Loading...
RSS
Belarus-Russia relations Belarusian language Belarusian military travel to Belarus
Why Support Belarus Digest?
Statement of Belarusan-American Association on March 25, 2009 – Belarusan Independence Day
In 2008, Alexander Lukashenka’s “last dictatorship in Europe” ousted the U.S. Ambassador from Belarus and forced the U.S. Embassy in Minsk to be reduced to a skeletal staff. Restoration of a full-fledged U.S. Embassy in Belarus should be a priority.
22 March 2009
header_bela.gif
CBS International Summer School for Belarusian Studies in Poland

The Center for Belarusian Studies at Southwestern College (Winfield, KS) invites undergraduate and graduate students to participate in its first International Summer School for Belarusian Studies from July 6 to August 7, 2009.

18 March 2009
Dr. Andrei Fedarau at Georgetown on March 24th, 2009
Dr. Andrei Fedarau at Georgetown on March 24th, 2009

U.S.-Belarus Relations: Current Issues & Future Directions Dr. Andrei Fedarau Fulbright Scholar Tuesday, March 24th at 12pm, Room ICC 462 This talk will illuminate the current state of Belarus-US relations and consider possible scenarios for the future.  The Republic of Belarus and the United States do not enjoy a positive diplomatic relationship.  This is surprising, given the potential that existed in the early 1990s.  The main reasons for the strained relations are the lack of democratic and market transformations in Belarus.  Yet though many post-Soviet states can be described in this way, their relationship with US is not affected in this way. Dr. Fedarau was awarded the PhD in Physics. He worked at the Institute of Physics of Belarus' Academy of Sciences, then in the Supreme Council (parliament) of Belarus, as a head of International Relations Department. Since 1997, he has worked as an independent journalist and analyst of international relations and security.

17 March 2009
No Agreement between EU Countries on Belarus
No Agreement between EU Countries on Belarus

An interesting overview of divergences within the European Union on the Belarusian issue appeared in an article published by Radio Liberty Free Europe.

16 March 2009
Council of Europe Report: Disappeared Persons in Belarus
Council of Europe Report: Disappeared Persons in Belarus

Belarusian civil society groups around the world, including here in Washington, commemorate the Day of Solidarity every month on the 16th.  This day is meant to remind about the disappearance in Minsk in 1999-2000 of Yury Zakharenka, Victar Hanchar, Anatoly Krasouski and Dzmitri Zavadski. In 2004, the Council of Europe prepared a special report on disappeared persons in Belarus. It is the most comprehensive independent study of this problem, which sheds light on what had really happened. Below is the report's summary and its full text: The report presents the results of the investigatory work carried out by the Rapporteur and the ad hoc sub-committee to clarify the fate of four well-known persons who disappeared in Minsk in 1999 and 2000. The conclusions which are drawn gravely impugn certain high representatives of the Government of Belarus. The draft resolution and recommendation call on the Council of Europe and its member and observer states to follow up on these findings, including by sanctions against the Belarusian authorities until they take the measures that must be taken against those responsible. Belarusian civil society groups around the world, including here in Washington, commemorate the Day of Solidarity every month on the 16th.  This day is meant to remind about the disappearance in Minsk in 1999-2000 of Yury Zakharenka, Victar Hanchar, Anatoly Krasouski and Dzmitri Zavadski. In 2004, the Council of Europe prepared a special report on disappeared persons in Belarus. It is the most comprehensive independent study of this problem, which sheds light on what had really happened. Below is the report's summary and its full text: The report presents the results of the investigatory work carried out by the Rapporteur and the ad hoc sub-committee to clarify the fate of four well-known persons who disappeared in Minsk in 1999 and 2000. The conclusions which are drawn gravely impugn certain high representatives of the Government of Belarus. The draft resolution and recommendation call on the Council of Europe and its member and observer states to follow up on these findings, including by sanctions against the Belarusian authorities until they take the measures that must be taken against those responsible.

14 March 2009
Schedule of Events in Washington on Belarus Freedom Day
Schedule of Events in Washington on Belarus Freedom Day

March 25 will be the 91st anniversary of the Declaration of the Belarusan Democratic Republic. On this day, Belarusian-American Association will organize and take part in the following events in Washington, D.C.: 12:15 PM -- Wreath-Laying Commemoration at the Victims of Communism Monument The VOCM is at the intersection of Massachusetts and New Jersey Avenues, NW.

13 March 2009
Eurasia Daily Monitor on Economic Crises in Belarus
Eurasia Daily Monitor on Economic Crises in Belarus

   WASHINGTON - Eurasia Daily Monitor has published an article about the impact of economic crises on Belarus and whom Belarusians tend to blame for the crises: Economic Problems Beset Belarus March 13, 2009 To date, there has been little other than optimistic prognoses from Belarusian government circles about the state of the economy. Unlike the situation in neighboring states, Belarus is not facing recession, and economic growth continues. Moreover, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has assured citizens of government protection, should the situation become difficult. The Belarusian economy has a unique structure, in which state intervention has been common until recently; and the official media has proclaimed a specific Belarusian path to prosperity. Is it possible that the country has been unaffected by the international recession that is affecting its neighbors such as Poland, Ukraine, and Russia so strongly?

11 March 2009
IMF: Belarus’ Economic Challenges More Difficult
IMF: Belarus’ Economic Challenges More Difficult

WASHINGTON - The economic situation in Belarus has worsened since the eastern European country signed a $2.46 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund in January, the IMF said Tuesday.

