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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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13 November 2014
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Is Communism Still Alive in Belarus?

At first glance, Belarus may appear to be a Communist state thanks to its overt fondness of the Soviet Union and its soviet-red tinged state flag. In practise, however, the country has little to do with the far-left ideology. On...

20 October 2014
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The Belarusian University in Exile Needs More Than a New Rector

On 30 September, Professor Anatoli Mikhailov left his post as rector and became the president of the European Humanities University (EHU) - a Belarusian university in exile. Rather than resigning from working for the university, Professor Mikhailov switched over to...

17 October 2014
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The Belarusian Opposition: Recovering from 2010, Preparing for 2015

Everyone knows that the Belarusian opposition has had little chance of being elected since the late 1990s. Repression against the opposition continues to turn up more frequently in the news than their own actions, particularly given the Western public's...

3 October 2014
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Is Lukashenka Trying to Emancipate Belarus from Russian Culture?

On 29 September, Alexander Lukashenka stated that schools should increase the number of Belarusian language lessons they teach. Following Lukashenka's public speech in Belarusian in July this year, a rare even in and of itself, the retirement of some pro-Russian...

19 September 2014
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What Life is Like in Belarus’ Small Towns

Few people in the West know that provincial Salihorsk, not Minsk, is the wealthiest town in Belarus. Belaruskali, responsible for around 10% of Belarusian exports annually, makes Salihorsk the most economically important town in Belarus, outside of Minsk. Despite its wealth,...

10 September 2014
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No Longer the Last Dictatorship in Europe

The Kremlin’s war in Ukraine and the rise of Russian authoritarianism have made it clear that Belarus is neither the only dictatorship in Europe, nor the worst of them. While Lukashenka's authoritarianism causes problems primarily for Belarusians, Putin is now...

28 August 2014
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Will there Be a Single Opposition Candidate in 2015 Elections?

Last week Mikalai Statkievich, a former presidential candidate, stated from prison that the Belarusian opposition needs to choose a single candidate for the presidential election from a pool of people with serious politically-motivated convictions. His comments come...

21 August 2014
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Belarusian Students Unite in Lithuania

Belarusian youth studying abroad have three days left to send their applications to participate in the annual Rally of the United Students of Belarus, which will take place in Lithuania on 1-5 October 2014. Young people studying abroad and...

13 August 2014
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How the Belarusian Political System Works

Last year the Ostrogorski Centre launched its Belarus Profile web site. Since then the database of the most influential Belarusians has become an increasingly popular source of biographical information. However, not many people in the West know...

1 August 2014
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Belarusians Pop Car Tires to Express Ukraine Sentiments

On 23 July, the main Belarusian portal TUT.by blew the Internet up with an article about Belarusians who were going around popping car tires with Russian number plates in Minsk. The site's administration removed nearly two thousand comments for inciting...