Loading...
RSS
Belarus-Russia relations Belarusian language Belarusian military travel to Belarus
Why Support Belarus Digest?
Ryhor Astapenia
Ryhor Astapenia
Ryhor Astapenia is an associate analyst at the Ostrogorski Centre. He also edits the Belarusian internet magazine Idea. Ryhor is currently working on his PhD at the University of Warsaw and advises civil society organisations in Belarus. He is originally from Salihorsk, Belarus.
19 February 2016
corruption.jpg
Belarus Recycles Corrupt Officials

Last month, Alexander Lukashenka pardoned six top officials charged with corruption. Not only that – he appointed them to manage unprofitable state-owned enterprises. The decision reflects a haphazard approach to fighting corruption. Belarus ranked 107 out of 168 countries in...

9 February 2016
nomenklatura.jpg
Who Blocks Economic Reforms in Belarus

No economic reforms will be carried out in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka announced in his 26 January address to the government. This was the fourth time since the October 2015 presidential election that the President confirm his desire to keep the...

28 January 2016
lukashenka_minsk.jpg
Belarus is Сhanging Rapidly and Needs the West

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, coupled with Russia's economic decline, has facilitated the separation of Belarusian national identity from all things Russian. The government has made an effort to differentiate Belarus's interests from those of the Kremlin and to...

13 January 2016
kali.jpg
Belaruskali: The Enterprise that Saved Belarus in 2015

Belaruskali, the world's second-largest producer of potash​, fared much better in 2015 than the Belarusian economy as a whole. In spite of weak commodity markets, the state-owned company's annual export revenues are likely to be roughly the same as in...

16 December 2015
kamvol.jpg
Can Belarus Authorities Prevent the Decline of Textile Manufacturers?

On 4 December, Aliaksandr Lukashenka cancelled his visit to JSC Kamvol, a major textile manufacturer located in Minsk. The president threatened to pay an unexpected visit to this state-owned enterprise in the future and denounced its attempts to cover up...

3 December 2015
evraziyskiy-soyuz20140108180923.gif.jpg
Belarus and the Declining Eurasian Economic Union

The first year of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has highlighted how differently Russia and Belarus see this integration project. While Russia tries to create something resembling for the external audience the European Union and for the internal audience Soviet...

13 November 2015
4b.jpg
Why Belarusians Cannot Afford Housing in Belarus

In 2015, prices for Belarusian apartments fell by about a quarter. Yet few Belarusians can afford to purchase an apartment even at this cheaper price. Interest rates are incredibly high, reaching 30-35% per annum. Banks also impose loan requirements...

28 October 2015
1418275810154874a7d-c8b1-379d-c8b1-3792fc27fb0e.photo_.0.jpeg
State Health Care: Can Belarus Be Proud?

On 21 October, Alexander Lukashenka explained to the Regional Office for Europe Director of the World Health Organisation, Zsuzsanna Jakab​, how Belarus had succeeded in improving its health service and received many compliments from her for that. Belarus has achieved...

21 October 2015
nomenklatura.jpg
Who Will Get Positions in the New Government: Conservatives or Reformists?

On 20 September, Alexander Lukashenka stated that he knew who was going to enter the new government. The previous government resigned, under Belarusian legislation, after Lukashenka's victory in the October presidential elections. The new composition of the government will expose...

7 October 2015
durybary.png
Belarus Presidential Elections: Will They Actually Count the Votes?

On 11 October, Belarus will hold presidential elections. The Belarusian authorities try to create an image of democratic elections at a time when Alexander Lukashenka looks weak due to the economic recession. Realistically no one expects a fair vote count....

23 September 2015
korova-400.jpg
Belarusian Milk Exports: Success in the East, Failure in the West

On 17 September, Alexander Lukashenka publicly explained to Vladimir Putin the process of milk production and to Nursultan Nazarbayev the functioning of the market economy. In this way the Belarusian state leader responded to critics who have questioned the...

4 September 2015
charkashyn.jpg
Belarusian Combatants in Ukraine: Heroes or Criminals?

On 29 August, Ales Charkashyn, a member of tactical volunteer group Belarus Fighting in Donbas, died from combat wounds. This is the first known death of a Belarusian citizen fighting on the Ukrainian side. No Ukrainian diplomats attended Charkashyn’s funeral...

13 August 2015
osce.jpg
Belarus and the OSCE: Peacekeeping and Elections Critisism

By the end of August, 40 long-term observers of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will arrive in Belarus to keep an eye on the Presidential elections. Since 1991 Belarus has been a member of this organisation...

3 August 2015
migrants.png
Migrants from Eastern Ukraine Put Pressure on Belarus

Belarus has never had anything resembling the number of migrants it has recently experienced. Over the past 12 months the Belarusian population, thanks to the 100,000 refugees from the Donbas, has increased by 1%. Indeed, Belarus has more Ukrainian...

30 July 2015
lacinka.jpg
Getting Belarusian Names and Places Right

For many foreigners the Latinised spellings for Belarusian places and names continue to present real difficulties or just appear unpronounceable. Belarusians themselves feel annoyed about the ways their names are transliterated from Cyrillic into Latin script. It has become even...