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Belarusian MFA and the diaspora: a complicated relationship
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Speaking at a meeting of the Consultative Council for Belarusians Living Abroad on 5 September in Minsk, Belarus's foreign minister Vladimir Makei sought support from the Belarusian diaspora in preserving the country's “independence, sovereignty and statehood”. This is a recent...
31 August 2016
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Profiling Domestic Abuse in Belarus

The first and only Belarusian national hot line for domestic violence prevention celebrated its four-year anniversary in August, 2016. Since 2012 it has received 8,445 phone calls. The Belarusian non-profit “Gender Perspectives” runs the hotline from Minsk. They pioneered the...

26 August 2016
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Attracting Foreign Students to Belarus: Success or Failure?

On 1 September, around 20 thousand foreign students will start the academic year in Belarusian universities and technical schools. This figure has almost doubled over the past four years, with Turkmens accounting for half of all foreign students in Belarus. The...

22 August 2016
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Time for Belarus to Implement Real Student Self-Governance?

Belarusian authorities are discreetly preparing a new Education Code, partly to demonstrate to the West that they are making changes. In 2015, Belarus joined the Bologna process and is now required to reform the education system accordingly. So far, the...

9 August 2016
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#IamNotAfraidToSayIt: Belarusian Women Speak out against Sexual Violence

In July 2016, Belarusian Facebook users showed support for the initiative #IamNotAfraidToSayIt (#янебаюсясказаць in Belarusian). Originally a Facebook post by a Ukrainian journalist against gender-based violence, it quickly grew into a spontaneous online phenomenon which transcended borders. The campaign addressed...

26 July 2016
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Holocaust Discourse Raises Controversy in Belarus

During her speech on 12 June 2016 in New York, Belarusian Nobel laureate in literature Sviatlana Alexievich criticised Poles for actively murdering Jews during World War II. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately reacted with a protest note demanding...

22 July 2016
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Searching for Ancestors in Belarus

Louis Mayer, one of the founders of the Hollywood studio Metro-Golden-Mayer and the ‘inventor’ of the Oscar award was born in Minsk. Isaac Asimov, Marc Chagall and Leon Bakst were born and grew up in Belarus. Fifteen Nobel Prize laureates,...

21 July 2016
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Belarusian Partisan with Love: In Memory of Pavel Sheremet

On 20 July 2016 at 7:45 am a bomb went off in a car in Kiev. The explosion killed Pavel Sheremet, a prominent Belarusian journalist working in Ukraine. Pavel was 44 years old and was killed in a car of...

20 July 2016
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Belarus Struggles to Contain Cancer

In mid-June 2016 Belarus hosted a regional forum on oncology for the second time since 2004. It brought together leading regional cancer specialists from 25 countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 14 million people annually get diagnosed with...

19 July 2016
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Belarusian Railway: in Transit from the Soviet Past

A private sleeping train compartment in Belarus costs around $6 for an eight hour trip. This is around 70 times cheaper than travelling with a Western equivalent such as the American Amtrak. Contributing around 2.2% to yearly Belarusian GDP, Belarusian...

15 July 2016
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Drug Dealers Move Online

The Minsk City Court is currently dealing with the high-profile case of a drug-dealing network, known as LegalMinsk. After its launch in 2011, it grew into the biggest online retailer of so-called 'spice' drugs. According to the prosecution, LegalMinsk infiltrated...

8 July 2016
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Independent Regional Newspapers in Belarus: Surviving despite the Odds

On 24 June, Belarusian authorities once again refused to include Intex Press, a regional newspaper, into the state distribution system. A few other Belarusian regional publications face the same problem, and almost all of them have reduced their circulation...

7 July 2016
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Celebrating Independence Day – Belarus Photo Digest

On 3 July, Belarus celebrated Independence Day. The holiday commemorates not only the country’s statehood, but also victory in the Second World War. On this day in 1944, the Soviet army liberated Minsk from German troops. About 5,000 people participated...

28 June 2016
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Belarus Introduces Alternative Civilian Service

On 1 July 2016 a new law on alternative civilian service comes into effect in Belarus. This coming fall,10, 000 young Belarusian conscripts will start their compulsory military service. According to tut.by 20 of these would like to exercise...

22 June 2016
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Will Belarusian Single-Industry Towns Survive?

According to recently-published data from the Ministry of Finance, Belarusian Cement Plant lost $ 16.5 million in 2015. Such news may not come as a shock for the Belarusian economy as a whole, but is a disaster for Kasciukoichy, one...