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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 […]

28 February 2018
Belarus reviews defence policy after Russia disappoints

On 13 February, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka complained about Russia’s unwillingness to arm the Belarusian army. On 23 February, the ideological periodical of Belarusian government published an article by the defence minister, Andrei Raukou, who described how Belarus would defend itself without mentioning any Russian role in it. According to him, Belarusian army focuses on learning the […]

27 February 2018
Should Europe imitate China when dealing with Belarus? – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

The improving relations between Belarus and the West have thus far failed to secure President Alexander Lukashenka an invitation to visit an EU country. Nevertheless, he has been actively welcoming foreign dignitaries at home. In the past few weeks, Lukashenka received an EU commissioner, the heads of the Latvian and Turkish governments, the foreign minister […]

26 February 2018
Tanks and Tetris: the patterns of Belarusian gaming addiction

In January 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that gaming disorder would for the first time appear as a dangerous mental health condition in the 11th International Classification of Diseases. Many countries, including China, Japan, and the United Kingdom have already implemented restrictive measures to combat a growing gaming addiction. Belarus, on the other […]

22 February 2018
Analytical paper: Non-formal education in Belarus: expanding the learning space

The Ostrogorski Centre presents a study ‘Non-formal Education in Belarus: Expanding the Learning Space’, conducted in 2016 by Yaraslau Kryvoi and Vadzim Smok. One of Belarus’s chief strengths compared to states with similar levels of economic development is access to advanced education, a legacy of the Soviet Union rather than Minsk’s independent achievement. Unlike state-subsidised […]

21 February 2018
How EU money stimulates Lithuania-Belarus border cooperation

On 30-31 January, the heads of the Lithuanian town of Panevezys and the Belarusian one of Vitsiebsk met in Minsk. At present, with relations between the two governments poisoned by the dispute over the Astraviec nuclear plant, such local-level relationships take on added importance. Both countries would like to develop cooperation in promoting tourism or […]

20 February 2018
Stalin’s victims in Belarus: to remain unburied and nameless?

On 6 February 2018, the Viciebsk district court fined Jan Diaržaucau for the unauthorized burial of Stalinist terror victims’ remains in the forest near the village of Hajsy. Even though the initial discovery of human remains at Hajsy dates back to 2014, the authorities have been winding down the official investigation, leaving the bones and […]

19 February 2018
Is Belarus waging an information war against Russia?

On 6 February, Alexander Lukashenka dismissed the heads of several major state media outlets. The president also said that Belarus should avoid the methods used by Russian TV channels. In an interview with Rzeczpospolita, Pavel Yakubovich, the former head of the most influential state-owned daily SB Belarus Segodnya, said that he had been fighting “with the […]

16 February 2018
Latvian support, 2018 local elections, new media policy, China-friendly tourism – Belarus state press digest

Alexander Lukashenka thanks Latvia for advocating the lifting of EU sanctions and its attitude towards the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP). New heads of the leading state media outlets appointed to modernise media policy, make media more competitive and introduce more local content. Lukashenka admits to defence ministry failures in information and ideological work. Belarus […]

14 February 2018
Helsinki-2 prospects, Regnum trial, cryptocurrencies, civic nationalism – digest of Belarusian analytics

EU support in Belarus reaches record-breaking €29m annually, of which a vast majority of funds goes to the state, according to the New Ideas Centre. Yauhen Preiherman talks about the prospects of a new Helsinki-2 process. Aliaksandr Klaskoŭski analyses the results of the visit to Belarus of the European Commissioner Johannes Hahn. Artyom Shraibman examines […]

13 February 2018
Belarusian arms exports grow with new rockets and missiles planned

On 31 January, Belarus’s state military-industrial committee reported that the export of Belarusian arms in 2017 exceeded the previous year by 15%, reaching more than $1bn sales. Growth occurred despite problems in accessing Russian military orders, an unclear situation about cooperation with Ukraine and the reported disruption of a deal with Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, Belarusian officials […]

12 February 2018
The average Belarusian: who is he? Actually, it’s she

On 25th January 2018, top Belarusian media outlet TUT.BY compiled a portrait of the average Belarusian citizen. The media outlet used a combination of recent data from the National Statistical Committee of Belarus, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations. Apparently, the average Belarusian citizen is a 42-and-a-half-year old woman with higher education. She […]

9 February 2018
Pro-Russian bloggers sentenced: Belarus draws red lines in propaganda war

On 2 February, a Belarusian court sentenced three Belarusian journalists with pro-Russian views to 5 years imprisonment (with 3 years of the sentence suspended). The three have been under investigation since December 2016 on charges of inciting hatred towards the Belarusian nation and language. Their case sets a precedent. Never before have the Belarusian authorities […]