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When do the Belarusian authorities compromise with civil society?
On 21 July, residents of the Minsk district of Asmalouka finally succeeded in halting the planned demolition of their neighbourhood. Since 2014, the authorities have been planning to tear down a historic district of Minsk. However, local residents and...
15 August 2017
How poverty spreads across Belarus

Perhaps one of Lukashenka’s greatest achievements in Belarusian society has been his fight against poverty. In the worst years of the 1990s, half of the population of Belarus was languishing below the poverty line. This figure is now 10...

24 July 2017
The Many Faces of Forced Labour in Belarus

On 12 July 2017, a Maladzečna District court tried two teachers for the death of 13-year old high school student Viktoryja Papčenia. Viktoryja died tragically last September under the wheels of a truck while harvesting potatoes for a local agricultural...

17 July 2017
Military parades in Belarus: displaying military might and annoying locals
Military parades in Belarus: displaying military might and annoying locals

Every year on 3 July in Minsk, Belarus traditionally conducts a military parade devoted to the official Independence Day. This year, however, the military parade triggered widespread discussions in the media. Just before the most recent parade, more than 9,000...

11 July 2017
Belarusian Nobel laureate Sviatlana Alieksijevič hit by a smear campaign
Belarusian Nobel laureate Sviatlana Alieksijevič hit by a smear campaign

On 19 June, the Russian information agency Regnum published a widely discussed interview with Sviatlana Alieksijevič, the 2015 Nobel Prize Winner from Belarus. Despite the fact that Alieksijevič forbade Regnum to publish the interview, the news outlet went ahead...

28 June 2017
The unexpected rise of Belarusian universities in international rankings
The unexpected rise of Belarusian universities in international rankings

According to recent QS World University Rankings, two Belarusian universities appeared on the list of the best 959 universities in the world. The Belarusian State University received a higher rating than all universities in Poland and Lithuania. Nevertheless,...

23 June 2017
Belarus becomes safer, but political persecution continues
Belarus becomes safer, but political persecution continues

Numbeo, the world's largest database of user-confirmed data about cities and countries worldwide, ranked Belarus the safest country in the region in 2017. Other global metrics also indicate that Belarus is a relatively safe part of the world. Domestic trends...

14 June 2017
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Belarusian schools: modernisation or stagnation?

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...