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Belarus and Russia Prepare for the West – 2013 Military Drill
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The planned Belarusian-Russian joint military drill, “West 2013”, has stirred up NATO member countries. The armed forces of both countries will hold the drill in the autumn, while some Polish and Lithuanian politicians have already discussed the threat of...
21 November 2012
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Suicide Triggers Changes in the Belarusian KGB

On 16 November, Alexander Lukashenka appointed Valer Vakulchyk as Chairman of the KGB. Vakulchyk remains one of the least famous Belarusian security service officials and the Belarusian state leader trusts him a great deal. A week earlier, on 9 November,...

29 August 2012
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Should Germany Be Blamed for Cooperation with Belarus Police?

Scandalous news hit many media outlets this week in Germany: German police have been training their Belarusian counterparts for years.  This raised many eyebrows because of the serious human rights violations perpetrated by Belarusian security services. In addition, the German media confuse...

7 June 2012
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The US Anti-Missile Defence Strengthens Lukashenka’s Position

On the eve of the recent visit of Vladimir Putin to Belarus, at least three important points of vulnerability of Russia's and Putin's position in relations with Belarus were revealed. First, the importance of a Belarusian foothold for Russia increases...

18 May 2012
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CSTO: From NATO’s Enemy to Strategic Partner?

This week Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka attended the jubilee summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The summit participants took stock of the organisation's evolution since its founding ten years ago on 14 May 2002, on the basis of...

14 March 2012
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The Role of Security Services in Belarus Politics

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...