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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...

2 October 2017
Belarusian authorities increase pressure on anarchists

On 26 September, Belarusian secret services raided the apartments of several Belarusian anarchists and environmentalists. This became yet another case of repression against Belarusian anarchists in recent months. State authorities have been on alert since the outbreak of protests...

20 September 2017
Trading favours with Georgia and Poland, boosting India trade – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

The summer holidays took their toll on the pace of development of Belarus’s foreign relations. Over the last two months, foreign minister Vladimir Makei held only three meetings with his counterparts (from Slovenia, Egypt and Georgia). President Alexander Lukashenka’s...

19 September 2017
Zapad on Belarus’s mind: 7th Belarus Reality Check Non-Paper

The European Union’s ‘critical engagement’ policy has contributed to attitude change by the Government of Belarus as well as procedural improvements. However, as the March 2017 crackdown on peaceful protesters suggests, there are no substantial political changes in Belarus....

18 August 2017
Human rights in Belarus: can dialogue work?

This July, the European Union and Belarus held their 4th round of bilateral dialogue on human rights in Brussels. The parties focused on civil, political, and social rights in both Belarus and Europe. Belarus hopes to put human rights...