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Belarusian government fears spill-over from Russian war in Ukraine
On 10 May, Belarusian General Staff Head Viktar Hulevich announced the country was facing a growing “military threat.” Minsk is worried about both the short-term danger of the war spill-over into Belarus after Putin’s failures in Ukraine and more...
29 March 2022
Can the Belarusian army make a difference in the Russia-Ukraine war?

Last week, regional and international media, including major networks like CNN, again reported about the “increasing probability” of Belarus joining Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier, an advisor to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs said there was now a...

22 March 2022
Will Lukashenka join Putin in invading Ukraine?

Speaking to Japan’s TBS TV on 17 March, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka stressed that Belarus may be the only country to support Russia in current conditions, but “we are not going to join the war.” Despite Belarus’s dependence on...

28 September 2020
Belarus reluctantly reverses its security policies

Meeting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka on 14 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that in the next year Belarus and Russia would hold joint exercises or similar events almost monthly. Belarusian special operations forces on 21 September joined the...

19 August 2020
The best ever opportunity for Putin to intervene in Belarus?

On 18 August, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka convened his National Security Council with a focus on “external intervention” in the current protests in Belarus. He cited military threats on the “Western borders”, although a couple of weeks ago he had...

17 August 2020
Is Lukashenka about to introduce martial law?

On 13 August, the Belarusian authorities stopped deploying special riot police against presidential election protesters. This move appeared to be a step toward a peaceful solution. Yet in two phone conversations with Vladimir Putin this weekend, Belarusian president Alyaksandr...

23 November 2018
Lukashenka meets Americans, Belarusians give up on state benefits – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarus’s geopolitical importance grows amid the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Alexander Lukashenka meets American analysts in Minsk. Eurasian Development Bank warns Belarus of risks. Belarusians no longer expect free benefits from the government. Belarus climbs up to the 37th...

10 May 2018
Bike Carnival, pressure on journalists, civil protests – Belarus civil society digest

Zrobim! environmental campaign opens its sixth season. Bike Carnival will be held in Minsk on May 12. Death penalty discussion resumes. Organizers of the annual Chernobyl Path rally start a local fundraising campaign. Amendments to media law pass first...

29 March 2018
London conference, Annual Report, Belarusian language trends, the longevity gap – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In March, the Ostrogorski Centre held its annual London conference on Belarusian studies and published its report covering the centre’s activities in 2017. Analysts from the Ostrogorski Centre wrote about trends in Belarusian language use in public education and...

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...

25 January 2018
Trump support in Belarus, MFA staff cuts, legal education reform – Ostrogorski Centre digest

During December and January, the Ostrogorski Centre analysed the ongoing dispute between Belarus and Lithuania over the Astraviec nuclear power plant (NPP), Belarusian army reforms, and the national immigration policy. Our analysts also commented in the media on growing...

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...

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...

2 November 2017
Photo by Siarhei Hudzilin who served in Barysau
Forsaking Private Korzhych: how hazing kills Belarusian soldiers

On 3 October 2017, a soldier from a military base located in Pechy, a town northeast of Minsk, died. The day after, fellow servicemen found Aleksandr Korzhych, a 21-year-old Belarusian, lynched in a noose made from trouser material. His...