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Belarus Local Elections Update – One Month Until Election Day
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On March 23 votes will be cast for over 20,000 seats in regional and local councils in Belarus.  These elections are unlikely to be any more free, fair or competitive than recent parliamentary...
26 February 2014
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Kiryl Rudy Wants To Attract Emigrants Back to Belarus

On 5 February, Lukashenka’s economic advisor Kiryl Rudy published his ideas in the National Strategy of Sustainable Social and Economic Development until the year 2030. A young economist with an academic background and experience working in China is supposed to transmit the Chinese...

25 February 2014
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Strict Monetary Policy to Solve Economic Problems – Belarus Economy Digest

According to official forecasts, an improved climate for foreign trade and accelerated economic growth await Belarus in 2014. The growth of the country's negative trade balance in 2013 created additional pressure on the foreign exchange market and the dynamics of its foreign reserves. Improving...

24 February 2014
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Pavel Latushka: The Liberal Face of the Belarusian Regime

Earlier this month Belarusian ambassador to Paris Pavel Latushka harshly criticised Belarusian producers for their alleged low reliability and problems with selling their goods abroad on a state TV channel. Latushka with his sophisticated background and behaviour always remained flamboyant and never...

22 February 2014
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The West Blamed for Unrest in Ukraine, An Ideal Local Election Candidate – Belarus State TV Digest

Belarusian state-run Channel 1 regularly covered the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Journalists have often referred to the participants of protests and the opposition as radicals and extremists. Reporters blamed Western politicians for the situation in Maidan. 

20 February 2014
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Belarus and the Outside World: From Isolation to Co-operation?

Few foreigners come to Belarus from the West. The Belarus-EU border itself appears to be tightly guarded, but the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius raised hopes for improved visa facilitation. Is Belarus at long last opening up? A typical summer...

19 February 2014
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Is Belarus a European North Korea? – Top Three Myths about Belarus in Western Media

Describing Belarus as the "last European dictatorship" in Western media has become a tradition. In many cases it is justified by real human rights abuses and the absence of any real democracy in the country....

18 February 2014
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Belarus and Customs Union: From Subject to Object of Integration

Beginning 1 July 2014, Belarusian authorities will forbid companies to produce, import or sell synthetic underwear. New regulations came from the Customs Union and show how Russia forces its partners to adopt Russia's own rules of the game. Belarus is stuck in the middle of the...

17 February 2014
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New Chief of General Staff, Modernisation of Air Force, S-300 – Belarus Security Digest

Aliaksandr Lukashenka made a good personnel decision by appointing a new Chief of General Staff. Security agencies suffer from underfunding. It forces them to adopt austerity measures and negatively impacts the number of those who want to choose to serve in...

14 February 2014
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Conflict between EHU Senate and Administration: How to Find a Peaceful Solution

Belarusian lecturers from the European Humanities University are getting ready to strike soon. This was the message coming out of the University's labour union shortly after the EHU administration dismissed professor Pavel Tereshkovich, the head of the EHU Senate, who was...

13 February 2014
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CNN Offended Belarus and Russia

On 24 January, CNN published a rating of the world’s ugliest monuments, causing an outrage in many post-Soviet countries, both officially and among the general public. The channel described the Courage monument from the Brest Fortress memorial in Belarus as looking constipated,...

12 February 2014
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Police Crack Down on Pro-Euromaidan Ultras in Belarus

A photo of 20 well-known Belarusians holding a banner in support of FC BATE Barysau ultras stirred up the Belarusian internet at the end of January. The photo also featured rock star Liavon Volski, writer and journalist Natalka Babina, screenwriter and film...

11 February 2014
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Belarus-EU Border: Iron Curtain or a Safety Valve?

On 27 January, in an address to the State Border Committee, Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka sounded appeared to be in a cooperative mood with Brussels urging officials “to more effectively use the interests of the EU in creating a...

10 February 2014
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Why Minsk is not Like Other Capitals

It jumps out at you right after you come back from a foreign land: Minsk is not like Vilnius, Warsaw or Prague. Indeed, it is not like anywhere else. And obviously, this concerns not only its "deserted streets" or the...

8 February 2014
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New Eastern Europe Is Unmasking Belarus

The latest issue of New Eastern Europe, an English language magazine published in Poland, devoted nine articles to Belarus. Are Belarusians pro-European? Do activists care about the language issue? Why trade unions in Belarus cannot play the same role as Solidarity movement...