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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.
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...

18 February 2014
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Belarus and Customs Union: From Subject to Object of Integration

Beginning 1 July 2014, Belarusian authorities will forbid companies to produce, import or sell synthetic underwear. New regulations came from the Customs Union and show how Russia forces its partners to adopt Russia's own rules of the game. Belarus is stuck in the middle of the...

6 February 2014
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How Russian Culture and Media Shape Belarusian Politics

On 31 January the director of the National Book Chamber of Belarus claimed that the Belarusian publishers printed eight times more books in Russian than in Belarusian in 2013. This data illustrates well the position that Russian culture occupies...

29 January 2014
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The Russian Lobby in Belarus

Earlier this month, the newly appointed Orthodox Metropolitan Pavel arrived in Minsk. The Metropolitan has no Belarusian passport or roots, does not speak Belarusian and visited Belarus only twice in his life before appointment. The new Metropolitan owes his position to the...

22 January 2014
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Viber, World of Tanks, EPAM – Belarusian IT Companies Conquer the World

The Belarusian game World of Tanks has become one of the most profitable in the world, earning $372m in 2013. The game, with 60 million users, is only one instance that shows how Belarusian IT business is achieving considerable...

20 January 2014
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Belarus and Russia: Stagnating Together?

Earlier this year, Belarusian media published an interview with Belarusian oligarch Iuryi Chyzh. The businessman predicts problems with the Russian economy, supports the diversification of Belarusian enterprises and states that Russia is grabbing the biggest piece of the...

9 January 2014
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Belarus On the Russian Energy Needle

This year, Russia agreed to supply Belarus with discounted oil only for the next six months, rather than for the whole year. The size and conditions for further shipments will depend on Belarus’ participation in specific integration projects and the sale of several companies to Russia....

6 January 2014
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Modernisation in Belarus: the Process is More Important than the Result?

On 20 December, Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Prakapovich announced the need to accelerate the modernisation of Belarus.  According to him, it was necessary to carry out not only its technical modernisation, but also its economic modernisation, including improving public administration system.  But...

2 January 2014
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Belarus Foreign Policy in 2013: All Quiet on the Western Front

On 27 December, Minister of Foreign Affairs Uladzimir Makei held an event with journalists, diplomats and analysts to reflect on a controversial year for Belarus' foreign policy.  Though Belarus was tough in the potash war, this conflict exposed the...

19 December 2013
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Belarus Profile Maps Influential People of Belarus

The Centre for Transition Studies kicks off Belarus Profile - a searchable online database that contains the biographic information of over 200 people influential​ in Belarus. Belarus Profile differs from other who is who projects not only in its scope but also because...