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Belarus delegation brings Russian flag to Paralympics: solidarity or calculation?
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On 7 September 2016, Andrei Fomachkin from Belarus became famous for appearing with a Russian flag during the opening ceremonies of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Upon his return to Minsk, the Russian media hailed Fomachkin, a bureaucrat...
15 September 2016
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Belarusian MFA and the diaspora: a complicated relationship

Speaking at a meeting of the Consultative Council for Belarusians Living Abroad on 5 September in Minsk, Belarus's foreign minister Vladimir Makei sought support from the Belarusian diaspora in preserving the country's “independence, sovereignty and statehood”. This is a recent...

14 September 2016
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Belarusian parliamentary elections: does everybody win?

On 11 September 2016 Belarus held elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly. In spite of the relatively insignificant role of the parliament in the Belarusian political system, these elections seem particularly important given the...

13 September 2016
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Opinion: four Russian instruments of control over Belarus

Many observers have noted that Belarus is slowly drifting towards the West and away from Russia. This is corroborated by experts, results of independent opinion polls, and the intensity of contacts between Belarus and the European Union. Russia retains...

12 September 2016
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Editorial: Lukashenka’s election message to the West

Two representatives of the opposition and civil society will end up in the newly-appointed Belarusian Parliament. This reflects not the true level of support of the opposition, but rather Aleksander Lukashenka’s willingness to demonstrate good will to the European Union....

11 September 2016
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Belarus parliamentary elections 2016 – live updates from Minsk

Belarus Digest provided live online coverage of the parliamentary elections in Belarus scheduled for 11 September: the most important developments as well as reactions to the process and results. We featured a collection of stories from international and Belarusian media,...

11 September 2016
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Early vote period – digest of the 2016 parliament elections

The five-day early voting period of the 2016 Belarusian parliamentary elections took place from September 6 to 10. The main Election Day is Sunday, September 11. Polls are open from 8 AM to 8 PM. In these elections nearly...

7 September 2016
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Parliamentary campaigning period – digest of the 2016 parliament elections

This report covers campaign developments that occur during the Belarusian parliamentary ‘campaigning period,’ which lasts from the end of candidate registration on August 11 until Election Day, September 11. It focuses on candidate campaigning, particularly TV appeals and debates,...

6 September 2016
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Mysteries of the first Belarusian nuclear power plant

On 26 August 2016, a 43-year old worker was injured and killed as a result of the explosion of an oxygen gas tank at the Astraviec nuclear power plant (NPP) construction site. This death was the latest in a series...

23 August 2016
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A Final Blow to Independent Sociology in Belarus?

On 31 July 2016, Belarusian TV broadcast a “special report,” accusing the IISEPS (Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies) of fraud and fabrication of results. Soon thereafter, the founder of IISEPS, Aleh Manaeŭ​, stated that his organisation would cease...

19 August 2016
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Nomination and Registration of Candidates – Digest of the 2016 Parliament Elections

On August 11, the registration of candidates for the September 11 parliamentary elections ended. District Election Commissions (DECs) reviewed registration documents for 630 potential candidates. Below is a summary of nomination and registration of candidates followed by a detailed...

17 August 2016
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Why Does Europe Engage with Belarus’s Rubber Stamp Parliament?

On 2 – 4 August, Ryszard Terlecki, vice-speaker of the Polish Sejm, led the highest-level parliamentary delegation of an EU country to Minsk in twenty years. This visit is emblematic of the increasingly common nature of inter-parliamentary contacts between Belarus...

16 August 2016
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Opinion: Is the EU Resistant to Belarus’s Europeanisation?

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Belarus has experienced a decisive shift in policy. On the domestic front, there has been a strengthening of territorial defence forces, while internationally Minsk has shown willingness to reach out to a...

10 August 2016
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Formation of Precinct Election Commissions – Digest of the 2016 Parliamentary Elections

On 27 July, the formation of Precinct Election Commissions (PECs) ended. PECs are responsible for conducting the vote count. In total 5,971 PECs were formed inside the country, plus another 47 abroad. On July 29, the Central Election Commission...

5 August 2016
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Is Belarus-China Cooperation a Pipe Dream?

On 20 June 2016 Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka held a meeting with vice-chairman and president of the Chinese CITIC Group Corporation Wang Jiong. The meeting seems particularly significant in light of Lukashenka’s planned visit to China in September 2016. The...