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Belarusian anarchists: Lukashenka’s political opponents or criminals?
On 12 March 2018, a Minsk court sentenced Sviataslau Baranovich to three years in prison. He admitted that he had hit police officers in civilian clothes during the brutal arrests of anarchists. In recent years, the anarchists have become...
19 March 2018
Lukashenka’s recent appointments: in search of efficacy

On 5 March 2018, Siarhei Kavalchuk, a little known employee of the Presidential Security Service, became the Minister for Sports and Tourism. This and other appointments have virtually transformed key elements of the Belarusian state apparatus over recent months....

2 February 2018
Supporting EU unity, Bielaja Ruś congress, new unemployment policy, KGB name will remain – Belarus state press digest

Belarus strongly supports EU unity and reiterates that the Eastern Partnership should not become a dividing zone between the European Union and the East. Bielaja Ruś will not become a political party any time soon. The KGB should not...

29 January 2018
Will a downsized foreign ministry hurt Belarusian diplomacy?

In January 2018, the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs completed the largest part of a major “optimization” – a euphemism for unprecedented cuts in its staff and resources. Its personnel has been cut by one third, five diplomatic missions...

10 January 2018
NATO praises Minsk, the KGB’s 100th Birthday, ‘Belarusian Certificates’ – Belarus state press digest

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka shows his support for Russian foreign policy at CIS members meeting. NATO praises Belarus’s unprecedented transparency provided during the Zapad-2017 army exercises. Belarus marks the 100th anniversary of the KGB, with the agency’s current head, Valier...

29 November 2017
Foreign spies in Belarus: reality and speculation

On 27 November, the Belarusian State Security Committee, otherwise known as the KGB, officially accused Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sharoiko of espionage. The Belarusian authorities claim that Sharoiko confessed to his guilt. Ukrainian state and security officials, on the other...

2 October 2017
Belarusian authorities increase pressure on anarchists

On 26 September, Belarusian secret services raided the apartments of several Belarusian anarchists and environmentalists. This became yet another case of repression against Belarusian anarchists in recent months. State authorities have been on alert since the outbreak of protests...

17 May 2017
The Belarusian KGB: recruiting from civil society

In late April, several Belarusian opposition activists publicly confessed their cooperation with the Belarusian secret services. On 27 April, a representative of the opposition organisation Youth Front, Siarhei Palcheuski, published a post on his Facebook page confessing to formal...

17 April 2017
Was the White Legion really planning an armed attack?

On 11 April, the official Belarusian media launched a massive propaganda campaign. They aimed at revealing the alleged plans of a group called White Legion to destabilise the country and overthrow the government. The White Legion is a patriotic...

23 March 2017
Belarus authorities uncover a ‘putsch’ to deter mass protests

On 22 March, Alexander Lukashenka revealed an extraordinary discovery – the authorities had arrested armed fighters who were planning to overthrow the government on 25 March, the day when the Belarusian opposition traditionally celebrates Freedom Day with mass rallies. The...

27 February 2017
Kurapaty memorial in danger: business versus historical memory

On 24 February 2017, Siarhej Palčeuski chained himself to a truck to protest the construction of a business centre in the vicinity of Kurapaty – a commemoration site for the victims of the 1930s Soviet repressions. Palčeuski's great-grandfather was...

21 April 2016
Belarus Cracks Down on Pro-Ukraine Donbass Fighters

On 18 April the Belarusian authorities launched the trial of Taras Avataraŭ, a fighter from the Right Sector battalion who participated in the Ukraine conflict. Earlier this month they introduced amendments to legislation which allow prison sentences for those fighting...

25 March 2016
Milking Oligarchs, Political Modernisation, MSQRD – State Press Digest

Economic difficulties push Belarusian authorities to extraordinary ways of gathering revenues. They continue arrests of top businessmen, regardless of their position in Lukashenka's apparatus, on tax evasion charges, allegedly waiting for a big payoff. In domestic politics, the authorities try...

10 November 2015
Belarusian Government: Strong on the Opposition, Weak on the Shadow Economy

The Belarusian government plans to step up its campaign against the shadow economy. In January 2016, new amendments to the Tax Code will come into force which introduce harsher punishments against illicit business. Last month, President Alexander Lukashenka demanded...

17 March 2015
Belarusian Authorities Step Up Pressure On Anarchists

While European and American officials are visiting Minsk and discussing easing sanctions on Belarusian officials, the KGB is preparing for this year's presidential election. In recent months the police have stepped up pressure on civic activists and anarchists to avoid...