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Lost in Translation in Minsk – The “Real Belarus” Travel Tips
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Last week, leading Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva announced that in Minsk there will be signposts put up in English and in Russian. This reveals several facts about contemporary Minsk. There are no signposts in English. Putting them up is so...
20 January 2012
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Lukashenka and Mickey Mouse

Last autumn when Belarusian rock band IQ48 approached a regional TV channel, its editors told the musicians that their song contained unacceptable political hints. The editors in western Belarusian city of Maladzechna interpreted the original Belarusian words of the song “And let Mickey...

12 January 2012
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The “Real Belarus”: Travel Tips from a German Expat

At the beginning of the new year, Belarus made headlines in the Western press once again. The reporting on the new internet law showed that Belarus is a white stain on the European map for most people. This...

10 January 2012
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Why Young Belarusians Go to Russia, Not Europe

Alexander Rumak from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection declared that the Belarusian labour market would not deteriorate this year. According to official figures, the unemployment rate in Belarus is merely 0.6% of the economically active population. The...

21 December 2011
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EHU: Belarusian University In Exile or For Exile?

Last month the Belarusian youth web site generation.by published a diagram showing that 2/3 of European Humanities University (EHU) graduates do not return to Belarus after completing their studies. According to generation.by, the data came from a poll of...

16 December 2011
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Three Reasons Why Belarus Should Be A Part of the Bologna Process

Although the level of academic freedom in Belarus is far from desirable, the country's integration into the European Higher Education Process would greatly benefit a new generation of Belarusians and should be encouraged by European policymakers.  On 12 December 2011...

4 December 2011
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Andrew Wilson on His Belarus Book and Lukashenka’s Survival

Last month Yale University Press published Andrew Wilson's book "Belarus - The Last European Dictatorship". The book covers Belarusian history from Polatsk Principality to the present day Belarus and offers particularly interesting insights into Lukashenka's rise to power and the system...

25 November 2011
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The Land of Forgotten Heroes: Lenin vs Kosciuszko

For the Belarusian authorities, human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, who was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison yesterday, is a criminal. For a significant part of Belarusian society, he is a hero. Twenty years after the declaration...

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...

3 November 2011
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Long Live Stalin?

Last Sunday, a thousand Belarusians carrying national flags and wooden crosses marched from central Minsk to the Kurapaty forest. Nearly 100,000 people were shot dead during the Stalin era in Kurapaty. On just one day 74 years ago, more...

11 October 2011
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Belarusians Forced to Work on Weekends

At 10 am last Saturday an official "subbotnik" began for millions of Belarusians. The word "subbotnik" comes from the Russian "subbota" and means a Saturday of unpaid work for community needs. Subbotniks trace their history back to 1919 when...

28 September 2011
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Belarus May Destroy The Last Large European Swamps

Belarus is on the verge of breaching one of its serious international ecological commitments. If the government plans to extinguish Belarusian swamps goes ahead, this could have implications for the rest of Europe. This summer, the Belarusian government launched a...

5 September 2011
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Belarus Running Out of Medical Supplies

Over the last months problems with the supply of medicine have reached an alarming state in Belarus. While Belarus is able on its own to produce basic medical supplies, to a large extent it relies on imports. In addition,...

2 September 2011
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Cheap Booze for the People of Belarus

As the economic crisis deepens prices on nearly all products rise sharply in Belarus with one remarkable exception - alcohol.  These days a bottle of vodka in Belarusian restaurants often costs less than a packet of orange juice - US$3. In...

25 August 2011
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The Bitter Smack of Belarusian Language

This month an advertising campaign that may puzzle foreign observers was launched in Minsk.  Advertising company “Belzneshreklama” began to advertise the Belarusian language. Their posters show various berries and Belarusian names for them. And what is more unusual -...