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.
3 October 2014
lukashenka.jpg
Is Lukashenka Trying to Emancipate Belarus from Russian Culture?

On 29 September, Alexander Lukashenka stated that schools should increase the number of Belarusian language lessons they teach. Following Lukashenka's public speech in Belarusian in July this year, a rare even in and of itself, the retirement of some pro-Russian...

19 September 2014
salihorsk.jpg
What Life is Like in Belarus’ Small Towns

Few people in the West know that provincial Salihorsk, not Minsk, is the wealthiest town in Belarus. Belaruskali, responsible for around 10% of Belarusian exports annually, makes Salihorsk the most economically important town in Belarus, outside of Minsk. Despite its wealth,...

10 September 2014
screen_shot_2014-09-10_at_09.54.15.png
No Longer the Last Dictatorship in Europe

The Kremlin’s war in Ukraine and the rise of Russian authoritarianism have made it clear that Belarus is neither the only dictatorship in Europe, nor the worst of them. While Lukashenka's authoritarianism causes problems primarily for Belarusians, Putin is now...

28 August 2014
20120811_statkevich_t.jpg
Will there Be a Single Opposition Candidate in 2015 Elections?

Last week Mikalai Statkievich, a former presidential candidate, stated from prison that the Belarusian opposition needs to choose a single candidate for the presidential election from a pool of people with serious politically-motivated convictions. His comments come...

21 August 2014
usb_rally_2012.jpg
Belarusian Students Unite in Lithuania

Belarusian youth studying abroad have three days left to send their applications to participate in the annual Rally of the United Students of Belarus, which will take place in Lithuania on 1-5 October 2014. Young people studying abroad and...

13 August 2014
screen_shot_2014-08-13_at_13.32.39.png
How the Belarusian Political System Works

Last year the Ostrogorski Centre launched its Belarus Profile web site. Since then the database of the most influential Belarusians has become an increasingly popular source of biographical information. However, not many people in the West know...

1 August 2014
russia.png
Belarusians Pop Car Tires to Express Ukraine Sentiments

On 23 July, the main Belarusian portal TUT.by blew the Internet up with an article about Belarusians who were going around popping car tires with Russian number plates in Minsk. The site's administration removed nearly two thousand comments for inciting...

18 July 2014
mh17-social-photos.jpg
The Split Between Belarusian Elites and Society on Ukraine Widens

On 17 July, Belarusian state media tried to strike a balance between Russia and Ukraine's respective positions when reporting on the MH17 crash. Russian media clearly stated that it was Ukraine which had shot down the plane and the majority...

16 July 2014
map-of-freedom-2013-upload.png
Belarus in World Rankings: Strong Potential, Weak Performance

The most well-known international indexes show that Belarus is maintaining the potential of its people, although its governance, economy, political and economic freedoms remain at a very low level. Belarus has had a rather good showing in the UNDP Human...

18 June 2014
nikluk.jpg
Lukashenka Tears Open a Window to Europe Through Serbia

On 12 June, Alexander Lukashenka completed his populist tinged visit to Serbia. The visit showed that Lukashenka is able to easily bypass the visa restrictions placed on him by the EU, and some partners of the West still consider...

11 June 2014
lukashenko29052013.jp_.jpg
Eurasian Allies: Can Belarus Learn from Kazakhstan?

While the Kremlin has achieved its primary goal by launching the Eurasian Economic Union last month, the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan look unsatisfied. Both want to slow down the integration project's progress down and prevent it from spilling over...

29 May 2014
images.jpg
Poroshenko and Lukashenka: Will the Ukrainian President Defend Belarus in the West?

On 26 May the future President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that Belarus and his country can cooperate to help Lukashenka take steps towards establishing a democracy. Poroshenko also said that Lukashenka could consider him...

6 May 2014
20131204_luka_t.jpg
Will the Belarusian Authorities Learn from the Ukrainian Crisis?

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine has brought some benefits to the Belarusian authorities. Due to the instability outside Belarus, Lukashenka's position in his dealings with the West has been strengthened. His recent phone conversation with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk proves...

1 May 2014
seviarynec01-300x200.jpg
Sieviaryniec and Generational Shift in Belarusian Opposition

On 14 April, the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies published a new issue of its Political Mediabarometer.  Pavel Sieviaryniec, co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democrats, is now the new leader in terms of media presence in Belarus.   Sieviaryniec' success demonstrates...

25 April 2014
20130805-181618-66.jpg
Belarusian Demographic Trends: Rapid Ageing and Depopulation

In 2014, the Belarusian authorities started preparations for a new demographic security program. The problems facing Belarus are not unique in Europe, but in many ways they look worse than in most EU countries. Belarus...