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The best ever opportunity for Putin to intervene in Belarus?
On 18 August, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka convened his National Security Council with a focus on “external intervention” in the current protests in Belarus. He cited military threats on the “Western borders”, although a couple of weeks ago he had blamed Russia. This shift in rhetoric coincides with the conditions set forth by Putin for providing […]
19 August 2020
Need a commentator on Belarus? We compiled a list for you

We would like to encourage media, experts and policy-makers working on Belarus to speak primarily to Belarusians to understand what is happening in the country. It is their country and they need to have their voice heard not only inside Belarus but also abroad. Belarus Digest compiled a list of people based in Belarus or […]

18 August 2020
Protesters in rural Belarus took the authorities by surprise

On 9 August, the day of the presidential elections, soon after the polling stations closed, protesters began to take to the streets of Belarusian cities. The rallies of thousands continued throughout the country in the following days. The authorities’ attempts to severely suppress the movements only resulted in increased protests. An unusual feature of these […]

17 August 2020
Is Lukashenka about to introduce martial law?

On 13 August, the Belarusian authorities stopped deploying special riot police against presidential election protesters. This move appeared to be a step toward a peaceful solution. Yet in two phone conversations with Vladimir Putin this weekend, Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka returned to militant rhetoric. He announced that in the event of further escalation, Putin had […]

16 August 2020
A column of demonstrators in Minsk on August 14. Photo: RFE / RL
Three main threats to the Lukashenka regime now

On 14 August on Independence Square in the Belarusian capital Minsk, for the first time in 10 years, a rally of thousands of opponents of the authorities took place. And for the first time during the regime of President Alexander Lukashenka, a rally at this location was held without the arrest of peaceful demonstrators. This […]

15 August 2020
women protest in Minsk
The sixth time was different: a revolution unfolds in Belarus

Belarus stands before a critical chapter in its history. Following a rigged election in which the incumbent claimed an absurd 80% of the vote, thousands took to the streets demanding free and fair elections and an end to repression. This is an unprecedented show of support for democratic values in a country that has experienced […]

14 August 2020
Let the world know what is happening in Belarus! Support Belarus Digest now

Today the interest in what is happening in Belarus is greater than ever. At the same time, we witness a catastrophic lack of reliable and timely information on events in Belarus in English. If this crowdfunding campaign is successful, Belarus Digest will resume its work until the situation in the country becomes calmer. Belarus Digest […]

13 August 2020
The 9 August presidential vote in Belarus and its immediate aftermath

Since the 9 August presidential vote, the situation in Belarus has been changing rapidly every day. Belarusians do not believe the officially announced results: 80% for the incumbent Alexander Lukashenka and 10% for his main challenger Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya. Since Sunday evening, public peaceful protests and solidarity actions have taken place across Belarus. Domestic observers characterise […]

13 August 2020
What is going on in Belarus? Key questions answered

The presidential election campaign in Belarus has caught many in the country and outside by surprise. The authorities, the opposition and policy-makers in other countries are now considering possible strategies, but often without objective information from Belarus that is not driven by a particular political agenda. This brief post attempts to respond to some common, […]

12 August 2020
Shall we revive Belarus Digest?

We see a catastrophic lack of quality and timely information on events in Belarus in English. We are thinking of trying to revive, then temporarily, Belarus Digest. We ran out of funding a year and a half ago, but now it may possible to revive Belarus Digest, even temporarily, relying on donations of the readers. […]

10 February 2020
5th Annual ‘Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century’ Conference

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Ostrogorski Centre and the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum invites to the Annual London conference on Belarusian Studies. The conference will take place on 21–22 February 2020 at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) and the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum in London. […]

8 November 2019
Belarus’s 2019 parliamentary election: consequential or not?

On 17 November 2019 Belarus chooses a new parliament. The last parliamentary elections, held in September 2016, brought two non-loyalist candidates into the lower chamber for the first time in more than a decade. Although the role of the parliament is relatively insignificant in the Belarusian political system, the outcome of the poll later this […]

30 September 2019
2020 Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century conference – call for papers

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Ostrogorski Centre invite proposals from established academics and doctoral researchers for individual papers and panels discussing various aspects of contemporary Belarusian studies. The conference will take place on 21–22 February 2020 at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in London. The Annual London Lecture […]

4 September 2019
Trump’s advisor in Minsk: why should we care?

Last week US National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Minsk and met the Belarusian president. The visit shows how greatly Belarus’s stock has risen in international relations over the past five years. It also adds to suggestions of ‘normalising’ diplomatic ties between Belarus and the United States, with President Aliaksandr Lukashenka insisting that he has […]

5 August 2019
The State of the Union: Belarus, Russia and the virtual state

On 18 July Aliaksandr Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin met in St Petersburg. Integration within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, which will mark its twentieth anniversary in December, featured prominently on the agenda. It has become a leitmotif in recent meetings between the two heads of state. Remarkably little has been […]