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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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24 March 2016
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Closing the Gap Between Minsk and Belarus regions

In 2015, real wages declined everywhere in Belarus save Minsk, according to recently-published data from the Belarusian Statistical Committee. This easily explains why so many Belarusians are moving from the regions to the capital. The role of Minsk in the...

7 March 2016
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Will Lukashenka Survive his Worst Term in Office?

On 11 October 2015 it was officially revealed that Alexander Lukashenka had won his fifth presidential election. Five months post-election it appears obvious that it is set to be his most difficult term in office yet. Despite a very vague...

3 March 2016
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Greek Catholics in Belarus – a Struggle on the Margins

On 13 February, Belarus’s main state television channel aired a 25-minute broadcast praising the Greek Catholic Church. The positive coverage signifies a change in how the Belarusian authorities treat this marginalised institution, which was previously viewed with...

19 February 2016
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Belarus Recycles Corrupt Officials

Last month, Alexander Lukashenka pardoned six top officials charged with corruption. Not only that – he appointed them to manage unprofitable state-owned enterprises. The decision reflects a haphazard approach to fighting corruption. Belarus ranked 107 out of 168 countries in...

9 February 2016
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Who Blocks Economic Reforms in Belarus

No economic reforms will be carried out in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka announced in his 26 January address to the government. This was the fourth time since the October 2015 presidential election that the President confirm his desire to keep the...

28 January 2016
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Belarus is Сhanging Rapidly and Needs the West

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...

13 January 2016
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Belaruskali: The Enterprise that Saved Belarus in 2015

Belaruskali, the world's second-largest producer of potash​, fared much better in 2015 than the Belarusian economy as a whole. In spite of weak commodity markets, the state-owned company's annual export revenues are likely to be roughly the same as in...

16 December 2015
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Can Belarus Authorities Prevent the Decline of Textile Manufacturers?

On 4 December, Aliaksandr Lukashenka cancelled his visit to JSC Kamvol, a major textile manufacturer located in Minsk. The president threatened to pay an unexpected visit to this state-owned enterprise in the future and denounced its attempts to cover up...

3 December 2015
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Belarus and the Declining Eurasian Economic Union

The first year of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has highlighted how differently Russia and Belarus see this integration project. While Russia tries to create something resembling for the external audience the European Union and for the internal audience Soviet...

13 November 2015
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Why Belarusians Cannot Afford Housing in Belarus

In 2015, prices for Belarusian apartments fell by about a quarter. Yet few Belarusians can afford to purchase an apartment even at this cheaper price. Interest rates are incredibly high, reaching 30-35% per annum. Banks also impose loan requirements...