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Belarus Recycles Corrupt Officials
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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...
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...

6 May 2014
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Will the Belarusian Authorities Learn from the Ukrainian Crisis?

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine has brought some benefits to the Belarusian authorities. Due to the instability outside Belarus, Lukashenka's position in his dealings with the West has been strengthened. His recent phone conversation with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk proves...

26 November 2013
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Belarus and Azerbaijan: Similar Regimes but Different Treatment by the EU

On 20-21 November, Alexander Lukashenka visited Baku. He held talks with Azerbaijan state leader Ilham Aliyev and they opened the new building of the Belarusian Embassy in Baku. This building became a good sign of the quickly developing relations...

14 March 2012
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The Role of Security Services in Belarus Politics

To understand the balance of power in Belarus it is important to understand the role of the siloviki (the security services). Although they affect political decision-making and the degree of violence in domestic politics they are not a predominant...

25 November 2011
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The Land of Forgotten Heroes: Lenin vs Kosciuszko

For the Belarusian authorities, human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, who was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison yesterday, is a criminal. For a significant part of Belarusian society, he is a hero. Twenty years after the declaration...

21 November 2011
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Who Rules Belarus?

Last summer over half of Belarusians polled by the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies said that Alyaksandr Lukashenka based his authority primarily on the police, the military and the KGB. A closer look at who actually runs the security...

1 July 2011
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Policy Towards Belarus: Russia is Pressing, Europe is Watching

While Russia is increasing its efforts to push Belarus in its geostrategic orbit even further, Europe appears to have taken the "wait and see approach". As a result, those who wish to see changes in Belarus are losing the...

3 June 2011
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What both the West and Belarus Authorities Want?

Although the motivations of the Western and Belarusian leadership are different, they both want Belarus to remain an independent country. This is in large part driven by the fear of Russian political and economic expansion. However, the truth is...