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Ryhor Astapenia
Ryhor Astapenia
Ryhor Astapenia is Development Director at the Ostrogorski Centre. He also edits the Belarusian internet magazine Idea and coordinates the BelarusProfile.com project. Ryhor is currently working on his PhD at the University of Warsaw and advises civil society organisations in Belarus. He is originally from Salihorsk, Belarus.
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6 March 2013
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Vilnius: the New Mecca for Belarusian Shoppers and Activists

On weekends, Vilnius looks like a Belarusian city. Cars with Belarusian registration plates, crowds of Belarusians carrying shopping bags, even bus schedules to Belarus from big shopping centres. In 2012, according to the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism, 400,000 Belarusian...

27 February 2013
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Belarus and Russia Prepare for the West – 2013 Military Drill

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...

19 February 2013
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Afghanistan Veterans in Belarus: Soldiers of Forgotten War

Few people from the West know that tens of thousands of Belarusians fought in Afghanistan. The war has long been over, but its legacy remains. The Afghan war brought not only death, physical disabilities and material losses. It also made drug...

9 January 2013
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Belarus Leads the CIS in 2013

Belarus assumed the presidency in the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) on 1 January 2013. This is the international organisation which was intended to replace the Soviet Union in 1991. For politicians who formed their vision in the Soviet Union, the...

14 December 2012
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Russian Monologue on Modernisation

On 22 November, Alexander Lukashenka met with Putin`s protégé and head of the Gazprom directive board Alexey Miller. During the meeting, Miller presented a program on how Gazprom will develop the Belarusian gas infrastructure and make new investments into the economy. Gazprom...

6 December 2012
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Belarus Fights Pornography

Last month BELTA news agency announced that a 21-old Belarusian in the east of the country published eight pornographic videos on his social network page. The authorities started a criminal case and the accused faces up to four years in jail.  Belarus has become a...

29 November 2012
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Belsat TV Struggles to Survive

On 26 November the only independent television channel Belsat broadcasting for Belarusians cut the broadcast and sent a significant number of its employees on leave. Earlier this year Belsat broadcasted for 17 hours a day.  Today it is only six and...

21 November 2012
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Suicide Triggers Changes in the Belarusian KGB

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,...

16 November 2012
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Belarus Announces Pull Out from Latvian and Lithuanian Ports

Alexander Lukashenka announced a re-orientation of Belarusian export cargo streams from Latvian and Lithuanian ports to Russian ports. The announcement came on 9 November at a meeting with the Governor of Russia's Leningrad region.  Belarusian authorities have started a new round...

12 November 2012
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Belarusian Political Prisoners Get Special Treatment

In addition to sending their political opponents to prisons for years, Belarusian authorities make sure they get "special treatment" there. Today 12 political prisoners are serving sentences. Most of them remain incarcerated in disciplinary cells or stricter regimes. Last...