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Recent IISEPS Polls: Belarusian Society Slowly Matures
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In early January 2014 the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) published its December 2013 poll results for various domains of public opinion. Though some people, including opposition politicians and activists, doubt this institute's ability to handle a proper social...
29 January 2014
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What do Belarus Businesses Think? – Online Broadcast

Belarus Digest will broadcast live open panel discussion in series “What Do Belarusians Think?” organised by the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC, Lithuania) and the Belarus Research Council (BRC). The broadcast will start on 31 January at 2 pm...

29 January 2014
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The Russian Lobby in Belarus

Earlier this month, the newly appointed Orthodox Metropolitan Pavel arrived in Minsk. The Metropolitan has no Belarusian passport or roots, does not speak Belarusian and visited Belarus only twice in his life before appointment. The new Metropolitan owes his position to the...

28 January 2014
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Lukashenka and Ice Hockey

On the 6th of January the ice hockey team of the Belarusian president, again won annual Christmas International Tournament of Amateurs for the Prize of the President of Belarus. The tournament was to demonstrate the complete readiness of Minsk to host the IIHF...

27 January 2014
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Alyaksandr Myazhuyeu – Fresh Faces Come to the Government?

On 5th December, Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka appointed Alyaksandr Myazhuyeu the State Secretary of the Security Council. Prior to that Myazhuyeu served as Chairman of the parliamentary Permanent Commission on National Security. This position in the Security Council previously always belonged...

25 January 2014
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Belarusian Shot Dead at Euromaidan, Riots in Ukraine, Rosatom – Belarus State TV Digest

Violent clashes in Ukraine, caught the attention of Belarusian state TV. In its coverage, their journalists presented the topic rather tenuously. Participants of the Euromaidan protests appeared on TV as hooligans, with the authorities trying to settle the crisis. State TV also warned its...

24 January 2014
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What to Expect in 2014? – Digest of Belarus Economy

The year 2013 will probably go into the economic history of Belarus as a year when even the government officials acknowledged that the economy was stagnating, and there were no prospects for any quick economic growth in the years to come. The...

23 January 2014
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Belarus Fights Poppy Seed Addiction

On 14 January, Aliaksandar Lukashenka signed Decree No.1 “On some issues of state regulation of poppy seed circulation”. The decree provides a number of actions to establish control over the import of poppy seeds to Belarus. Poppy seeds, or...

22 January 2014
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Viber, World of Tanks, EPAM – Belarusian IT Companies Conquer the World

The Belarusian game World of Tanks has become one of the most profitable in the world, earning $372m in 2013. The game, with 60 million users, is only one instance that shows how Belarusian IT business is achieving considerable...

21 January 2014
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Honouring Jewish Heritage and Fighting Anti-Semitism in Belarus

Eastern Europe is central to Jewish history, but the region today lacks Jewish heritage sites. Very few landmarks commemorate the millions of Jews exterminated there during WWII, or their role in local culture and society before the Holocaust. A new...

20 January 2014
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Belarus and Russia: Stagnating Together?

Earlier this year, Belarusian media published an interview with Belarusian oligarch Iuryi Chyzh. The businessman predicts problems with the Russian economy, supports the diversification of Belarusian enterprises and states that Russia is grabbing the biggest piece of the...

17 January 2014
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Belarusian-Chinese ‘Geely’ Car, Spiritual Revival and Local Elections – Belarus State TV Digest

Channel 1 covered an official award giving ceremony honouring prominent Belarusians. Alexander Lukashenka introduced his fellow citizens to the new Patriarch of Belarus Orthodox Church Pavel with warm words. Will the Belarusian-Chinese cars 'Geely' become an international hit? The head of state discussed this project with the Prime Minister Michail...

15 January 2014
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Belarus Ambulance Doctors: Underpaid and Overworked

Leading up to New Year's Eve and throughout the first week of 2014, employees of the Minsk municipal ambulance service launched a protest. They are demanding a raise in salaries and improved labour conditions. The healthcare sector in Belarus remains financed...

14 January 2014
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Hugo Chavez: the Musical, Tax Hike Protest, Opposition Leader Beaten – Western Press Digest

The western press covered a number of Belarus-related issues over the past month, though the economy remained their primary focus. The long-rumoured potential sale of state-owned assets to Russian investors appears to be moving forward. This news is closely tied...

13 January 2014
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Belarusian Army: Between Disarmament and Optimisation

On 4 January, the Belarusian army deployed a third battery of the Tor-M2 short-range surface-to-air missile systems, supplied to them by Russia. In December, the first Russian fighter jets arrived at a prospective Russian air force base in Baranavichy. Does...