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Author: David Marples

One year on. What has changed in Belarus?

The 2020 elections took place in the middle of a pandemic, dismissed by the president as a "psychosis". They were the first elections to be contested by other sectors of the Belarusian elite. Since that day, the situation has changed. Over 38,000 people have been arrested, and over 500 have been declared political prisoners. Peaceful protesters, peaking in numbers at around 250,000 in Minsk but significant in all cities, have been arrested, tortured and in several cases, murdered. What comes next remains an open question.

On August 9th 2021, Alyaksandr Lukashenka held a press conference to discuss the events of the previous year. It was attended by both local and foreign journalists. The de facto leader of Belarus fielded questions in his own style and according to his own perceptions – or stated perceptions – of the world. He expressed his views on the so-called All-Belarusian People's Assembly, on the change of president in the United States and in general about the West's vendetta against his rule, as well as the attacks on his security forces by protesters.

September 12, 2021 - David Marples

The Eastern Partnership project in Ukraine and Belarus

For the past decade, both Ukraine and Belarus have been members of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Project (EaP). Has it been a useful tool for the EU in drawing these countries closer? Have its initial and long-term aims been fulfilled? Is it a project that is worth continuing?

May 2, 2019 - David Marples

Holodomor 2018: the public and the scholars

The debate on the extent and nature of the Soviet famine in pre-war Ukraine, continues to engage researchers from both Ukraine and the West.

December 10, 2018 - David Marples

Nuclear power development in Ukraine: Déjà vu?

Spring 2016 marked 30 years since the Chernobyl accident of April 26th 1986. The explosion at the fourth unit of the Chernobyl V.I. Lenin plant, which occurred during an experiment on safety equipment, contaminated about a tenth of the country as well as most of Belarus, parts of western Russia and many areas of Europe, especially mountain regions.

November 14, 2016 - David Marples

Decommunisation in Ukraine. Implementation, pros and cons

The word “decommunisation” has become a familiar one in Ukrainian society. It is a means of fulfilling the mandate of the so-called Memory Laws of the spring of 2015, and the programme of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (UINR), founded originally in 2006, but organised in its current form as subordinate to the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers in November 2014. The process has involved the removal of Lenin statues, of other statues linked to the Soviet period as well as Soviet symbols and monuments. It also entails changes of names in cities, towns, and streets and their replacement with more acceptable ones not linked to the Communist period.

September 16, 2016 - David Marples

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