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Does Belarus have low unemployment?
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The Belarusian authorities proudly report that the level of unemployment in Belarus is around 1%. This figure, however, does not reflect reality. The registration process for unemployment benefits is cumbersome, and the unemployed are required to perform ‘public works’...
14 May 2011
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Is the language issue important in Belarus?

In the mid-1990s, the language question was one of the most contested in Belarusian politics. Lukashenka skillfully positioned himself as the protector of the Russian language in Belarus, which helped him get political and economic support from Moscow.

14 May 2011
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Do Belarusians have a weak national identity?

Indeed, Belarusians have a lower level of consciousness about their national language and history than most of their neighbors. Several reasons explain this. Belarus (called Belarusian People’s Republic) first declared independence on March 25 1918 under the German occupation....

14 May 2011
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Is the West investing a lot in the Belarusian opposition?

The repressive climate in the country makes it nearly impossible for the Belarusian opposition to raise money in Belarus. As a result, the opposition depends upon external support.

14 May 2011
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Is Lukashenka the Kremlin’s “loyal satrap”?

Lukashenka has been trying to build the reputation of a loyal ally of Russia to secure the Kremlin's political and economic support. However, his main goal appears to be remaining in control of the situation in Belarus. Compared to...

14 May 2011
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Does Lukashenka want to become Russia’s President?

In the late 1990s Lukashenka was very popular on the Russian political scene. With aging president Yeltsin who had serious health problems and a large number of communists and nationalists in the Russian parliament, Lukashenka’s plans did not seem...

14 May 2011
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Is Belarusian statehood temporary?

In the early 1990s there were serious concerns that Alyaksandr Lukashenka would try to incorporate Belarus into the Russian Federation. Lukashenka signed a number of treaties with Russia's President Yeltsin, including the Treaty on the Establishment of the Union...

14 May 2011
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Has Belarus always been an authoritarian country?

Until 1994, when Alexander Lukashenka was elected president, Belarusians enjoyed much more freedom. The press was free, opposition parties were present in the Parliament, and the country pursued a cautious pro-Western foreign policy like its neighbours. At that time,...

14 May 2011
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Is Belarus “the last dictatorship in Europe”?

Political freedoms in Belarus are severely restricted, especially in comparison with other European countries. However, the authorities are a long way from controlling all spheres of society, as would happen in a totalitarian state. Elections, however, are not free...

4 April 2011
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Is it very cold in Belarus?

It is warmer in Belarus than in many other European countries, such as Lithuania or Latvia, or most parts of Russia. The average January temperature in Minsk is around −7 °C (19.4 °F). The average July temperature in Minsk...