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Authorities breaking silence on harassment and gender-based violence in Belarus
Source: sb.by
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 […]
17 January 2018
Reform of legal education in Belarus and the UK: the exchange of experience and vision for the future

On 28 December 2017, the Ostrogorski Centre in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the Belarusian State University with the support of the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Minsk conducted a conference “Reform of legal education in Belarus and the UK: the exchange of experience and vision for the future”. The conference featured 16 […]

12 January 2018
Who gets official awards from Lukashenka? An analysis of the past two decades

On 9 January, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka held his annual Presidential Prize awards ceremony. Presidential Prizes recognise achievements in spiritual revival, in sports, and in culture and art. Over the past two decades, President Lukashenka’s personal preferences and hobbies, such as agriculture and ice hockey, have shaped who gets a prize. The highest awards still […]

11 January 2018
10 days visa-free: a new stage for Belarusian tourism

On 26 December, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka signed a new decree on a 10-days visa-free entry regime for foreigners. It expands upon last year’s decree on 5-day visa-free entrance to the Augustow zone in the Hrodna region. The changes are in tandem with a February 2017 decree, which grants tourists a Belarus-wide, five-day visa provided they […]

10 January 2018
NATO praises Minsk, the KGB’s 100th Birthday, ‘Belarusian Certificates’ – Belarus state press digest

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka shows his support for Russian foreign policy at CIS members meeting. NATO praises Belarus’s unprecedented transparency provided during the Zapad-2017 army exercises. Belarus marks the 100th anniversary of the KGB, with the agency’s current head, Valier Vakulčyk, revealing a number of interesting facts about its recent operations. Belarus’s visa-free territory has grown […]

8 January 2018
Photo: Delfi
Will the West join Lithuania’s crusade against Belarus NPP?

“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 […]