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Belarusian Freedom Day 2019: are the authorities warming to the idea?
Freedom Day in Hrodna, 2019. Source: Hrodnalife
On 23 March Hrodna, the Western city in Belarus, hosted Freedom Day celebrations. The occasion attracted up to 5,000 people. Although the authorities officially allowed the celebration of the alternative independence day for a second year, it is still too early to hope that this represents liberalisation in the country. Permission for the celebration in Hrodna […]
22 March 2019
A major diplomatic row between Minsk and Moscow explained

On 21 March 2019, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an official comment regarding the major diplomatic row between Minsk and Moscow. Belarusian and Russian diplomats have exchanged mutual reproaches in a rather undiplomatic manner. Whilst the Russian Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, told Belarusians “not to teach Russia how to live,” the press […]

15 March 2019
Information security, oiling Belarus-Russia relationship, Lukashenka’s sixth term – Digest of Belarusian analytics

While Belarus hedges carefully between East and West, Minsk and Brussels both claim they are eager to deepen ties. Lukashenka and  Putin meet for the fourth time over the course of two months. Arguments about oil and gas prices have become a recurring feature of the Belarus-Russia relationship. Experts see the major threats in 2019 in […]

12 March 2019
Belarusization 2.0.: Will the Russian threat help Belarusization?

On 2 March 2019 Alexander Lukashenka held his annual conference with journalists. The so-called “Big Conversation” lasted seven hours. The marathon session both clarified and blurred official positions on issues of security, closer integration with Russia, and Russian propaganda in Belarus. At the same time, in the context of recent discussions about the potential annexation […]

7 March 2019
Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century: 4th Conference and Annual Lecture in London

The 4th Annual Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century will take place on 29 March 2019 at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in London, UK. The Ostrogorski Centre co-organizes the conference in cooperation with University College London and the Belarusian Francis Skaryna Library and Museum.  To view a provisional programme for this […]

1 March 2019
Flirtations with Warsaw, credits from Moscow, and demographic worries – State press digest

In recent weeks, Minsk has flirted with Warsaw and praised Ukraine for moving “in the right direction”. Meanwhile, foreign minister Uladzimir Makei rebuked former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, while hoping to sign a visa agreement with the European Union. Alexander Lukashenka met Vladimir Putin once again, yet achieved no progress concerning Belarus’s dissatisfaction with […]

19 February 2019
Analytical paper: New forms of practice-oriented business education at masters level in Belarus

The Ostrogorski Centre presents a new analytical paper ‘New forms of practice-oriented business education at masters level in Belarus’, written by Natalja Apanasovich. The paper primarily based on suggestions made during a conference on reform of Belarusian higher education held on 27 December 2018 in Minsk, organised by the Ostrogorski Centre. Dedicated to the issues of higher […]

6 February 2019
Freedom Day 2019, dance flash mob, anti-fake news campaign – Civil Society Digest

A campaign aiming to improve the situation in prisons and help former prisoners kicks off. Nashe Mnenie expert network finds out that the value of rights per se has grown significantly for Belarusians. TUT.BY chief editor Maryna Zolatava to stand trial in BelTA case on February 12. Mediakritika.by portal kicks off an online project about fake news. The […]

4 February 2019
Belarus opens online registration for foreign visitors

On 2 January 2019, a website for the digital registration of foreigners staying in Belarus for more than five days went online. Until now the majority of foreign nationals have needed to visit a local Belarusian Citizenship and Migration Department office. The new initiative represents the latest successful step from the Belarusian authorities to simplify the […]

26 January 2019
Conflict with Russia, the first crypto exchange in the world – digest of Belarusian analytics

Belarus finds itself in another conflict-in-progress with Russia, with a growing wave of Russian information attacks on Belarus. Belarus lifts restrictions on the number of US diplomats in Minsk, however, a breakthrough in Belarus-USA relations remains unlikely. Belarus’s economic growth will slow down in 2019/2021. Belarus has got potential for reducing the generation of waste and […]

21 January 2019
Belarus faces its first investment claims

Since gaining independence, Belarus has never participated in proper investor-state disputes. Nevertheless, in late 2017 and 2018, Belarus faced a record-breaking three investment arbitration claims. A Dutch investor in a Belarusian financial institution and two Russian investors in the Belarusian manufacturing registered their claims against the state. All three investors accused the Belarusian government of […]

11 January 2019
Russia and Belarus clash over oil revenues – Belarusian state press digest

In December 2018, Alexander Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin held a series of tense meetings about compensating Belarus for Russia’s latest oil tax reform.  The Russian tax “manoeuvre” foresees a decrease in export duties on oil and an increase in tax on the extraction of natural resources. The manoeuvre will inevitably result in the Belarusian refineries receiving […]

31 December 2018
Top 10 events of Belarus Civil Society in 2018 according to Pact

Traditionally Pact highlights some of the most prominent developments in and affecting Belarus civil society. Belarus Digest publishes the top ten list below. Soft “Belarusization” of the Year: BNR#100 A large-scale celebration of Freedom Day dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic (BNR) took place on March 25, in front of the […]

29 December 2018
10 most-read stories on Belarus Digest published in 2018

In 2018 Belarus Digest readers particularly interested in our articles on Belarus visa issues, security as well as the relations of Belarus and Russia. Belarus Digest team wishes its readers a healthy, productive and happy new year! Here we compiled our top 10 most read stories published in 2018. 1. 10 days visa-free: a new stage […]

21 December 2018
Rumas Kabiakou
A revolutionary 2018? Belarus’s government changes its face

2018 witnessed huge changes in the Belarusian government. In August, President Alexander Lukashenka dismissed the prime minister, three deputy prime ministers, three ministers and the chairman of the State Military-Industrial Committee. At the same time, commenting on the government reshuffle, Lukashenka said that his decision was far from spontaneous. While criticising the previous government, the […]