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What does a New Cold War mean for Belarus?
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Last week's visit by the Russian Minister of Defence clearly demonstrated the Kremlin’s intentions to undermine the image of Belarus as a country with a predictable and neutral military and foreign policy. The confrontation between NATO and Russia, as a...
4 November 2016
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Belarus struggles to control its borders

On 13 October Belarusian border guards received EU-funded special equipment worth €2.5m. This will help Minsk control the Ukrainian border. There is an element of irony in this: although it works to remove borders within the EU, Brussels is...

24 October 2016
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Will Minsk revive the “post-Soviet NATO” at the behest of the Kremlin?

On 14 October, Belarus became the chair of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). Taking over the chairmanship, Alexander Lukashenka stated that the CSTO needs to become “serious” in order to force the West to finally recognise the Russian-dominated...

12 October 2016
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Thwarting plans for a Russian airbase, Minsk strengthens its air force

On 1 October the investigative platform Bellingcat reported that Russia has withdrawn its fighter jets from Belarus. After analysing satellite images, it found no Russian planes on the Baranavichy ​airbase. Bellingcat also found that they had not been redeployed...

30 September 2016
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Does Belarus have its own missile programme?

On 26 September Belarusian defence minister Andrei Raukou met with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev. Given the current security concerns of Baku, it's possible that Belarus may have rushed to offer it some means to help neutralise the Iskander missiles...

28 September 2016
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Belarus is preparing for a Donbass-like hybrid war conflict

On 14-20 September 2016 the Belarusian Armed Forces conducted large-scale military drills. Despite the fact that these military exercises were planned, they demonstrate a significant shift in security policy as Minsk increasingly takes into consideration possible risks and challenges from...

5 September 2016
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Brothers in arms: Russia in Belarus’s new military doctrine

On 20 July 2016 Belarus’s new military doctrine came into force. Although there was lively discussion about the contents of the new doctrine earlier this year, its text was not then public. Early speculation focused on officials’ references to...

1 September 2016
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Belarus’s New Military Doctrine: What’s the Message?

Оn 20 July 2016 Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka approved the final version of the new Military Doctrine of Belarus. The previous version had been adopted in 2002 and has obviously outlived its usefulness in light of the dramatic changes...

29 August 2016
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Belarus Develops Strategic Deterrence Capacities, Downshifts Air Force

On 22 August the Belarusian the defence ministry announced the purchase of trainer and light ground-attack aircraft and transport helicopters to modernise its Air Force. At first glance this unimpressive deal seems to contradict Minsk's recently announced ambitious plans...

18 August 2016
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Private Sector and Export Revenues Boost Belarusian Defence Industry

On 11 August, the State Military Industrial Committee of Belarus announced that in the first half of this year its defence enterprises earned a net profit of $80m, thus over-fulfilling the assigned export plans by a quarter. Foreign media have...

3 August 2016
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Incident at Belarus Nuclear Power Plant Raises Safety Concerns

On 10 July 2016 there was an incident at the construction site of the new Astraviec Nuclear Power Plant. According to local whistle-blower Mikalai Ulasevich, a crane dropped the 330-tonne reactor from a height of 2-4 metres during a test...

9 June 2016
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Threats to Belarus, Ukrainian Border, Cooperation with Kazakhstan – Belarus Security Digest

Minsk wants to maintain its own position in the latest confrontation between NATO and Russia in the region. Various Belarusian officials state that they see no immediate threat to Belarus from NATO, but rather from a possible internal conflict...

20 May 2016
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US Missile-Defence System in Europe Increases Strategic Importance of Belarus

As NATO started to construct its European missile defence system, Moscow on 16 May held talks with Minsk on its planned response. “We have an identical approach to the missile defence system,” insisted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. His...

6 May 2016
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Belarusian arms industry struggles to survive under Kremlin pressure

On 25 April, Belarus ' State Military Industrial Committee announced that in the first quarter of 2016 its defence industrial enterprises had increased exports by 31 per cent compared to the previous year. Their net profit grew even more,...

21 April 2016
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Belarus Cracks Down on Pro-Ukraine Donbass Fighters

On 18 April the Belarusian authorities launched the trial of Taras Avataraŭ, a fighter from the Right Sector battalion who participated in the Ukraine conflict. Earlier this month they introduced amendments to legislation which allow prison sentences for those fighting...