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Consumption in stand-by mode, investments and trade – digest of the Belarusian economy
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On 20 February 2017, Belstat, Belarus's official statistical agency, announced that the GDP has once again dropped by 0.5 per cent in January compared with the same month in 2016. However, on 21 February 2017, Prime Minister of Belarus Alexey...
27 February 2017
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Kurapaty memorial in danger: business versus historical memory

On 24 February 2017, Siarhej Palčeuski chained himself to a truck to protest the construction of a business centre in the vicinity of Kurapaty – a commemoration site for the victims of the 1930s Soviet repressions. Palčeuski's great-grandfather was...

24 February 2017
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Can anger sustain the Belarusian protests?

On 17 February of this year, Minsk saw the largest civic protest since 2010, when demonstrators gathered in the capital to protest the results of the presidential election . However, this recent demonstration of ‘angry Belarusians’ was significantly different...

23 February 2017
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Lukashenka meets oppositional editor, neutral coverage of protests, Russian pressure – Belarus state press digest

A palpable liberalisation is evident in the Belarusian state press with regard to politics and the economy in a context of threatening moves from Russia. A major official newspaper writes about an opposition-led protest in a neutral tone for the...

22 February 2017
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Chechens struggle to enter the EU through Belarus

Since late summer 2016, a small-scale refugee crisis has been unfolding at the Belarusian-Polish border near Brest, as several thousand Chechen refugees attempt to make their way into Poland. They are mainly seeking political asylum in the EU, claiming that...

21 February 2017
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Environmentalists confront Catholics in a construction conflict

A recent construction conflict, lasting from May 2016 to January 2017, has divided Belarusian civil society. Residents, along with environmental activists, were able to halt the erection of a Catholic church in a Minsk park. Eventually, the Archbishop of...

20 February 2017
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Moscow erects border with Belarus, undermines its links with Ukraine and the Baltics

On 16 February, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's press secretary, announced that the Kremlin does not plan to introduce a visa regime with Belarus. His statement comes in a context of increasingly harsh measures on behalf of Moscow towards Belarus...

17 February 2017
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Belarus’s neighbours: patronising and obliging – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

From January to early February 2016, Belarus and Lithuania drifted further apart as their diplomats exchanged tart-tongued statements over the safety of the Astraviec NPP and Belarus’s sovereignty. Alexander Lukashenka, who remains unwelcome in the EU, travelled to more...

16 February 2017
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Belarus struggles to preserve its historical heritage

When travelling to Hrodna at the end of January, a group of tourists ended up saving a unique historical museum: the Yanush Parulis Museum in Hrodna was only able to survive financially thanks to local activism and a media...

15 February 2017
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Belarus-Russia conflict, prospect for 2019 elections, end of recession – digest of Belarus analytics

BISS: relations with Russia have deteriorated to a minimum from early 2011. Arciom Šrajbman in his article notes that even if Minsk and Moscow are able to resolve their current dispute, the standoff will go down in history. Reformation project...

13 February 2017
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Belarus at the centre of Russia-NATO wargame simulation

On 23 – 26 January 2017 a Baltic security wargaming simulation took place in Warsaw. Two defence and security think tanks, the Potomac Foundation and the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, hosted the event. The wargaming initiative focused on the scenario of...

11 February 2017
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Grassroots leaders’ stories, London conference, corruption in public procurement – Belarus civil society digest

The Second Annual London Conference on Belarusian Studies will take place on February 25, while the 7th International Congress of Belarusian Studies announces a call for sections. SYMPA releases a social advertising video on corruption in public procurement. REP independent...

9 February 2017
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A tractor rally in Belarusian Paris – Belarus photo digest

On 28 January 2017, the Minsk Tractor Works organised a rally called Paris-Mosar. The event was dedicated to the Day of Belarusian Science. Also this year, the Belarusian team Maz-SPORTauta for the first time ever placed 6th in the...

8 February 2017
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The 2019 European Games: circuses instead of bread

Although the Belarus is struggling to deal with a dramatic economic decline, the authorities are considering hosting a large international sporting event in 2019. On 9 January, Belarus established a committee to organise the 2019 European Games. The games, managed by...

7 February 2017
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Conspiracy and prejudice: Belarus and doping scandals

On 24 January, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne rescinded the Belarusian national rowing team's suspension. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) had banned the team in July 2016, just a couple of weeks before the Olympics...