7 March 2009
Newsweek International on Bielar.us Blockade
Newsweek International on Bielar.us Blockade

Newsweek International published Evgeny Morozov's article on how our hosting provider had blocked this web site. According to the article, the U.S. firms, spooked by export rules, seem to be practicing a kind of self-censorship oddly similar to what Chinese firms do. Let's hope that this exposure will help other Internet bloggers from Belarus and other countries. Here is the story: Yaraslau Kryvoi was no stranger to censorship. After all, he grew up in Belarus, one of the last "outposts of tyranny" in Europe, as former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice once put it. On Feb. 20, he got a notice from his Web-hosting firm that his account was being suspended and that he had 10 days to remove his content. Like many citizens of authoritarian states, Kryvoi had found himself on a blacklist. Trouble is, this story takes place in Washington, D.C. Kryvoi, a 29-year-old graduate of Harvard Law School, works at a reputable law firm. In his spare time, he administers a blog for the local chapter of the Belarussian American Association (BAA). Since the government of Belarus is subject to U.S. trade sanctions, Bluehost, the Provo, Utah, company that hosts Kryvoi's Web site, decided to cut him off." The full text of the article is available at Newsweek.com.

5 March 2009
The United States Mission to the OSCE on New Political Prisoners in Belarus

Today the United States Mission to the OSCE has realeased the following statement regarding the arrest of political prisoners in Belarus: Madam Chairwoman,

3 March 2009
New York Times on Visa Troubles of Belarusians
New York Times on Visa Troubles of Belarusians

Alena Shkumatava, an old friend of mine from Belarus, shares in today's New York Times how she struggled for her U.S. visa. The story gives you a taste of what it's like to be a "highly skilled" professional from Belarus.

3 March 2009
Навіны Вашынгтонскага гуртка БАЗА / News of the Washington Chapter of BAZA

28 лютага адбыўся чарговы сход гуртка Беларуска-Амэрыканскага Задзіночаньня ў горадзе Вашынгтоне, у якiм узялi ўдзел 12 сяброў.

2 March 2009
Full Text of Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2006

This is the final text of Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act adopted by the U.S. Congress in 2006 and signed into law in 2007.

1 March 2009
Амэрыканскі беларус Алег Цывінскі едзе ў Давос
Амэрыканскі беларус Алег Цывінскі едзе ў Давос

Алег Цывінскі, прафесар эканомікі Ельскага універсітэта, ўвайшоў у спіс Маладых лідэраў планеты - 2009 Сусветнага эканамічнага форума ў Давосе. Алег нарадзізся ў Віцебску, скончыў Беларускі Дзяржаўны Эканамічны Універсітэт і аспірантуру Універсітэта Мінесоты. Алег распаваў пра сваю перамогу карэспандэнту газэты "Новы Час":

26 February 2009
state_logo.png
U.S. Department of State Report: Human Rights in Belarus in 2008

WASHINGTON - Yesterday the U.S. Department of State released country report on human rights in Belarus in 2008.  The report is one the most comprehensive and detailed accounts of human rights situation in the country.   Given the number of violations discussed in the report, the top 3 categories are: 1. Freedom of speech and press. 2. Denial of Fair Trial. 3. Freedom of Religion. It is very symptomatic that Belarusian authorities use most of their efforts to suppress media freedom.  When economic conditions are worsening, the unemployment is on the rise and financial help from Russia is drying out, it is getting more difficult to control public discontent: In April 2007 the president stated that control of radio and television stations remained a high priority for the government and that private stations would not be allowed to operate in the country. He also stated that state publishing houses would never sign contracts with independent media publications that violated media laws. Indeed, controlling television and radio is crucial for preventing open dissent.  As long as most of the people are hooked to the state-controlled mass media, they will continue to believe in a parallel world in which everyone supports the government.  Absent extraordinary events and alternative sources of information, any real change is unlikely. Even if in reality the vast majority of people opposes the government.  This is why it is extremely important to support journalists, and particularly independent television and FM radio broadcasting to Belarus.  Until now, Belsat television has been the only serious step in this direction.   WASHINGTON - Yesterday the U.S. Department of State released country report on human rights in Belarus in 2008.  The report is one the most comprehensive and detailed accounts of human rights situation in the country.   Given the number of violations discussed in the report, the top 3 categories are: 1. Freedom of speech and press. 2. Denial of Fair Trial. 3. Freedom of Religion. It is very symptomatic that Belarusian authorities use most of their efforts to suppress media freedom.  When economic conditions are worsening, the unemployment is on the rise and financial help from Russia is drying out, it is getting more difficult to control public discontent: In April 2007 the president stated that control of radio and television stations remained a high priority for the government and that private stations would not be allowed to operate in the country. He also stated that state publishing houses would never sign contracts with independent media publications that violated media laws. Indeed, controlling television and radio is crucial for preventing open dissent.  As long as most of the people are hooked to the state-controlled mass media, they will continue to believe in a parallel world in which everyone supports the government.  Absent extraordinary events and alternative sources of information, any real change is unlikely. Even if in reality the vast majority of people opposes the government.  This is why it is extremely important to support journalists, and particularly independent television and FM radio broadcasting to Belarus.  Until now, Belsat television has been the only serious step in this direction.