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Belarusian state propaganda advocates mass repression
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On 21 March 2017, the Belarusian authorities began a programme of repression against civil society activists, which is still ongoing. These measures followed mass protests of the population against the unpopular economic policies of the government, including the famous...
28 April 2017
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Lukashenka-Putin negotiations, discussion at KCL, Belarus-China achievements – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In April, analysts at the Ostrogorski Centre discussed the results of negotiations between Putin and Lukashenka in Saint Petersburg, ways to respond to continuing political repression in Belarus, prospects for Belarusian-Turkmen relations, and achievements of Belarusian-Chinese cooperation over the...

27 April 2017
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Youth organisations in Belarus: oppositional vs. official

On 23 February, the administration of the Belarusian State University expelled the youth activist Yury Lukashevich. The former student claims that the reason behind his expulsion lies in his political activism and board membership in an oppositional party. While the...

26 April 2017
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Minsk wants China’s help countering Russian and Western pressure

Next month, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenka will head for China. While he remains isolated in the West, this will be his tenth visit to Beijing. Addressing the Belarusian parliament on 21 April, Lukashenka gave much attention to Belarusian-Chinese relations...

25 April 2017
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Belarus-US relations, end of political thaw, EU policy towards Minsk – digest of Belarusian analytics

Andrej Kazakievič: the protests will inevitably fade due to the lack of organisation. Arciom Šrajbman makes optimistic forecast after the recent dispersal of protests. Chatham House: Belarus will still sooner or later be faced with a decisive choice between...

21 April 2017
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Hazing in the Belarusian army

On 31 March, Arciom Basciuk, a soldier in the Belarusian army, committed suicide because of hazing. Less than a year earlier, another soldier shot himself during a military exercise for the same reason. Psychological pressure and the hierarchical structure...

20 April 2017
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Eurasian Customs Code, new visa liberalisation, food exports – Belarus state press digest

Lukashenka finally signs laws on implementaiton of the Eurasian Customs Code. After a presidential meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia approves additional credit for Belarus. Foreign visitors of the 2019 Eurogames are to enjoy more beneficial visa-free regime. Legislation on business...

19 April 2017
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Belarus – Turkmenistan: the end of a success story?

On 30-31 March, talks were held in Ashgabat between Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenka. The launch of the $1bn Garlyk potash fertiliser plant which Belarus built in the country differentiated this encounter from other such...

18 April 2017
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Between East and West: what’s next for Belarus? (podcast)

Belarus has recently moved to the headlines of major international news outlets because of massive protests against the rule of president Lukashenka. But unlike in Ukraine, protests in Belarus has not yet lead to political changes. The KCL Eurasia Society,...

18 April 2017
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Urban Forester, BY_Help campaign, women advocacy platform – Belarus civil society digest

Dramatic deterioration of human rights situation in March: over 900 people subjected to various forms of repression, according to Viasna. BY_Help initiative collects $27K to help detainees of the March protests in Belarus. Urban Forester's volunteers plant 20,000 trees. 34 Media Days project...

17 April 2017
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Was the White Legion really planning an armed attack?

On 11 April, the official Belarusian media launched a massive propaganda campaign. They aimed at revealing the alleged plans of a group called White Legion to destabilise the country and overthrow the government. The White Legion is a patriotic...

13 April 2017
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Hrodna is learning to handle more foreign tourists

Around 1,100 tourists, a record number, visited Hrodna Region between 26 March and 2 April 2017, according to Belta news agency. Since October 2016, it is possible to visit the region for five days visa-free. This growth in tourism has...

11 April 2017
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Belarus has obtained gas and oil concessions from Russia: but what did Russia get in exchange?

After a meeting with Alexander Lukashenka on 3 April in Saint Petersburg, Vladimir Putin announced that all oil and gas issues between the two countries had been resolved. The media in Belarus reported on the Kremlin's concessions extensively. However, what...

7 April 2017
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Lukashenka and Putin, justifying repression, EEU economy back on track – Belarus state press digest

Lukashenka and Putin agreed to resolve all critical problems in bilateral relations, including the oil and gas dispute. Belarus realises its largest ever investment project abroad – a potash plant in Turkmenistan. The official media resoundingly condemns protests against the...

6 April 2017
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Belarus’s plan to import Iranian and Azerbaijani oil: how serious is Minsk?

On 3 April, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka succeeded in securing concessions from Vladimir Putin following a year-long oil and gas dispute between the two countries. In order to reach a deal, Minsk put the idea of buying oil from...