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The Role of Security Services in Belarus Politics
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To understand the balance of power in Belarus it is important to understand the role of the siloviki (the security services). Although they affect political decision-making and the degree of violence in domestic politics they are not a predominant...
5 March 2012
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Military Cooperation for Sale

According to Tacciana Manionak, an independent energy expert, the Lukashenka regime will get $2.2bn in subsidies from Russia thanks to discounted natural gas prices in 2012 and at least $700m thanks to the refinement of Russian crude oil. Independent...

23 February 2012
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Russia Takes Over a Part of Belarusian Army

Last week, President Lukashenka approved an agreement with Russia to establish the Single Regional System of Air Defence. The defence ministers of the two nations already signed the controversial treaty three years ago. Russian and Belarusian presidents will jointly  appoint...

8 January 2012
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Belarus Needs an Enemy

If one listens to the Belarusian and Russian leadership, a war with the West is imminent. This weekend, the Belarusian internet was filled with stories about Moscow being ready to defend Belarus from Warsaw's claims to the Grodno and...

22 November 2011
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Belarusian “Terrorists” On Trial: Any Hope for Justice?

On November 30, a Belarusian court is likely to issue the death sentence to the alleged perpetrators of the April terrorist act in the Minsk metro. Many in Belarus remain unconvinced that the suspects, two young men from the...

21 November 2011
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Who Rules Belarus?

Last summer over half of Belarusians polled by the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies said that Alyaksandr Lukashenka based his authority primarily on the police, the military and the KGB. A closer look at who actually runs the security...

5 November 2011
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The New Grand Army of Lukashenka

Following military manoeuvres in the south of Belarus last Friday, the Belarusian ruler put forth a completely new idea for developing public administration. He ordered the formation of a new army called the territorial defence troops. The idea is reminiscient...

8 September 2011
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Lukashenka Advocates Foreign Military Intervention Against Revolutions

While Belarusian authorities bitterly criticize NATO intervention in Libya, they actively advocate the idea of foreign troops helping post-Soviet dictators remain in power.  Since July Belarusian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has sought to strengthen the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). He...

3 September 2011
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Learning Democratic Skills Behind Bars

This week the Belarusian leader vowed to release all political prisoners by the beginning of October. The situation in the country is unlikely to change this time around. However, one day Alyaksandr Lukashenka may realize that by putting people...

20 August 2011
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Who Loses when Minsk Halts Uranium Deal

This week Belarus fulfilled its promise to retaliate to the US sanctions. Minsk suspended an agreement with the United States to give up its 220-kilogram stockpile of enriched uranium. What are the implications of this decision? Under the December 2010...

13 August 2011
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Belarus Needs CSTO, CSTO needs Belarus

Six out of seven member states attended an unofficial summit meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Astana, Kazakhstan, on August 12-13.
 Isolated from the West and in the midst of an economic crisis, Belarus was one...

3 August 2011
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Vladimir Putin Plays with the Old Imperial Nostalgia

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a provocative statement at a pro-Kremlin youth forum this week. When asked about Belarus and Russia becoming a single state, following the USSR model, the former president said: "It is possible, very desirable...

1 August 2011
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Belarus As a New Yugoslavia on the Global Arms Market?

Opposition politicians regularly accuse Belarusian government of dubious arms dealings. The recent sanctions of the European Union imposed against Beltechexport, the largest Belarusian arms exporter, are also based on the same premises. Is Belarus really a serious player on...

15 July 2011
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Belarus Defense Digest: F-16 Fighters Stationed Closer to Belarus

Among recent events related to the national security and defense two stand out.  First, the deployment of the U.S. F-16 fighters in Poland and the need for the adequate response. Second, new evidence in the criminal investigation against the...

27 May 2011
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Belarus Sanctioned under the US Non-Proliferation Act

Belarus and sanctions tend to go together in the headlines. In its short twenty-year history, the country has been sanctioned for rigging elections, squashing the opposition, violating human rights, and chocking independent media. Minsk not only sees nothing wrong with...