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The misery of Belarusian academia
On 8 October, Vitaĺ Ašejčyk, an archaeologist at the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, posted his payslip for September on Facebook. His salary of $124 a month came as a surprise to many. In fact, salaries of this size remain a standard pay rate for many in Belarusian academia. Dramatic […]
20 October 2017
New repressions in Belarus: The art of staying below western radars

On 14 October, a squad of masked riot policemen raided an antifascist concert in Minsk, detaining dozens of people, and reportedly beating some of them. This incident, among several others, demonstrated a relatively new trend in Belarusian domestic politics. For several months now, the authorities have been steadily expanding the range of targeted and discrete […]

19 October 2017
Will Azerbaijan help Belarus to become more independent?

On 8 October 2017, Defence Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov, visited Minsk. The visit lasted until 10 October. During the visit, Hasanov held meetings with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka as well as with all the senior military leadership of the country. The Azerbaijani guest probably made an agreement with his Belarusian […]

19 October 2017
Call for Papers: The Third Annual London Conference on Belarusian Studies

The Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century Conference Committee, the Ostrogorski Centre and the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum invite proposals from established academics and doctoral researchers for individual papers and panel discussions on contemporary Belarusian studies. The conference is a multidisciplinary forum for Belarusian studies in the West. All proposals will be considered […]

17 October 2017
Sexism vs. feminism through the mirror of media and advertising

In September 2017, the oldest independent Belarusian newspaper, Naša Niva launched Naša Nina – a new spin-off project designed exclusively for women. With topics ranging from women’s rights in childbirth to celebrity news, it aspires to offer a unique and modern product on the market of gender-oriented media in Belarus. Yet critics point out that […]

16 October 2017
On whose side is Belarus in the Syrian civil war?

On 7 September, the Israeli air force attacked the Syrian military’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre. According to the Times of Israel, Belarusians may have been among those working at the Centre. Meanwhile, a Bulgarian hacker group recently published documents showing that Silk Way, an Azerbaijani airline that transports arms for Syrian opposition groups, directed some […]

13 October 2017
Breakout from isolation? What to expect from Lukashenka’s visit to Brussels

On 9 October, Belarusian media reported that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka received an invitation to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels. The development demonstrates a new high in the pragmatisation of EU policy towards Minsk. A formal end to the isolation of the Belarusian leadership has come despite the lack of human rights progress. […]

12 October 2017
Helsinki-2, friendship with Venezuela, Sberbank advancement, boosting IT sector – Belarus state press digest

The Saudi King’s deals with Russia will benefit Belarus, believe experts. The Belarusian peace building initiative, Helsinki-2, receives positive feedback in the EU. Belarus and Venezuela work to restore former levels of cooperation. The Belarusian oil industry is losing its hold in Russia’s market. Russian state-owned banking and financial services company Sberbank plans to increase its […]

10 October 2017
The Belarusian berry industry – Belarus photo digest

Year by year, Belarus increases its exports of two of the most popular and valued kinds of its berries—garden blueberries and cranberries. More than 100 private farms and a number of state farms in Belarus are involved with blueberry cultivation. 70 percent of Belarus’s blueberry fields lie in the Brest region. The history of cranberry […]

9 October 2017
KEF-2017 agenda, Minsk Urban Forum, DranikFest, Club of Educators – Belarus civil society digest

Programme of KEF-2017 is published. 7th International Congress of Belarusian Studies in Warsaw gathers over 600 researchers. DranikFest guests eat half a ton of potatoes. Minsk Urban Platform presents Ideal Yard project. Two-week Minsk Urban Forum invites to listen to Minsk city. Week Against the Death Penalty is held in Belarus. Golden Age University in Hrodna kicks off […]

6 October 2017
Homeownership in Belarus: an unaffordable dream

On 3 October, at a meeting to discuss the drafting of a new housing code, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka said that helping citizens to improve their housing conditions will remain a key priority. However, while the state has achieved some success in helping the most vulnerable groups, the majority of the population cannot afford an apartment […]

5 October 2017
Is the United Kingdom finally interested in Belarus?

The United Kingdom has virtually overlooked Belarus since the latter regained its independence over twenty five years ago. London largely remained a strong proponent of a hard-line approach towards Lukashenka’s regime. The UK has avoided talking to the authorities in Minsk. Only two years after the normalisation of relations between Belarus and the EU began, […]

4 October 2017
The autumn of liberalisation – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 26 September 2017, Belarusian officials declared plans for the liberalisation of the economy by developing a new decree on freeing up Belarusian entrepreneurship. Moreover, on 28 September, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky announced the government’s intensions to encourage further growth of the IT-sector. The latest statistical figures on the development […]

3 October 2017
Belarus-Russian military exercises: the story still not over?

On 28 September, the last train filled with Russian troops that had participated in the West-2017 military exercises reportedly left Belarus. Some hours later, however, Commander–in–Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko disputed the news. He claimed only a few Russian military units had returned to their garrisons in Russia, and the rest of Russian troops had, […]

2 October 2017
Belarusian authorities increase pressure on anarchists

On 26 September, Belarusian secret services raided the apartments of several Belarusian anarchists and environmentalists. This became yet another case of repression against Belarusian anarchists in recent months. State authorities have been on alert since the outbreak of protests in 2017 against decree № 3, a presidential decree which levies an unemployment tax on Belarusian […]