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Why is the EU shutting its doors to ordinary Belarusians?
On 30 May, the Danish visa centre in Minsk announced a temporary shutdown of its visa application service in Belarus, suspending the issue of visas and resident permits. The visa centre suggested applicants use visa processing services in other...
20 May 2022
Lives and legacies of Shushkevich and Kravchuk who buried the Soviet Union

Stanislau Shushkevich, the first leader of independent Belarus, who signed the Belavezha Accords to dissolve the Soviet Union, died on 3 May 2022. Just one week later, his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kravchuk, also passed away. Both leaders’ lives reflected...

9 May 2022
Why did Belarus lift the “Iron Curtain” from its borders?

On 3 April 2022, Belarusian authorities lifted the rigid restrictions on border crossings in force since late 2020. Just as Minsk had taken its own approach in handling Covid-19, it had also developed a unique travel restriction system. Instead...

29 April 2022
Belarus and its neighbourhood become a dead end for Europe

In the fifth round of EU sanctions adopted in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the union prohibited freight transport on member state territory by Russian and Belarusian carriers from 16 April. Alongside the EU prohibitions on flights and...

19 April 2022
Can Russia compensate Belarus losses from Western sanctions?

On 12–13 April 2022, Alexander Lukashenka paid a working visit to Russia’s Far East. This was his third trip to the neighbouring country this year. According to Russian media, talks taking place between Lukashenka and Russian President Vladimir Putin...

13 April 2022
Rising costs of defiance: Number of political prisoners in Belarus hits a record

The number of political prisoners in Belarus appears to have increased by 550 per cent in just over a year. As of 12 April, human rights defenders estimate their total at 1,118 people. The cost of protesting and demonstrating...

24 March 2022
War at the door: former Soviet countries react to Russia’s invasion

As Russia invaded Ukraine in the early hours of 24 February, reactions across the former Soviet Union (FSU) ranged from anxiety to terror. FSU countries once again feel exposed to the Russian, imperial powers that suppressed them during the...

21 March 2022
Should Belarusians be blamed for the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Belarusians face a backlash following the Russian invasion of Ukraine both at home and abroad. In their homeland, Belarusians continue to face brutal repression. Since August 2020, tens of thousands have been arrested and tortured by Lukashenka’s regime. More...

11 March 2021
Summary of the 6th Annual ‘Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century’ Conference

On the 18-19 February 2021 the 6th Annual ‘Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century’ conference gathered participants from various countries of Europe and North America to present and discuss academic research related to Belarus. The University College London School...

3 November 2020
Transformation of Belarus is a marathon, not a sprint

Belarusians have surprised the world on many occasions since August 2020. No one would have dreamt that hundreds of thousands of people would be protesting on the streets of the capital Minsk for months. However, as a result of...

28 October 2020
Lukashenka’s Chinese options

On 26 October, prominent Chinese government expert on post-Soviet states Wang Xiaoquan warned that an escalation of Western sanctions against Belarus could disrupt China-EU transit routes. Paradoxically, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka needs to improve relations with the EU in...

19 October 2020
Why the West fails to make a difference in Belarus

Over two months have passed since the beginning of the largest peaceful protests in Belarusian history. The protesters show little willingness to give up and the authorities continue to rely on violence and intimidation, despite calls from the West...

18 October 2020
Videos of protests in Belarus – live updates

Belarus now witnesses the largest protests since the 1990s following rigged presidential elections. Hundreds of thousands of people in different parts of the country have been coming out to protest for many days, calling for the release of political...

13 September 2020
Opinion: No illusions about Western support for democracy in Belarus

There should be no illusions about Western support for Belarusian democracy. At least until the victory of the latter. Almost everything that EU governments do today is either symbolic gestures or the realization of their national interests in the...

3 September 2020
Three pillars of Lukashenka’s support – why doesn’t he fall?

Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenka has so far lost only one of his important pillars of support – his legitimacy (not to be confused with legality, which he had already lost 20 years ago). That is to say, he has...