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Ryhor Astapenia
Ryhor Astapenia
Ryhor Astapenia is Development Director at the Ostrogorski Centre. He also edits the Belarusian internet magazine Idea and coordinates the BelarusProfile.com project. 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.
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1 August 2014
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...

15 April 2014
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Fighting Corruption in Belarus: Barking up the Wrong Tree?

20 years ago, Alexander Lukashenka won the presidential elections in Belarus thanks to his anti-corruption slogans. Today he returns the issue into an item of public discourse - last month Lukashenka proclaimed that Ukraine had a revolution because of corruption. Over the last...

11 April 2014
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Belarusian-Chinese Relations: From Great Promise to Failure

In the near future Minsk and Beijing plan to sign the main contract for the China-Belarus Industrial Park. Once a project that used to hold great promise, now appears to be a failure. Lately, Belarusian-Chinese relations have gone through...

3 April 2014
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Lukashenka Looking for a New Prime Minister?

On 23 March, Alexander Lukashenka asked journalists to send him their suggestions for a candidate for a new prime minister of Belarus. For a long time the leader of the Belarusian has been intensifying his rhetoric about his dissatisfaction with the economic results of...

14 March 2014
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Russia Plays War in Belarus

On 12 March, Minsk and Moscow agreed that Russia will deploy 15 fighters jets in Belarus in reaction to NATO's drills on the border between Poland and Belarus. However, Belarus remains reluctant to support Russia in the Crimean conflict either politically or...

10 March 2014
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By Winning Crimea, Russia Can Lose Belarus

On 7 March, Ukrainian espreso.tv reported that Belarus refused to send observers to the Crimean referendum. This is not the first time that the Belarusian authorities have disobeyed Russia, because the interests of...

3 March 2014
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Labour Market in Belarus: the Demand for Workers is Increasing

A recently published report by the HeadHunter recruiting agency and TUT.by portal shows that the labour market in Belarus is starting to recover. Increasing demand for skilled wokers in the entire country has stopped the stream of labour...