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Author: Maxim Rust

A Belarusian clash of civilizations

It can already be seen that in regards to today’s Belarusians the political and state identity dominates over an ethnic and national identity. The political nation is more adapted to the challenges that have emerged both in Belarus’s near region and around the world. This year’s protests show that for the common cause Belarusians can unite. Unquestionably, this unity is a new quality.

The protests that have been taking place in Belarus for over three months have now become widely covered by international media. Unfortunately, western media reports, in many cases, are not very specific and somewhat biased. Their publishers may opt for nice photographs of demonstrators carrying banners praising freedom and democracy, but do they capture the real changes taking place within Belarusian society?

November 17, 2020 - Maxim Rust

The rainbow colours flying together with the white-red-white flags. The Belarusian LGBT community at protests

The protests in Belarus have brought together people from different parts of the wider society. Despite the often hostile attitudes of other protestors towards them, the LGBT community in Belarus continues to actively participate in the protests.

November 10, 2020 - Maxim Rust

Ukrainian land reform at risk

Interview with the Ukrainian investigative journalist Ihor Stakh. Interviewer: Maxim Rust.

October 15, 2020 - Ihor Stakh Maxim Rust

“Together” or separate? The Belarusian political elite after the elections

The ruling elite in Belarus is no longer the monolith that it portrayed itself as a few months ago. There are more and more splits and cracks in its structure, which in the long run may lead to a serious internal crisis. This group is losing its grip on control and even reality.

September 17, 2020 - Maxim Rust

The election that changed Belarus

The August 9th presidential election has become a critical event for both the Belarusian society and the ruling elite. The election saw the breakdown of traditional divides between the government and a decades-old political opposition. New players have presented themselves as an alternative to the existing system and have shown themselves to be capable of amassing an unprecedented level of public support.

On August 9th, a consequential presidential election took place in Belarus. A few months prior, there was no indication that this year's campaign would be radically different from any previous one. Everyone had assumed that the regime would simply register a few opposition candidates with no chance. After a typically uneventful campaign, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka would then claim another "elegant victory". Perhaps a few protests were expected, alongside expressions of “deep concern” from the European Union and the United States. Belarusian political life would soon return to “normal” following the announcement of the results.

September 7, 2020 - Maxim Rust

We believe! We can! We will win! A week that changed Belarus

Lukashenka is running out of options as the mass protest of Belarusian society continues with no sign of weakening.

August 18, 2020 - Maxim Rust

Ahead of the presidential elections in Belarus

A summary of New Eastern Europe's special coverage of the Belarusian presidential elections.

August 7, 2020 - Maxim Rust

A new united opposition up against a tired president: counting down to the elections in Belarus

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has emerged as the face of the new opposition ahead of the upcoming elections in Belarus, where she has drawn crowds not seen in the country since the 1990s.

August 5, 2020 - Maxim Rust

Presidential election in Belarus: Who is participating in the race?

The Belarusian Election Commission has registered five candidates for the presidential elections which will take place on August 9th.

July 15, 2020 - Maxim Rust Yahor Azarkevich

Belarus presidential election 2020: (un)obvious choices

The surprisingly calm start to the presidential election campaign in Belarus featured the gathering of signatures in public. Within a few weeks police provocations and arrests have forced the candidates to adapt.

June 15, 2020 - Maxim Rust Yahor Azarkevich

COVID-19 – a crash test for the Belarusian system?

The sudden surge in infections is quickly changing life in Belarus, turning earlier calmness into tension and uncertainty.

April 20, 2020 - Maxim Rust

Rough road ahead for Belarus

Politically, 2019 was a very important year for Belarus. It was dominated by two trends: the authorities pursuing relations with the West and pressure by the Kremlin to deepen the integration of both states.
Growing tensions between Minsk and Moscow, as well as continued attempts to normalise relations with the West, are the main reasons we can call 2019 a ground-breaking year when it comes to the level of meetings that Belarusian officials held with western politicians. On surface they may seem like routine activities of a sovereign state, but in the case of Belarus each meeting sends a signal to the Kremlin.

January 28, 2020 - Maxim Rust

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