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Environmental protection in Belarus: are the rankings misleading?
In the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy’s recently published environmental performance index (EPI), Belarus took 35th place in the world. According to the rating, Belarus performs fairly well in protecting human health and ecosystems compared with many other countries. However, Belarusians themselves express concern about the ecological situation in Belarus, says recently conducted research […]
23 December 2017
The Belarusian army: scaled down but better trained and autonomous

On 15 December, the Belarusian army’s media outlet, VaenTV, reported of tank units training to shoot at an unusually long distance—six kilometres. Few post-Soviet armies use this ‘high angle fire’ method, said VaenTV. The news illustrates one of the ways the Belarusian military attempts to compensate for its lack of funds for new equipment. It is intensifying training […]

22 December 2017
Top 10 of Belarus civil society in 2017 according to Pact

Traditionally Pact highlights some of the most prominent developments in and affecting Belarus civil society. Issue of the Year: “Social Parasite” Tax In 2015, Lukashenko signed a decree imposing a “social parasite tax” on Belarusians without legitimate employment. The entrance of the decree into force resulted in the mass civic reaction in the form of […]

21 December 2017
Source: euromaidanpress.com
Russian television turning into the ‘Trojan horse’ in Belarus?

On 28 November 2017, participants of the Russian political talk-show Mesto Vstrechi [Meeting Place], compared Belarus to an ‘unfaithful wife,’ a ‘prostitute’ and a ‘second Ukraine.’ The show reflected angry reactions to the participation of Belarus in the recent EaP summit in Brussels and its recent attempts to improve relations with the EU. Soon thereafter, […]

19 December 2017
Anti-Belarusian propaganda, silent reforms, women’s entrepreneurship – digest of Belarusian analytics

Artiom Shraibman discusses what is wrong with the reaction of Minsk to the anti-Belarusian propaganda. KAS releases a brochure to discuss how civil society can promote transformation in Eastern Europe. A new report of the Centre for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies calls the changes in Belarus’ economic policy as ‘silent reforms’. Belarus in Focus: civic […]

15 December 2017
Lukashenka to sign ‘revolutionary’ IT regulation package

On 13 December, at the plenary session of the 2nd Congress of Belarusian scientists, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka promised to sign the decree ‘On the Development of Digital Economy’ before the New Year. The fathers of the decree call it revolutionary, because it includes a number of unprecedented measures to liberalise the way IT businesses […]

14 December 2017
Belarus’s immigration policy: perpetuating a demographic crisis?

On 8 November, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka met with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Lukashenka mentioned that the number of  Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Belarus since 2014 has reached 150,000. Over the past 20 years, the population of Belarus has decreased by more than 600,000 people. At a security […]

13 December 2017
Human Rights Award 2017, information security, Women and Elections – Belarus civil society digest

Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights Watch Docs goes to Minsk cinemas. Good Neighbor master class tells how to make a playground. MAKEOUT announce a contest for anti-discrimination stickers.  Human rights community delivers its award. Blakit online project visualises data on public procurement. SYMPA invites to masterclasses on effective local governance by a Polish mayor […]

12 December 2017
‘Mountains of rubbish visible from space’: waste management in Belarus

This October, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka complained about “mountains of rubbish in Belarus visible from space.” Noting a particular problem with the accumulation of rubbish in the capital, the president urged the development of new long-term approaches to waste management.  Annually, Belarus produces nearly 4 million tonnes of municipal solid waste alone. In 2016, it […]

11 December 2017
CIS leaders rating, new local politicians, gas price drop, labour migration – Belarus state press digest

Minsk approves the current pragmatic approach of the EU towards the Eastern Partnership. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka is the top rated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) leader among Russians. The authorities expect new faces in politics after 2018 local election. The cost of Russian gas for Belarus will decrease in 2018. Chinese Midea Group is […]

8 December 2017
Anti-Vaxxers in Belarus: time for legal punishment?

On 30 November, the Belarusian Republican Centre for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health announced that 3.7 million Belarusian citizens had voluntary vaccinated themselves against flu. This number proves that Belarusians still generally trust their public health institutions despite a growing anti-vaccination sentiment in the blogosphere and social networks. At the same time, the Ministry of Health […]

7 December 2017
Minsk silently builds a new army

On 1 December, Minsk made public an agreement with Russia to supply a joint regional group of Belarusian and Russian troops. In return, Russia’s Defence Ministry has committed to providing Belarus with necessary equipment and arms in times of “increasing military threat to the Union state [of Belarus and Russia] and in times of war.” Meanwhile, […]

6 December 2017
Ineffective state-owned enterprises, improved business climate – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 17 November 2017, the official statistical body of Belarus, Belstat, announced that GDP growth for ten months of the year has reached a new high outscoring the previous month’s record. However, state-owned enterprises are still unable to significantly improve their cost-effectiveness, which delivers additional pain to their creditors threatening the banking stability of Belarus. […]

5 December 2017
Belarus at EaP summit 2017, peacekeepers in Ukraine, London conference, legal education – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In November, analysts from the Ostrogorski Centre gave reasons for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka not attending the Eastern Partnership summit, assessed growing international support for Belarusian peacekeepers in Ukraine, and outlined how geopolitics increase the heft of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus. The Ostrogorski Centre and the Faculty of Law of the Belarusian State […]

1 December 2017
Soft Belarusianisation, economic forum, reformists disappointed – digest of Belarusian analytics

Arciom Šrajbman explains why Lukashenka did not attend EaP summit in Brussels. Grigory Ioffe: The regime in Minsk has taken over some of the most important slogans and refrains of the opposition. Joerg Forbrig: I am not an “Architect of Revolutions” in Belarus. Jaŭhien Prejhierman sees modest progress in US-Belarus relations. Piotr Rudkoŭski: through soft […]