Loading...
RSS
Belarus-Russia relations Belarusian language Belarusian military travel to Belarus
Why Support Belarus Digest?
Censorship of music: who gets to sing in Belarus?
On 2 November, Belarusian bard musician Zmicer Vajciuškievič had a 25th-anniversary concert in Minsk. Before that, he had been unable to perform in Belarus in public for many years. Along with some other musicians, he became a part of the blacklist of “politically inappropriate musicians.” While the particular reasons for banning a musical show in […]
15 November 2017
Between new democratic and old autocratic friends – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In October, the European Union formally invited Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka to attend the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels on 24 November. However, up until now, Belarus-Europe contacts remain scarce even at the ministerial level. Romania’s Teodor Meleșcanu has been the first EU foreign minister to visit Minsk since mid-July. In recent weeks, Belarus’s foreign […]

14 November 2017
Belarus is strengthening military cooperation with UAE

From 25 October to 6 November 2017, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka held an official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Belarusian delegation included two of Lukashenka’s sons: the elder, Viktar, and the youngest, Mikalaj. Despite taking time off for some autumn vacationing, the Belarusian leader also managed to make a couple of important […]

13 November 2017
Between the Anniversaries of Great Terror and October Revolution

In early November 2017, Belarusians remembered two important dates in their 20th-century history: the October Revolution and the Great Terror. On 5 November, a traditional Dziady manifestation commemorated the Stalinist repression victims in Kurapaty – the place where the NKVD killed thousands of innocent people in 1937 at the outskirts of Minsk. Two days later, […]

10 November 2017
How geopolitics increases the heft of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus

During mass on 1 November, Catholic Metropolitan Tadevuš Kandrusievič called the 1917 October Revolution in Russia an “existential disaster,” which brought immense suffering to Belarus. He noted that Belarus still celebrates the revolution date as a public holiday, while the Catholic population do not have official day-offs on All Saints Day and Memorial Day to […]

9 November 2017
Have Belarus’s neighbours convinced its military to open up?

Minsk continues to face fall–out from the West-2017 military exercises. Earlier this month, Russian media outlets, such as Nezavisimaya gazeta, criticised Belarus for “excessive openness” in allowing foreigners to observe its military drills. Remarkably, this openness in regards to military drills corresponds with signs of increasing openness inside Belarus itself. On 1 November, Tatsyana Karatkevich and Andrei Dzmitryeu, leaders […]

7 November 2017
2018 EaP Summit, October Economic Forum, limits to Belarus’s sovereignty – digest of Belarusian analytics

Jury Drakachrust ponders upon reasons and consequences of the invitation of Aliaksandr Lukashenka to attend the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels on 24 November, while Dzianis Mieljancoŭ analyses benefits of the Summit for Lukashenka. Belarus Security Blog argues that Belarus is working hard to establish itself as an independent actor in regional security matters, despite […]

3 November 2017
Do mass protests have any prospect in Belarus?

After this spring’s mass protests, which resulted in forceful reactions from the authorities, criminal cases, and detainments, protest activity in Belarus has died down. At present, anti-government protests gather few supporters. At the same time, opposition politicians and their organizations are unable to capture the attention of the media and society. The opposition mainly concentrates […]

3 November 2017
Belarus-Ukraine trade, talks with IMF, upgraded Palanez, Hrodna visa-free zone – Belarus state press digest

Belarus and Ukraine want to achieve an $8bn trade turnover and have “no political problems at all.” Foreign Minister Makiej: Belarus does not want to depend on anyone else—whether it be Washington, Brussels, or Moscow. Belarus tests the upgraded version of the Palanez multiple rocket launcher. The government admits it negotiates with the IMF to improve […]

2 November 2017
Photo by Siarhei Hudzilin who served in Barysau
Forsaking Private Korzhych: how hazing kills Belarusian soldiers

On 3 October 2017, a soldier from a military base located in Pechy, a town northeast of Minsk, died. The day after, fellow servicemen found Aleksandr Korzhych, a 21-year-old Belarusian, lynched in a noose made from trouser material. His wrists were tied with shoelaces and a sleeveless shirt covered his head and face. The public, […]

1 November 2017
Economy recovers, but remains structurally vulnerable – digest of the Belarusian economy

During a trip to Minsk on 5 October 2017, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro showed strong optimism on economic teamwork with Belarus, but forgot to mention the buildup of outstanding debts. On 25 October, the National Bank of Belarus gave its overview of the current macroeconomic situation, citing the positive influence of monetary policy. However, a day […]

28 October 2017
Tadeusz Kosciuszko and The Un-Soviet Heroes of Belarus

On 9 October 2017, the Belarusian Association in Switzerland brought to the attention of the media the controversy over Tadeusz Kosciuszko monument in the Swiss town of Solothurn. Belarusian diaspora created and funded the monument, dedicating it “to an outstanding son of Belarus.” This wording led to a conflict with the Polish embassy, which ignored all […]

27 October 2017
Strengthening independence, deals with Azerbaijan, a new UK approach – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In October, analysts at the Ostrogorski Centre discussed Belarus’s involvement in supplying arms to Syrian war parties, the UK’s new approach towards Belarus, and how President Alexander Lukashenka’s recent appointments strengthen Belarusian independence and identity. Commentary from the Ostrogorski Centre also appeared in the media. The topics under analysis ranged from the new edition of […]

25 October 2017
Lukashenka’s recent appointments strengthen Belarusian independence and identity

Over the last few months, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka has made a number of high-level appointments that indicate “Belarusianisation” of the government. A number of new military chiefs never studied at Russian military schools in contrast to most of their peers. Certain candidates known to speak Belarusian on a daily basis also received positions, for […]

23 October 2017
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 […]