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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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28 October 2015
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State Health Care: Can Belarus Be Proud?

On 21 October, Alexander Lukashenka explained to the Regional Office for Europe Director of the World Health Organisation, Zsuzsanna Jakab​, how Belarus had succeeded in improving its health service and received many compliments from her for that. Belarus has achieved...

21 October 2015
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Who Will Get Positions in the New Government: Conservatives or Reformists?

On 20 September, Alexander Lukashenka stated that he knew who was going to enter the new government. The previous government resigned, under Belarusian legislation, after Lukashenka's victory in the October presidential elections. The new composition of the government will expose...

7 October 2015
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Belarus Presidential Elections: Will They Actually Count the Votes?

On 11 October, Belarus will hold presidential elections. The Belarusian authorities try to create an image of democratic elections at a time when Alexander Lukashenka looks weak due to the economic recession. Realistically no one expects a fair vote count....

23 September 2015
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Belarusian Milk Exports: Success in the East, Failure in the West

On 17 September, Alexander Lukashenka publicly explained to Vladimir Putin the process of milk production and to Nursultan Nazarbayev the functioning of the market economy. In this way the Belarusian state leader responded to critics who have questioned the...

4 September 2015
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Belarusian Combatants in Ukraine: Heroes or Criminals?

On 29 August, Ales Charkashyn, a member of tactical volunteer group Belarus Fighting in Donbas, died from combat wounds. This is the first known death of a Belarusian citizen fighting on the Ukrainian side. No Ukrainian diplomats attended Charkashyn’s funeral...

13 August 2015
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Belarus and the OSCE: Peacekeeping and Elections Critisism

By the end of August, 40 long-term observers of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will arrive in Belarus to keep an eye on the Presidential elections. Since 1991 Belarus has been a member of this organisation...

3 August 2015
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Migrants from Eastern Ukraine Put Pressure on Belarus

Belarus has never had anything resembling the number of migrants it has recently experienced. Over the past 12 months the Belarusian population, thanks to the 100,000 refugees from the Donbas, has increased by 1%. Indeed, Belarus has more Ukrainian...

30 July 2015
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Getting Belarusian Names and Places Right

For many foreigners the Latinised spellings for Belarusian places and names continue to present real difficulties or just appear unpronounceable. Belarusians themselves feel annoyed about the ways their names are transliterated from Cyrillic into Latin script. It has become even...

21 July 2015
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Why Belarus Struggles to Stop Subsidising Its Enterprises

This month, the Belarusian Ministry of Finance will issue bonds for $425.8 million to bail out Gomselmash (abbreviation for Homiel Rural Machine Building), the most important industrial holding company of the second largest city in the country. The large...

16 April 2015
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Belarusian Opposition: From Politics to Advocacy

In the coming days Taciana Karatkevich, a political activist who was little-known until recently, is likely to officially become the main opposition coalition’s candidate in the 2015 presidential election. Her nomination coincided with the departure of Uladzimir Niakliajeu, one of...