28 March 2017
On 10 March, a court sentenced six football hooligans to lengthy jail sentences for a fight between fans of FC Partyzan Minsk and a rival group of ultras which occurred in June 2014. The football fans received particularly severe sentences of twelve, ten, six and four years in jail.
In sentencing the leftist hooligans to imprisonment, officials intend to keep anarchists and football...
27 March 2017
Following the violent suppression of peaceful political protests in Belarus, many policy-makers Western capitals are at a loss. Should they re-impose sanctions? Ignore human rights violations for geopolitical concerns?
To resolve this quagmire, it is important to understand why the Belarusian authorities have resorted to violence.
Why are Belarusian authorities overreacting?...
28 January 2016
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, coupled with Russia's economic decline, has facilitated the separation of Belarusian national identity from all things Russian. The government has made an effort to differentiate Belarus's interests from those of the Kremlin and to wean the country off Russia's military and economic support.
Some new members of the political elite have even...
17 March 2015
While European and American officials are visiting Minsk and discussing easing sanctions on Belarusian officials, the KGB is preparing for this year's presidential election.
In recent months the police have stepped up pressure on civic activists and anarchists to avoid protests spilling out onto Minsk's pristine streets during the upcoming election campaign.
- 04 February 2015
03 February 2015
12 March 2014
While in Ukraine large scale political demonstrations are just a regular instrument used to influence the authorities, democratic activists in Belarus are prosecuted for nearly any kind of public political action. Trying to adapt to the current conditions, the opposition is changing its protest tactics.
Evidence of these new tactics has been described in a new analytical paper...
12 February 2014
A photo of 20 well-known Belarusians holding a banner in support of FC BATE Barysau ultras stirred up the Belarusian internet at the end of January. The photo also featured rock star Liavon Volski, writer and journalist Natalka Babina, screenwriter and film director Andrei Kureichyk.
Not far back, it was hard to imagine intellectuals expressing support for groups of...
19 December 2012
The Reality Check is a new initiative which aims to convene regularly a Review Group to contribute to the formulation of a more effective policy towards the EU’s Eastern neighborhood countries.
The Review Group includes domestic and international analysts, practitioners, diplomats and policy makers.
The first informal meeting on Belarus was held in Vilnius...
31 October 2012
On 26 October, Belarus state television showed another criminal movie about independent Belarusian community. This time to prevent crimes Department of Financial Investigation staff members confiscated scholarly books written in Belarusian.
The authorities confiscated over 5,000 books from a former chief editor of Arche Valery Bulhakau. According to state TV-channel, these books are...
05 April 2012
Over the last fifteen years Belarusians have become used to the authorities' brutality during opposition demonstrations. Since 19 December 2010 the police have been particularly repressive, leaving no opportunities for protesters. But the massive rally in Minsk on 25 March, Freedom Day, was unexpectedly peaceful.
The police behaved in an unusually friendly manner. This led some...
30 March 2012
Although Belarusian authorities permitted and did not interfere with the annual Freedom Day opposition rally in the centre of Minsk, the pressure against opposition activists is increasing. Multiple detentions leading to short-term prison terms are now coupled with restrictions on travelling abroad for pro-democracy activists. The life of political prisoner Siarhey Kavalyou...