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Blue-Collar Workers Earn More Than University Graduates
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On 10 January the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection proudly announced that Belarus has reached a historical minimum level of unemployment: 0,5 per cent. The figure looks impressive even compared to the recently improved unemployment indicators in Russia...
30 January 2013
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Clash of Civilizations: Latin v Cyrillic Scripts in Belarus

In November 2012, the newly published Minsk underground system map surprised Minsk residents. On these maps, Belarusian names of the stations were transliterated into Belarusian using Latin script, or Lacinka. This transliteration seemed incomprehensible to many people and caused a...

29 January 2013
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Belarusian Ultras and the Regime

Recent successes of football club BATE Barysau in the Champion League caught attention not only of supporters from all over the Europe but also of the Belarusian authorities. Achievements of FC BATE often appear in public speeches of Lukashenka. Answering...

28 January 2013
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Why Belarus Officials Do Not Blog – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Experts discuss issues ranging from the presence of officials on social networks to the catalogue of old Belarusian cemeteries.  Governmental Websites One Decade Behind: Svabodaby.net journalist and media expert Pauliuk Bykouski discuss why Belarusian officials do not have blogs and pages in Facebook, as well as what can contribute...

25 January 2013
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What Worries Lukashenka

The Belarusian president has always used press conferences in order to keep in touch with his electorate and demonstrate that he is in good political shape and keeps everything under control. Depending on what happens in the country at...

24 January 2013
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Limits of Religious Tolerance: Protestantism in Belarus

Last month New Life, a Protestant Church in Minsk, celebrated its victory: the authorities allowed them to pray in the cowshed. Over the last five years, this Protestant community had to go through over 30 court hearings and...

23 January 2013
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Recent Polls: Belarusians Blame Lukashenka for Their Problems (+ Video)

On 18 January the Eastern European Studies Centre and Belarus Research Council organised a panel “What Belarusians Think?”. The participants discussed the results of the December social survey conducted by the Independent Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Studies. Professor Oleg Manaev, director of the IISEPS, presented and analysed...

22 January 2013
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Vitali Silicki Prize, Budzma, Tsmoki – Civil Society Digest

Gallery Ў hosts a presentation of a book on Ales Bialiatski in Minsk. The Center for Legal Transformation trains the first group under its not-for-profit Law School. A Minsk court orders compensation to former political prisoner Dmitry Bondarenko. BISS shares plans for 2013. The public announcement of the...

21 January 2013
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Lukashenka’s Press-Conference: Jokes, Slips and other Funny Stuff

Alexander Lukashenka's annual press conferences involve more than just answering questions. Being passionate and open, Alexander Lukashenka’s unprepared speech can be very entertaining. His press conference last week was no exception. 

18 January 2013
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The Rise of Belarusian Handball

However unfortunate could be the political and economic situation within Belarus, thanks to some Belarusians the national pride can still be high. In 2012 Belarusian handball players were among the ones to thank for that. After a longest decline of...

17 January 2013
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“What do Belarusians Think?” – Broadcast of Belarus Research Council Discussion

On Friday 18 January, Belarus Digest will broadcast a panel titled “What do Belarusians Think?”. The discussion is organised by the Eastern European Studies Centre and the Belarus Research Council and will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event will...

17 January 2013
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Alternative Civilian Service in Belarus: Possible, but Only in Theory

Belarus has mandatory legal conscription, but Alexander Lukashenka has ordered the preparation of a law on alternative civilian service in 2013. For a long time the absence of this law has been putting many young people in a legal trap of...

16 January 2013
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Sanctions vs Engagement: Is Belarus on the Western Agenda?

As the next summit of the Eastern Partnership to be held in Vilnius in fall 2013 is approaching, the long-standing discussion on strategy towards the Belarusian regime reemerges. Last week, two figures from the western world publicly voiced opposite...

15 January 2013
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How to Make Belarusian Privatisation More Sensible

Belarus will need to pay over $3 billion this year to serve its mounting external debt. This payment is more than twice than in 2012. In the absence of significant foreign investments and additional Russian subsidies, Belarusian authorities may have...

12 January 2013
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SMS Devaluation

About a thousand Belarusains received an unusual anonymous SMS text on 4 January. According to the message the National Bank of Belarus had secretly decided to devalue the national currency by more than 60%. It was predicted that the new...