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Is Lukashenka Preparing for a War?
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At the end of January, Belarus temporally mobilised nearly 15,000 reservists - a large number for the nearly 50,000-strong national army. A major Russian news portal Gazeta.ru linked this move to the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict. At the same...
23 December 2014
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Belarus Strengthens Defense Sector Cooperation with Ukraine

Last Wednesday, Russia's ambassador to Minsk announced that Belarusian enterprises provide 15% of Russia's national defence purchases (oboronzakaz). This figure may grow —​ Moscow promised to transfer the orders it had with Ukrainian firms to Belarusians. Yet Russia is...

11 December 2014
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Belarus Reinstates Customs Control on the Border with Russia: the End of the Eurasian Union?

The new food war between Belarus and Russia may signal the end the Eurasian Economic Union. In early December Belarus and Russia unofficially resumed customs control on the border, which led to Belarus responding to a Russian imposed embargo...

18 September 2014
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Fencing Off the War in Ukraine: Belarus Strengthens Its Borders

On 4 September, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a decree establishing security zones alongside the border with Russia. The measure targets illegal migration, drug trafficking, as well as the illicit movement of goods across the border. Until now, the Belarus-Russia...

10 September 2014
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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...

18 August 2014
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Belarusian Army: Capacity and its Role in the Region

Without any loud political rhetoric to bolster the Belarusian army, it has nonetheless gradually developed from an appendage cut off of the huge Soviet military into an army more adapted to the needs and capacities of a 9.5-million nation. Belarus...

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 April 2014
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Will Belarus Last for Long?

The Crimean crisis stirred up a number of comments on the probability of Russian annexation of Belarus. The topic is not completely new. Since the 1990s, fears of Russia taking over Belarus – under pretext of integration process - were one of...

4 April 2014
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Will Nuclear Weapons Return to Belarus?

Last week, the Belarusian economic news portal afn.by published a story with the provocative headline “Lukashenka: The Situation with Crimea Allows Belarus to Get its Nuclear Arms Back.” It was, of course, an exaggeration – the original statement lamented over the ineffectiveness of the Budapest...

13 January 2014
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Belarusian Army: Between Disarmament and Optimisation

On 4 January, the Belarusian army deployed a third battery of the Tor-M2 short-range surface-to-air missile systems, supplied to them by Russia. In December, the first Russian fighter jets arrived at a prospective Russian air force base in Baranavichy. Does...

23 December 2013
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Russia Wants Belarusian Enterprises Instead of Promises

On 13 December, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev proclaimed that Russia and Belarus may introduce a single currency. Various officials from both countries have regularly proclaimed such intentions since 1993. There has been no result to these back and forth in the past...

13 November 2013
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Belarusian Officials Criticise Eurasian Integration

On 31 October Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Siamashka, while speaking in parliament, claimed that Belarus was suffering losses due to systemic exemptions in the Russian-dominated Customs Treaty and Common Economic Space. These losses might increase - in January Russia is introducing a...

23 September 2013
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Military Exercises In Belarus: Potential Aggression or Fighting For Russian Funding?

On Friday, a joint Belarusian-Russian military exercise started in Belarus and in the Kaliningrad Province of Russia. For months Polish media discussed whether the exercise is potentially aimed at mounting aggression and even a nuclear arms deployment against Poland and...

16 September 2013
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The Russian Opposition and Putin: Do They Differ When It Comes to Belarus?

The idea that democracy will come to Belarus from Russia and with Russian help has been prevalent in the West almost as long as Lukashenka has ruled the country.In fact...

6 September 2013
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Russia Refuses To Supply Weapons To Belarus

On 20 August, Alexandr Lukashenka held a conference on the future priorities for Belarus' armed forces.He proclaimed that “while analysing recent conflicts and wars, we understood that the most important thing for...