09 May 2013
At the end of April, the 6th Belarus Fashion Week took place in Minsk. It may come as a surprise that there is a fashion industry in Belarus, and in fact, this is one of the good news from the country. During the last years, a whole branch of young and excellent fashion labels has emerged in Belarus.
Clothes - the Most Important Good after Food for Belarusians...
08 May 2013
This April, the region of Paliessie in southern Belarus experienced annual flood caused by major local rivers. The flood was the largest in decades.
Yet Paliessie is famous not only for floods that turn towns and villages into islands. The region’s population presents a distinct ethnic group within the Belarusian nation. They speak a peculiar dialect and retain many features of...
29 April 2013
On 26 April 2013 Belarusian authorities and the opposition marked the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster: each in its own way. Alexander Lukashenka went on a trip to the polluted areas as did opposition leaders Anatol Liabedzka and Vital Rymasheuski.
The Belarusian opposition also gathered around one thousand of its supporters in Minsk under antinuclear energy slogans, protesting...
22 April 2013
"Belarus aspires to the integration with the universal educational system preserving its achievements and traditions", – said the Deputy Minister of Education Alexander Zhuk on 3 April 2013. However, what he meant under "traditions" sometimes clearly contradicts the principles of education accepted elsewhere in Europe.
The system of manual control, absence of...
19 April 2013
On Saturday 13 April, around 4 pm the most popular Belarusian music channel BelMuzTV was broadcasting porn. The video engineer working at the channel for reasons which are not yet clear added a porn film to the playlist and headed off from Minsk to another city.
When discussing this incident, many Belarusian media outlets were, somewhat bizarrely, focusing not on the fact of...
17 April 2013
On 12 April, Filip Kaczmarek, the chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, stated that the EU can make Schengen visas more available for ordinary Belarusians even now.
MEPs often say good things but unfortunately they have little real power to implement them.Unlike talks on the dialogue or the sanctions, visa relations of Belarus and...
12 April 2013
On 2 March, the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies presented a report on geopolitical preferences of Belarusians. The media paid little attention to the document presented by an influential Belarusian think-tank, although the conclusions of this report could be important for Belarus.
Despite the crisis in Europe, the regime’s anti-European propaganda and the EU’s...
11 April 2013
On 10 April, in an interview for Radio Svaboda Belarusian historian and a former lecturer at the European Humanities University Aleś Smalianchuk stated that Belarus did not have its own historical policy.
His interview followed several politically-motivated dismissals at Hrodna State University. The dismissals prove that the authorities are...
03 April 2013
Belarusian State University organised an open house at the end of March. Many future secondary graduates had their first impressions of the most prestigious university in the country. However, it would be more useful for them to know about the threat of unemployment they will face after graduation, even after leaving such a prestigious institution.
Ironically, the labour market is...
02 April 2013
The Belarusian media more and more look like barricade journalism. The state media fiercely fight their non-state colleagues and vice versa. Endless clichés, mutual accusations and the language of hatred often leave little space for decent journalism.
The lack of professional ethics on the two sides of the barricades makes the situation more complicated. Outright propaganda...
17 March 2013
Large parts of Belarus and the Belarusian capital Minsk have spent this weekend under exceptional circumstances. The cyclone Javier has paralysed large parts of the country for almost two days.
While similar weather conditions in the USA would make it to the top news in Europe, there has been no mentioning of the storm in Belarus in Western media.
It started as simple snow...
14 March 2013
The Russian government severely restricted gambling in Russia in 2009, and the Belarusian authorities quickly spotted an opportunity.
Gambling supplemented by other services became a source of high profit for local authorities and businesses, which are often the same in Belarus. Since then, wealthy Russians have started their pilgrimage to Minsk to squander their fortunes.