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Will the West join Lithuania’s crusade against Belarus NPP?
Photo: Delfi
“We are not going to buy electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant, but do not want to politicise the issue of construction of this station,” said the Polish Ambassador to Belarus on 27 December 2017. If asked, a few Western diplomats would say the same. On the one hand, many Western politicians see Lithuania’s […]
5 January 2018
Blazing the cryptoliberalisation trail – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 22 December 2017, the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenka signed a presidential decree that identified Belarus as the first country in the world to legalise the blockchain—a digital ledger in which transactions made in cryptocurrencies can be chronologically recorded. In the meantime, improved oil prices have helped the government outpace their economic growth plans […]

4 January 2018
Faces of Belarusian politics: political archaeologist Ihar Marzalyuk

Almost everything about Ihar Marzalyuk, a rising star in the Belarusian establishment, contradicts stereotypes held abroad about the Belarusian state. While he is definitely not a liberal democrat, he has even less in common with grey, Soviet-style bureaucrats. With his criticism of Russian chauvinists and love for medieval Belarusian history, he embodies Minsk’s ideological evolution […]

29 December 2017
10 most-read stories on Belarus Digest published in 2017

In 2017 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 2017. 1. Visa-free travel and registration in […]

27 December 2017
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 […]