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Women’s activism in Belarus: towards the real gender equality
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On 8 March, women the world over will celebrate International Women’s Day, which commemorates women's emancipation and their achievements. However, Belarusians largely celebrate the 8th of March in a different way, putting an emphasis on women as mothers, housekeepers,...
7 March 2017
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Social parasites’ protests, high-tech park – digest of Belarus analytics

Aliena Arciomienka, BISS, analyses the impact of the crisis on the potential of street protest in Belarus. Thomas De Waal, Carnegie Europe, suggests Lukashenka’s balancing act is made easier by the confusion coming from the White House as to...

6 March 2017
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The Belarus-Russia conflict through the lens of the Gerasimov Doctrine

The recent visit of Alexander Lukashenka to Sochi on 15 - 26 February 2017, which did not include an audience with Vladimir Putin, casts the relationship between Minsk and the Kremlin in an ever more ambiguous light. Tensions between Belarus...

3 March 2017
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Belarus’s new Russian arms: what Minsk has given in exchange

In an interview published on 23 February, Belarusian defence minister Andrei Raukou announced the forthcoming purchases of state-of-the-art Russian weaponry. He specifically mentioned the Su-30SM fighter aircraft and 120mm Nona-M1 heavy mortars. Earlier, on 4 February, armament director of the...

2 March 2017
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Tax on “social parasites” stirs up public angst in Belarus

On April 2, 2015, President Alexander Lukashenka signed Decree No. 3 “on preventing social dependency”, otherwise known as the “idleness decree” or the “social parasite tax.” The new law requires nearly half a million jobless Belarusians who...

1 March 2017
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Second Annual London Conference, growing Belarus-Russia tension, Bologna process – Ostrogorski Centre digest

The Ostrogorski Centre co-organised the Second Annual London Conference on Belarusian Studies in cooperation with University College London and the Belarusian Francis Skaryna Library and Museum. In February, analysts of the Ostrogorski Centre discussed Russia’s attempts to destabilise the region...

28 February 2017
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Consumption in stand-by mode, investments and trade – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 20 February 2017, Belstat, Belarus's official statistical agency, announced that the GDP has once again dropped by 0.5 per cent in January compared with the same month in 2016. However, on 21 February 2017, Prime Minister of Belarus Alexey...

27 February 2017
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Kurapaty memorial in danger: business versus historical memory

On 24 February 2017, Siarhej Palčeuski chained himself to a truck to protest the construction of a business centre in the vicinity of Kurapaty – a commemoration site for the victims of the 1930s Soviet repressions. Palčeuski's great-grandfather was...

24 February 2017
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Can anger sustain the Belarusian protests?

On 17 February of this year, Minsk saw the largest civic protest since 2010, when demonstrators gathered in the capital to protest the results of the presidential election . However, this recent demonstration of ‘angry Belarusians’ was significantly different...

23 February 2017
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Lukashenka meets oppositional editor, neutral coverage of protests, Russian pressure – Belarus state press digest

A palpable liberalisation is evident in the Belarusian state press with regard to politics and the economy in a context of threatening moves from Russia. A major official newspaper writes about an opposition-led protest in a neutral tone for the...

22 February 2017
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Chechens struggle to enter the EU through Belarus

Since late summer 2016, a small-scale refugee crisis has been unfolding at the Belarusian-Polish border near Brest, as several thousand Chechen refugees attempt to make their way into Poland. They are mainly seeking political asylum in the EU, claiming that...

21 February 2017
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Environmentalists confront Catholics in a construction conflict

A recent construction conflict, lasting from May 2016 to January 2017, has divided Belarusian civil society. Residents, along with environmental activists, were able to halt the erection of a Catholic church in a Minsk park. Eventually, the Archbishop of...

20 February 2017
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Moscow erects border with Belarus, undermines its links with Ukraine and the Baltics

On 16 February, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's press secretary, announced that the Kremlin does not plan to introduce a visa regime with Belarus. His statement comes in a context of increasingly harsh measures on behalf of Moscow towards Belarus...

17 February 2017
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Belarus’s neighbours: patronising and obliging – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

From January to early February 2016, Belarus and Lithuania drifted further apart as their diplomats exchanged tart-tongued statements over the safety of the Astraviec NPP and Belarus’s sovereignty. Alexander Lukashenka, who remains unwelcome in the EU, travelled to more...

16 February 2017
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Belarus struggles to preserve its historical heritage

When travelling to Hrodna at the end of January, a group of tourists ended up saving a unique historical museum: the Yanush Parulis Museum in Hrodna was only able to survive financially thanks to local activism and a media...