10 September 2012
In the last month the issue of diplomacy was the focus of the Belarusian authorities several times.
On 20 August Alexander Lukashenka appointed a new foreign minister, Uladzimir Makey, and on 1 September he inaugurated the brand new building of the Faculty of International Relations of the Belarusian State University. Although the building looks glamorous, the president spoke...
08 September 2012
On 24 August at a congress of Polish Diaspora in Warsaw Poles from Belarus adopted an open letter. The authors of the letter raised the topic of the serious difficulties that the minority faces in the last dictatorship of Europe.
One of the most sensitive issues includes the use of the Card of the Pole, which five years after its introduction still remains controversial. ...
03 September 2012
The 2012 Olympic Games brought little happiness to Belarus' team: not matching even half of their expectations and receiving the fewest medals ever.
This means trouble for Lukashenka’s plans to restore the image of Belarus’ overall prosperity thanks to athletics. Yet during the Games, the disappointed President promised tough showdowns for Belarusian sports state...
25 August 2012
On 12 August Polish hooligans attacked Belarusian journalists and activists in Warsaw. Although such incidents are rare, old stereotypes and prejudices often make life for Belarusians in Poland difficult. Such stereotypes also provoke anti-Belarusian acts of vandalism. Although Poland guarantees the Belarusian minority certain rights, in reality they face various obstacles to retain their...
20 August 2012
As a result of the Belarus-Sweden diplomatic conflict, many media stated once again that Belarus is now “even more isolated” than it was before. Last Tuesday, the Belarusian ambassador to Berlin, Andrei Giro, was ordered to come to the German Foreign Ministry as a reaction to the diplomatic conflict between Belarus and Sweden.
16 August 2012
The 2012 university admissions campaign in Belarus has just finished and reflects a very interesting trend. However good Belarusian higher education is for engineers, physicists, and mathematicians, that does not seem to matter to young people anymore. They want to become programmers. That means representatives of almost the only profession that guarantees them independence and a decent living...
14 August 2012
On 30 July, BBC showed a controversial documentary about the 2011 terrorist attack in Minsk where 15 people died and over 200 were injured. It questioned the guilt of the two men convicted and subsequently executed for it. The film provoked a strong reaction from the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol). Interpol labelled the BBC documentary as based on "biased...
18 July 2012
On 29 June the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament – the House of Representatives – approved in a first reading amendments which introduce harsher administrative liability for non-licensed public opinion surveys.
The bill further restricts possibilities for independent research of the social and political processes in Belarusian society. As a result, the quality of...
19 June 2012
Imagine you are young and well-educated. Imagine you study in one of the world’s best universities and conduct research for your PhD thesis on security policy. Imagine that the first question the people who could be your colleagues ask is: Why are you failing to get married? And would you not perhaps like to write a thesis on how to get married?
Outrageous? Sexual discrimination?...
13 June 2012
"We do not cultivate the idea of sex tourism in Belarus. But if [a foreign tourist] has an interest, let him look for it, meet girls and marry".
This is how the deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Cheslau Shulha recently answered a question about the growing sex industry in Belarus on a state TV channel.
While the Belarusian authorities...
08 June 2012
In his annual address Lukashenka outlined the essence of his relationship with the official unions. Stalin would call the official Belarus trade unions driving belts of his policies. But the form of expression does not change the reality - in Belarus, the so-called trade unions constitute a specific substructure of the state apparatus.
Lukashenka, as the official press is not...
10 May 2012
NGO Assembly was refused to hold its Congress the last minute. “Here you can be served in Belarusian” campaign kicks off in Gomel. The Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities presents its survey on attitudes towards people with disabilities. EHU returns to Minsk – for the sake of an art presentation.
Congress of the Assembly of...