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Belarusian schools: modernisation or stagnation?
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On 12 May, Alexander Lukašenka suddenly announced that starting in September, school children would start class at 9:00 am rather than 8:00. This reform would give children an extra hour of sleep. However, many maintain that the change would...
6 June 2017
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Brain-drain in Belarus: do dreams come true abroad?

According to a report on May 22 by TUT.by, 31.3% of Belarusians would consider moving permanently to another country. The study, conducted by Belarusian Analytical Workroom, surveyed 1,063 people and demonstrates that more and more Belarusians are willing to...

2 June 2017
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Religion in Belarus – from Orthodoxy to Protestantism?

On 26 May, Archbishop Tadevuš Kandrusievič, the head of the Belarusian Catholic Church, announced that the Episcopate is working on an alternative to concordat. Concordat is a formal agreement regulating the relationship between the church and a secular state,...

26 May 2017
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The Polish minority in Belarus: resisting Russification

On 11 May, the Union of Poles in Belarus sent around 6,000 signatures to Alexander Lukashenka demanding an end to the Russification of Polish schools in Hrodna Region. In July, The Belarusian Ministry of Education plans to decrease the number...

11 May 2017
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Who benefits from the alcoholisation of Belarus?

Belarus is perhaps the world's second booziest nation. In 2014, Belarus topped the World Health Organisation's report on alcohol consumption. According to the WHO, an average Belarusian drinks around 17.5 litres of alcohol per year, while the median global...

10 May 2017
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Religious freedom in Belarus: worse than in Ukraine, better than in Russia

Last month, the Pew Research Centre released its Global Restrictions on Religion report, which gauges barriers imposed by governments as well as social hostilities towards religious organisations. Out of the nearly 200 countries studied, Belarus ranked among the 'high-risk'...

4 May 2017
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Covering protests: a new epoch for the Belarusian media

On 25 March, a record number of Internet users visited the website of the independent Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva. 109,000 Internet users read articles describing the protests against the social parasite law. In Belarus, this is nothing to...

27 April 2017
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Youth organisations in Belarus: oppositional vs. official

On 23 February, the administration of the Belarusian State University expelled the youth activist Yury Lukashevich. The former student claims that the reason behind his expulsion lies in his political activism and board membership in an oppositional party. While the...

13 April 2017
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Hrodna is learning to handle more foreign tourists

Around 1,100 tourists, a record number, visited Hrodna Region between 26 March and 2 April 2017, according to Belta news agency. Since October 2016, it is possible to visit the region for five days visa-free. This growth in tourism has...

31 March 2017
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Killing children on social media

In March, two Belarusian youngsters attempted to commit suicide while playing a 'game' on the popular Russian social network VK. Belarusian law enforcement services have initiated two criminal cases, connecting the suicides with a game called ‘blue whale’, especially popular...

30 March 2017
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Podcasts of the Second Annual London Conference on Belarusian Studies (2017)

On Saturday 25 February, Ostrogorski Centre organised the Second Annual London Conference on Belarusian Studies in cooperation with University College London and the Belarusian Francis Skaryna Library and Museum. Speakers from Belarus, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, the United States,...

15 March 2017
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Poor civic literacy in Belarus: a legacy of undemocratic rule

The recently published survey Civic Literacy in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus revealed that the civic literacy rate is lower in Belarus than in Ukraine and Moldova, except when it comes to such issues as budget and taxes. The survey attempted...

14 March 2017
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Corruption in Belarusian sport: the trend of five-year prison terms

Several corruption scandals shook Belarusian sport in 2016. They demonstrate that even Alexander Lukashenka's favourites are not safe from corruption. Perhaps the most discussed case was the five-year prison sentence of Maksim Subbotkin, the General Director of the most successful...

21 February 2017
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Environmentalists confront Catholics in a construction conflict

A recent construction conflict, lasting from May 2016 to January 2017, has divided Belarusian civil society. Residents, along with environmental activists, were able to halt the erection of a Catholic church in a Minsk park. Eventually, the Archbishop of...

7 February 2017
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Conspiracy and prejudice: Belarus and doping scandals

On 24 January, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne rescinded the Belarusian national rowing team's suspension. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) had banned the team in July 2016, just a couple of weeks before the Olympics...