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Lukashenka and the Eastern Partnership: time not ripe for a summit
After a lengthy pause, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka declined the invitation of the European Union to lead his country’s delegation at the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels. On 24 November, the day of the summit, he chose to visit...
29 November 2017
Foreign spies in Belarus: reality and speculation

On 27 November, the Belarusian State Security Committee, otherwise known as the KGB, officially accused Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sharoiko of espionage. The Belarusian authorities claim that Sharoiko confessed to his guilt. Ukrainian state and security officials, on the other...

28 November 2017
Decommunisation or erasing historical memory: Will Poland rename a street given to a Belarusian national hero?

Poland has entered a new stage of its decommunisation policy, which among other things aims to rename streets and avenues all over the country. Within the framework of this policy, some Polish historians have proposed renaming Branislaŭ Taraškievič Street...

22 November 2017
German FM visits Minsk: the limits of awkward rapprochement with Belarus

On 17 November 2017, German Foreign Minister Siegmar Gabriel has visited Minsk to take part in the Minsk Forum – an unofficial dialogue platform between Belarus, Germany and the EU, running since 1997. Gabriel also met with his Belarusian...

16 November 2017
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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

20 October 2017
New repressions in Belarus: The art of staying below western radars

On 14 October, a squad of masked riot policemen raided an antifascist concert in Minsk, detaining dozens of people, and reportedly beating some of them. This incident, among several others, demonstrated a relatively new trend in Belarusian domestic politics....

13 October 2017
Breakout from isolation? What to expect from Lukashenka’s visit to Brussels

On 9 October, Belarusian media reported that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka received an invitation to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels. The development demonstrates a new high in the pragmatisation of EU policy towards Minsk. A formal end...

5 October 2017
Is the United Kingdom finally interested in Belarus?

The United Kingdom has virtually overlooked Belarus since the latter regained its independence over twenty five years ago. London largely remained a strong proponent of a hard-line approach towards Lukashenka’s regime. The UK has avoided talking to the authorities...