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Opening public spaces for people with disabilities in Belarus
On 18 March, the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang finished with Belarus eighth in the medals table. While the state invests in its paralympics competitors, the living conditions for other Belarusians with disabilities remain discriminatory. Recently, various initiatives and individuals have promoted a barrier-free environment and inclusion for people with disabilities in such spheres as […]
22 March 2018
Multi-party system in Belarus, High Tech Park expansion, Trudeau’s socks – Belarus state press digest

Alexander Lukashenka considers a transition to a multi-party political system. Russian ambassador Alexander Surikov says no deep integration of Belarusian and Russian industries has occurred thus far. Lukashenka says Belarusians need to know the history of the Belarusian People’s Republic, but should not be proud of it. 46 new companies take up residence in the […]

21 March 2018
“Sex-training” courses sweep across Belarus

On 26 February, Thai police arrested Belarusian model Nastya Rybka (Anastasiya Vashukevich) and her Belarus-born “sex coach” Alex Lesley (Alexander Kirillov) on charges of arranging “sex-training” courses in Thailand without work permits. Prior to this, Rybka and Lesley sparked a major sex-scandal in Russia involving oligarch Oleg Deripaska and the Russian deputy prime minister Sergei […]

20 March 2018
Belarusian anarchists: Lukashenka’s political opponents or criminals?

On 12 March 2018, a Minsk court sentenced Sviataslau Baranovich to three years in prison. He admitted that he had hit police officers in civilian clothes during the brutal arrests of anarchists. In recent years, the anarchists have become the most persecuted group opposing Alexander Lukashenka’s regime. They remain the most extreme organisation with a […]

19 March 2018
Lukashenka’s recent appointments: in search of efficacy

On 5 March 2018, Siarhei Kavalchuk, a little known employee of the Presidential Security Service, became the Minister for Sports and Tourism. This and other appointments have virtually transformed key elements of the Belarusian state apparatus over recent months. The personnel rotated include heads of major TV channels, a major publishing house, a government-controlled public […]

16 March 2018
One Hundred Years of Belarus Independence Proclamation: Uniting the Nation or Dividing the Opposition?

On 1 March 2018, Minsk municipal authorities granted a permission to install a memorial plaque on the historical building, where on 25 March 1918 Belarusian independence was proclaimed. On the following day, Belarusians crowdfunded the project, promptly collecting € 2500 in just 3 hours. Out of those states that gained their independence after the fall […]

14 March 2018
Opinion: Cannabis Reform in Belarus?

On 17 February 2018, a group of young Belarusians holding a banner reading ‘Legalize Belarus’ gathered on Independence Avenue in the heart of Minsk. The group was campaigning for the legalisation of marijuana in Belarus, a proposition that, at least for now, seems unlikely to attract support from the public or government officials. Why reform […]

13 March 2018
How many divisions does Lukashenka have?

On 18 February President Alexander Lukashenka offered to deploy a 10,000-strong Belarusian contingent as peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine. This represents a rather large commitment for the Belarusian army comprising in total 46,000 military personnel. Minsk pays increasing attention to its military and has even raised its spending on armed forces by a fifth. But the Belarusian […]

12 March 2018
Belarusian language: declining in state education, strengthening in civil society

Only 13% of pupils in Belarus study in the Belarusian language. The authorities therefore roused great public interest with a recent promise to establish Belarusian-language groups in kindergartens in each district in Minsk. At present, the near impossibility of receiving pre-school education in the Belarusian language concerns some parents. Others cling on to even the slightest […]

9 March 2018
The crisis of Belarusian youth sport: can we expect a new Domracheva?

At the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, Belarus finished 15th in the medal table with two golds and one silver. The result represents a true sporting achievement for a country with a relatively small GDP. Yet, despite the triumphs of Darya Domracheva and Hanna Huskova, the Belarusian team failed to repeat its success at the 2014 games […]

7 March 2018
Exploring Belarus’s massive gender longevity gap

The Belarusian gender debate understandably focuses on women’s rights, but in reality, men deserve as much attention. Belarusian men have a far lower life expectancy than women; lower even than North Korean men. Both men themselves and state authorities bear responsibility for this. Belarus remains one of the most alcoholic nations in the world and […]

6 March 2018
Shrinking economic freedom and milk war with Russia – Belarusian economic digest

On 16 February 2018 Belstat, the official statistical body of Belarus, announced that GDP growth for the first month of the year had reached a new high, surpassing the previous month’s record. Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation’s statement on 5 February that the country’s economic freedoms have declined dampened the mood in the business community. Finally, on […]

5 March 2018
London conference, the Journal of Belarusian Studies, Holocaust memory, Lithuania – digest of the Ostrogorski Centre

In February Ostrogorski Centre analysts discussed the Holocaust memory in Belarus, the clash between Belarus and Lithuania over common history, as well as the sentencing of pro-Russian bloggers who remained under investigation for the past year. We also published the newest issue of the Journal of Belarusian Studies and opened registration for the 3rd Annual […]

2 March 2018
Local elections in Belarus: takeaways

On 18 February 2018, Belarusians elected their representatives to local councils. This campaign presented the authorities with an opportunity to demonstrate their openness and improve performance on their democratisation and human rights record. Instead they used it as a testing ground for their ability to dominate and manipulate domestic politics. This choice sends a strong […]

1 March 2018
The Journal of Belarusian Studies: Eastern Belarus in 1917, Congressional Record, Skaryna’s astrology

The Ostrogorski Centre in cooperation with the Anglo-Belarusian Society is pleased to present the newest issue of the Journal of Belarusian Studies. Established in 1965, the Journal is oldest periodical on Belarusian Studies in the English language. Between Local and National: the Case of Eastern Belarus in 1917 The 2017 issue of the Journal begins […]