn. Russia was guided by political...
23 February 2012
Last week, President Lukashenka approved an agreement with Russia to establish the Single Regional System of Air Defence. The defence ministers of the two nations already signed the controversial treaty three years ago. Russian and Belarusian presidents will jointly appoint the commander of the air defence system. This effectively means that a portion of the Belarusian armed forces...
08 January 2012
If one listens to the Belarusian and Russian leadership, a war with the West is imminent. This weekend, the Belarusian internet was filled with stories about Moscow being ready to defend Belarus from Warsaw's claims to the Grodno and Minsk regions in Poland. In November 2011, Head of the Russian General Staff General Nikolai Makarov presented an alarmist ...
22 November 2011
On November 30, a Belarusian court is likely to issue the death sentence to the alleged perpetrators of the April terrorist act in the Minsk metro. Many in Belarus remain unconvinced that the suspects, two young men from the northern province of Vitebsk, are guilty of such serious crimes.
The premature verdict could have major repercussions for the legitimacy of the Lukashenka regime....
21 November 2011
Last summer over half of Belarusians polled by the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies said that Alyaksandr Lukashenka based his authority primarily on the police, the military and the KGB. A closer look at who actually runs the security services and other governmental agencies in Belarus reveals interesting facts and trends.
It appears that those who...