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Most Vulnerable: Child Welfare Services in Belarus
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On 1 June children celebrate their day in Belarus. The first day of summer brings break from school, lots of free open-air concerts, markets, and other attractions. Currently, more than 1,7 million children live in Belarus and about 25,000...
30 May 2016
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The Costs of the Economic Downturn – Digest of Belarus Economy

On 6 May 2016 the Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus (NBB) Pavel Kallaur disclosed the long-suspected information about problems in the banking system. Two weeks later, the Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov has called for market-based...

27 May 2016
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Invisible Minority: Surviving with Disability in Belarus

On 5 May 2016, Minsk hosted a rally of Belarusians on wheelchairs, who gathered to remind the society of continuing discrimination. Neither the state nor the public noticed this desperate cry in the desert, ignoring the needs of about 500,000...

26 May 2016
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Belarus-EU Relations: Reaching the Limit?

Recently Belarus was considered a relative success story of the Eastern Partnership – no territorial disputes, no broken promises, only gradual positive dynamic in relations with the European Union (EU). However, the intensity of Belarus-EU cooperation seems to have reached...

25 May 2016
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Freedom of Press, Lennart Meri Conference, Defence Industry – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

Over the last few weeks analysts of the Ostrogorski Centre focused on the treatment of the Chernobyl issue in Belarus' foreign and domestic policies, as 26 April marked the 30th anniversary of the disaster. They discussed the recent Freedom House...

25 May 2016
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Astraviec Nuclear Plant: a Poison for Belarus-Lithuania Relations?

In the recent months, the issue of the nuclear power plant (NPP) that Belarus is building near its border with Lithuania has been dominating bilateral relations. Lithuanian politicians are seeking to block potential exports of electric energy from Belarus. Vilnius...

23 May 2016
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EU and Belarus: All Politics to Be Gradual

After the 2015 October presidential elections Belarus gears up for a parliamentary one on September 11 with little expectations of democratic improvement. Albeit authoritarian, Belarus is both a functional state and society. The EU is learning to live with this...

20 May 2016
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US Missile-Defence System in Europe Increases Strategic Importance of Belarus

As NATO started to construct its European missile defence system, Moscow on 16 May held talks with Minsk on its planned response. “We have an identical approach to the missile defence system,” insisted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. His...

18 May 2016
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Nuclear Power Plant, Overdue Loans, Ease of Canadian Sanctions – Western Press Digest

Western media focused heavily this month on the current state of Belarus’ economy and financial market. In addition, the anticipated removal of Canadian sanctions might serve as a stepping-stone for other Western nations to re-evaluate their current sanctions against...

17 May 2016
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In Search of Dignity: Childbirth and Childcare in Belarus

The Belarusian all-star Olympic biathlete Darya Domracheva will have a baby in October. The news came in April from the future child’s father Ole Einar Bjorndalen, also known as the “King of Biathlon”, the most medalled Winter Olympic Norwegian. Because...

16 May 2016
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Belarusians Visit the Dead on Radaunitsa

Last week, Belarusians celebrated Radaunitsa, a day dedicated to visiting the graves of one’s relatives and ancestors in order to commemorate the dead. Radaunitsa originated in pagan traditions but over time was incorporated into the religious celebrations of the Orthodox...

12 May 2016
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The 2016 Belarusian People’s Congress: the Illusion of Democracy

The Fifth Belarusian People's Congress will take place in Minsk on 22-23 June. The event will bring together 2,500 carefully selected participants from all over the country representing the branches of the government, industry and business, science, health and...

11 May 2016
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Cooperation with Podlasie, Union of Poles, IT Startups, Chernobyl Myths – State Press Digest

On the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster government officials are trying to dispel some common Chernobyl myths circulating in Belarusian society. The authorities are preparing for the All-Belarusian Assembly in June – an event that aims to add legitimacy...

11 May 2016
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How Freedom House Got Media Freedom in Belarus Wrong

American human rights watchdog Freedom House in its most recent global report has ranked Belarus in the bottom ten countries in the world in terms of media freedom. Scoring more poorly than some of the world's worst dictatorships in...

10 May 2016
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Victory Day: Between Remembrance and Militant Memory

9 May 2016 in Minsk started with a procession “Belarus Remembers,” which marched through the heart of the city, carrying pictures of the veterans. Too frail to walk over longer distances, they joined the procession at the Victory Square for...