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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 […]

7 February 2018
Flying University courses, Charter97.org blocked, Absurdity of the Month – Belarus civil society digest

Ulej sums up results: 137 local crowdfunding campaigns collected over $280K. Imena calls for applications to fund social projects and organizations. Social Weekend competition is launched for the 11th time. The first Repair Café is held in Minsk. New guides for CSOs: Belarusian practitioners share the experience of how to run social media and attract […]

6 February 2018
State-owned enterprises threaten economic prospects – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 24 January 2018, government officials announced new plans for support to Belarusian entrepreneurs in the current year. Meanwhile, according to Belstat, the state industrial sector remains the main driver of economic growth accompanied by a strong recovery of exports. However, the absence of an acceptable strategy for solving state-owned enterprises’ debt problems continues to […]

5 February 2018
What do Belarusians remember about the Holocaust?

In the Polish town Oświęcim, on the eve of the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the district court passed sentence. The case concerned a nude performance last spring near the memorial to the Nazi death camp. Twelve people in their 20s, among them five Belarusian citizens, had slaughtered a lamb, stripped and chained […]

2 February 2018
Supporting EU unity, Bielaja Ruś congress, new unemployment policy, KGB name will remain – Belarus state press digest

Belarus strongly supports EU unity and reiterates that the Eastern Partnership should not become a dividing zone between the European Union and the East. Bielaja Ruś will not become a political party any time soon. The KGB should not change its name, Lukashenka argues. A new unemployment policy responds to the unpopular ‘social parasite tax.’ […]

1 February 2018
Common history that divides Belarus and Lithuania

On 28 January, Vilnius hosted a performance of the Belarusian ballet Vitaut (Vytautas in Lithuanian). The performance has courted controversy, with the Lithuanian culture minister describing it as a provocation six months ago. The ballet shows how joint heritage, instead of uniting the two countries, actually divides them and puts Lithuania on the horns of a […]

30 January 2018
Ice hockey: Lukashenka’s private “circus”

On 4-7 January 2018 Minsk hosted its 14th amateur Christmas ice hockey tournament, where Alexander Lukashenka’s team celebrated victory for the 11th time. In Belarus, ice hockey has become Lukashenka’s private “circus.” “Zero-first” and “the black helmet” The Christmas tournament allows Lukashenka to bring together friends and colleagues. The organisers invite famous retired professionals either […]

30 January 2018
Belarusian industrial enterprises: authorities invest, citizens protest

The construction of a new factory in the town of Svetlahorsk sparked protests at the beginning of January.  Authorities’ support for the pulp-bleaching plant in Svetlahorsk has ignored concerns about damaging health effects and residents’ opinions. Environmental activists have little influence on the situation, meeting with disregard and being prevented from access to local people. […]

29 January 2018
Will a downsized foreign ministry hurt Belarusian diplomacy?

In January 2018, the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs completed the largest part of a major “optimization” – a euphemism for unprecedented cuts in its staff and resources. Its personnel has been cut by one third, five diplomatic missions will be soon closed, and the diplomatic service has seen its financing reduced by 15 per […]

26 January 2018
Losing Russian transit, Belarus looks for European and Chinese alternatives

On 1 February Belarus will raise tariffs for the transit of Russian oil via pipelines crossing its territory by 6.7 per cent. Transit constitutes an important source of revenue for the country, while control of pipeline routes also gives Minsk a bargaining chip in relations with Moscow. Seeking to expand its transit role, the government […]

25 January 2018
Trump support in Belarus, MFA staff cuts, legal education reform – Ostrogorski Centre digest

During December and January, the Ostrogorski Centre analysed the ongoing dispute between Belarus and Lithuania over the Astraviec nuclear power plant (NPP), Belarusian army reforms, and the national immigration policy. Our analysts also commented in the media on growing support for Donald Trump among Belarusians, a 30% staff cut in the central apparatus of the […]

22 January 2018
Ever narrower access to the sea undermines Belarusian sovereignty

On Thursday, Lithuania announced that its Klaipeda port had recorded the highest ever annual volume of shipments. This occurred thanks to Belarusian firms’ growing use of Klaipeda despite Moscow’s pressure which demands of Belarus to boycott the Baltic states’ ports. Officially, the Belarusian government and businesses report that they start exporting oil products via Russian […]

18 January 2018
The Belarus-Russia border, Asian merchants dumping cheap goods, rising fuel prices, and Chernobyl programme failures – Belarus state press digest

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka calls the Belarus-Russia border ‘the strangest border in Europe.’ Belarus’s relations with the USA demonstrate incremental improvement. The Belarusian Central Electoral Commission reports on the candidates for the 2018 local elections. Central Asian merchants illegally gain a foothold in the Belarusian market by taking advantage of recent trade liberalisations. Belarus has […]

18 January 2018
Source: sb.by
Authorities breaking silence on harassment and gender-based violence in Belarus

While the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements gained momentum in the West, Belarusian society remained on the margins of the raging global debates of sexual harassment. Yet public discussions of harassment, abuse, and gender-based violence are not new phenomena for Belarus. In 2016, Belarusian women participated in the #IAmNotAfraidToSayIt campaign, revealing everyday experiences of abuse as […]