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Reality Check Non-Paper: Belarus’s Slow and Subtle Transition
The 8th Belarus Reality Check took place on October 22, 2018, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event gathered leading Belarusian and international experts and practitioners to discuss the latest political, economic and security developments in Belarus and to provide evidence-based...
9 November 2018
Putin Lukashenko
Belarus-Russia integration: how to avoid brotherly hugs

In early October 2018, Belarus and Russia settled the agreement about oil supplies for the remaining part of 2018 and for 2019. Unexpectedly, the Russian leadership abandoned pressure on Belarus. While in August-September, the Kremlin believed that they could...

16 October 2018
Belarus’s next five years: stability above all

On 13 September the Centre for New Ideas published a pilot Index of the Future covering Belarus’s next five years. According to the index’s authors, Belarus can expect a stagnant economy and decreasing research potential. On the other hand,...

3 October 2018
Belarus news
State-controlled think tanks in Belarus – who are they?

In contrast to the few independent Belarusian thinks tanks, the state-controlled analytical research centres in Belarus benefit from a range of privileges. Benefits include the state’s institutional support and funding as well as lawful opportunities to engage with business organisations....

9 July 2018
Belarusian Independence Day: tanks and “carnivals”

On 3 July Belarus celebrated its official Independence Day. Many Belarusians felt frustrated despite a military parade and festivities to celebrate the achievements of the national economy. While Alexander Lukashenka branded the parade as “the best” in Belarus’s history, Minsk residents...

2 July 2018
Kurapaty restaurant divides business, state and civil society activists

Since 31 May protesters have blocked the entrance to a recently opened restaurant outside Minsk. Built in Kurapaty, 50 metres from a memorial to victims of Stalin’s repressions during 1937-1940, the ‘Poedem, Poedim’ restaurant has caused heated debates. Conflict...

23 April 2018
Lukashenka’s new media policy: what to expect?

On 10 April, Alexander Lukashenka met the heads and staff of the largest state-owned Belarusian media. He stated that they could not work in the old fashion any longer and called for a new era in their work. In February...

5 April 2018
Criminal case against trade union leaders tests civil society in Belarus

On six occasions during March 2018 border patrols removed activists from the Belarusian Independent Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry Workers (REP) from trains and buses under the pretext of “random” personal inspections. REP leaders claim that this continues...

3 April 2018
Belarusian authorities confront YouTube vloggers

On 12 March 2018, the Pinsk court equated live streams on Facebook and YouTube to foreign media. The unprecedented court decision marks the latest step in the Belarusian authorities’ crackdown against popular YouTubers. Prior to this, Belarus’s Investigative Committee...

20 March 2018
Belarusian anarchists: Lukashenka’s political opponents or criminals?

On 12 March 2018, a Minsk court sentenced Sviataslau Baranovich to three years in prison. He admitted that he had hit police officers in civilian clothes during the brutal arrests of anarchists. In recent years, the anarchists have become...

19 March 2018
Lukashenka’s recent appointments: in search of efficacy

On 5 March 2018, Siarhei Kavalchuk, a little known employee of the Presidential Security Service, became the Minister for Sports and Tourism. This and other appointments have virtually transformed key elements of the Belarusian state apparatus over recent months....

16 March 2018
One Hundred Years of Belarus Independence Proclamation: Uniting the Nation or Dividing the Opposition?

On 1 March 2018, Minsk municipal authorities granted a permission to install a memorial plaque on the historical building, where on 25 March 1918 Belarusian independence was proclaimed. On the following day, Belarusians crowdfunded the project, promptly collecting €...

2 March 2018
Local elections in Belarus: takeaways

On 18 February 2018, Belarusians elected their representatives to local councils. This campaign presented the authorities with an opportunity to demonstrate their openness and improve performance on their democratisation and human rights record. Instead they used it as a...

20 February 2018
Stalin’s victims in Belarus: to remain unburied and nameless?

On 6 February 2018, the Viciebsk district court fined Jan Diaržaucau for the unauthorized burial of Stalinist terror victims’ remains in the forest near the village of Hajsy. Even though the initial discovery of human remains at Hajsy dates...

19 February 2018
Is Belarus waging an information war against Russia?

On 6 February, Alexander Lukashenka dismissed the heads of several major state media outlets. The president also said that Belarus should avoid the methods used by Russian TV channels. In an interview with Rzeczpospolita, Pavel Yakubovich, the former head of...