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Siarhei Bohdan
Siarhei Bohdan
Siarhei Bohdan is an associate analyst at the Ostrogorski Centre. He defended his doctoral thesis in Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany and is also an alumnus of Belarus State University and European Humanities University in Lithuania. In 1999-2011, he worked with Nasha Niva, a Belarusian independent weekly. Siarhei comes from Maladechna, Belarus.
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4 April 2018
Belarus: an unwanted friend of ‘Great China’?

On 6-8 April, Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe will visit Belarus. Wei’s combined visit to Russia and Belarus, his first foreign trip since taking up the post, demonstrates recognition that Minsk gives the highest priority to its partnership with...

13 March 2018
How many divisions does Lukashenka have?

On 18 February President Alexander Lukashenka offered to deploy a 10,000-strong Belarusian contingent as peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine. This represents a rather large commitment for the Belarusian army comprising in total 46,000 military personnel. Minsk pays increasing attention to its...

28 February 2018
Belarus reviews defence policy after Russia disappoints

On 13 February, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka complained about Russia’s unwillingness to arm the Belarusian army. On 23 February, the ideological periodical of Belarusian government published an article by the defence minister, Andrei Raukou, who described how Belarus would defend itself...

13 February 2018
Belarusian arms exports grow with new rockets and missiles planned

On 31 January, Belarus’s state military-industrial committee reported that the export of Belarusian arms in 2017 exceeded the previous year by 15%, reaching more than $1bn sales. Growth occurred despite problems in accessing Russian military orders, an unclear situation...

26 January 2018
Losing Russian transit, Belarus looks for European and Chinese alternatives

On 1 February Belarus will raise tariffs for the transit of Russian oil via pipelines crossing its territory by 6.7 per cent. Transit constitutes an important source of revenue for the country, while control of pipeline routes also gives...

22 January 2018
Ever narrower access to the sea undermines Belarusian sovereignty

On Thursday, Lithuania announced that its Klaipeda port had recorded the highest ever annual volume of shipments. This occurred thanks to Belarusian firms’ growing use of Klaipeda despite Moscow’s pressure which demands of Belarus to boycott the Baltic states’...

4 January 2018
Faces of Belarusian politics: political archaeologist Ihar Marzalyuk

Almost everything about Ihar Marzalyuk, a rising star in the Belarusian establishment, contradicts stereotypes held abroad about the Belarusian state. While he is definitely not a liberal democrat, he has even less in common with grey, Soviet-style bureaucrats. With...

23 December 2017
The Belarusian army: scaled down but better trained and autonomous

On 15 December, the Belarusian army’s media outlet, VaenTV, reported of tank units training to shoot at an unusually long distance—six kilometres. Few post-Soviet armies use this ‘high angle fire’ method, said VaenTV. The news illustrates one of the ways the Belarusian...

7 December 2017
Minsk silently builds a new army

On 1 December, Minsk made public an agreement with Russia to supply a joint regional group of Belarusian and Russian troops. In return, Russia’s Defence Ministry has committed to providing Belarus with necessary equipment and arms in times of “increasing...

27 November 2017
The Belarusian arms business: new deals and old collisions

On 14 November, key Belarusian arms exporter Beltech Export signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Belarusian firm has agreed to maintain and modernise Emirati radars. This means that Minsk has successfully entered a new market,...

20 November 2017
International support grows for Belarusian peacekeepers in Ukraine

At a press conference on 17 November 2017 in Minsk, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel described his meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka, in which they “talked a lot about Ukraine,” in positive terms. The upbeat summary is a...

9 November 2017
Have Belarus’s neighbours convinced its military to open up?

Minsk continues to face fall–out from the West-2017 military exercises. Earlier this month, Russian media outlets, such as Nezavisimaya gazeta, criticised Belarus for “excessive openness” in allowing foreigners to observe its military drills. Remarkably, this openness in regards to military drills...

16 October 2017
On whose side is Belarus in the Syrian civil war?

On 7 September, the Israeli air force attacked the Syrian military’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre. According to the Times of Israel, Belarusians may have been among those working at the Centre. Meanwhile, a Bulgarian hacker group recently published documents...

3 October 2017
Belarus-Russian military exercises: the story still not over?

On 28 September, the last train filled with Russian troops that had participated in the West-2017 military exercises reportedly left Belarus. Some hours later, however, Commander–in–Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko disputed the news. He claimed only a few Russian...

1 September 2017
Minsk struggling to reassure its neighbours about the West-2017 military exercises

At a press briefing on 29 August, Aleh Belakoneu, Head of the Belarusian General Staff, promised that by 30 September all Russian troops participating in the West–2017 Belarusian-Russian military exercises would leave the territory of Belarus. He also emphasised...