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Tag: Alyaksandr Lukashenka

Do not forget Belarus’s involvement in Russia’s war in Ukraine

After almost half a year into Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine it remains crucial to keep Belarus accountable for its participation.

August 12, 2022 - Mark Temnycky

A referendum in the shadow of war

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shifted international attention away from yet another referendum in Belarus. Like all the previous ones, these reforms significantly change the Belarusian political landscape, while giving Alyaksandr Lukashenka even more influence and power.

A long-debated constitutional referendum was held in Belarus on February 27th. It had only one question: do you accept the new constitutional amendments? An alternative version of the constitution was put forward by the country’s democratic forces outside of Belarus called “The People's Constitution”. However, this was not even considered by the state working group. Despite an official invitation to all citizens to participate in public debate and suggest proposals, it became obvious that only those changes proposed in line with the regime's vision would be considered and adopted by Minsk.

July 14, 2022 - Hanna Vasilevich

Bulba in a pickle: Belarus and the war in Ukraine

Stuck in the middle of a war, Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka has tried to save himself by using his old tricks. He officially supports the Russian invasion and claims that Moscow was provoked by NATO. At the same time, he is trying to demonstrate that he still has some sovereignty at his disposal.

Bulba, potato in Belarusian, is an important vegetable in Belarus. The country is well known for its production and various dishes (including draniki, potato pancakes) that go well with Bulbash vodka. Belarusians are known as bulbashy in the Russian-speaking world. Although, for a long time, it was a name that was considered offensive, in recent years it has been adopted by the younger generation who wear it with ironic pride. Today, one of the most famous bulbash, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, is facing probably the most challenging situation in his long political career. The

April 25, 2022 - Kacper Wańczyk

“I am all yours”. What the new union of Lukashenka and Putin means and how it might affect Ukraine

In early November 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin called his Belarusian counterpart Alyaksandr Lukashenka from temporarily occupied Sevastopol. The leaders of the two countries signed a "road map" that in reality will become a "springboard" for the absorption of Belarus by Russia.

December 8, 2021 - Alina Turyshyn

Belarusian: An extremist language?

In 2008 the Belarusian ministry of information launched a list of extremist materials that are officially banned in the country. Symbolically, the item which opens this list is a CD-ROM disc ostensibly with the recording of a lesson of the Belarusian language. No more details are provided, though some say this entry refers to the 2006 documentary film on the rigged 2006 presidential election. One way or another, what irks the Belarusian government most is the Belarusian language.

October 11, 2021 - Tomasz Kamusella

The Titanic is sinking. Is this the end of the Putin-Lukashenka tandem?

The relationship between the two longest-serving European presidents has always been riddled with not-so-inconspicuous power-wrestling, wrapped in a narrative of brotherhood and sprinkled with cosy photo-ops. Up until recently, both leaders enjoyed relative stability on their own political turf, allowing them to manage their bilateral relations from positions of strength.

September 22, 2021 - Agnieszka Widłaszewska

Constitutional reform process in Belarus: recent trends and developments

Constitutional reform is a hot topic in and outside of Belarus. Two approaches are currently underway: one led by Alyaksandr Lukashenka and another by the opposition, led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouksaya.

The need for change to the Belarusian constitution was announced long before the events of 2020, and both Alyaksandr Lukashenka and the opposition have initiated a process after the election. The opposition has emphasised the need for changes to the constitution by the political crisis while Lukashenka’s initial interest in constitutional reform was two-fold: to calm the protests and to assure Russia that he can maintain control over the situation. Based on an official proposal recently announced, the changes proposed by Lukashenka’s constitutional commission do not encompass substantive change to the existing non-democratic model, making it even more bureaucratic and slow.

September 12, 2021 - Hanna Vasilevich

Can the ICC hold Lukashenka accountable?

In an effort to tame Alyaksandr Lukashenka, several NGO’s are calling on the International Criminal Court to initiate an investigation into the misdeeds of his regime. A goat trail seems to be the only option.

August 19, 2021 - Gijs Willem Freriks

Ryanair flight hijacking: part of a bigger strategy?

The recent emboldened moves made by Lukashenka seem to be pushing Belarus even closer into Russia's embrace. Faced with behaviours difficult to explain one must ask - who gains?

June 9, 2021 - German Carboni

Lukashenka’s campaign against Nazism: one must imagine Sisyphus happy

On May 14th, Alyaksandr Lukashenka approved a new law on preventing the rehabilitation of Nazism. It quickly became a part of the regime's strategy to suppress Belarusian civil society following the 2020 presidential election. The authorities also launched a criminal investigation into the genocide of Belarus’s population during WWII.

May 24, 2021 - Kiryl Kascian

The father that doesn’t want to leave: Between authoritarian violence and social anger in Belarus

Lukashenka is no longer a "batka", the father of all Belarusians. His supporters used this nickname because of their affirmation and his opponents – because of patriarchal nature for his rule. He himself accepted the name without a shred of modesty and at times spoke about his role in the third person. However, after 26 years, the children have rebelled and disowned their authoritarian father. By lying and using brutal violence, the long-term leader of the Belarusian state has irrevocably lost his legitimacy among the people. However, this only encourages him to stay in power – by any means necessary.

May 10, 2021 - Tadeusz Iwański

What happens to Belarus after Lukashenka falls?

The current Belarusian transformation looks as if it could be having results similar to those of the 2018 Velvet Revolution in Armenia rather than of the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Yet, the pathological relationship of Moscow’s imperialism towards Russia’s Eastern Slavic “brotherly nations” can mean that Belarus’s future may, in the end, become more similar to Ukraine’s rather than Armenia’s present.

Ukraine and Belarus are two of the culturally and geographically closest nations of Europe. Their Eastern Slavic languages, major Christian-Orthodox churches and peculiar locations between Russia, on the one side, and the European Union (as well as NATO), on the other, are comparable and intertwined. Both are, on one level, very close to the also largely Orthodox and Eastern Slavic Russians.

November 16, 2020 - Andreas Umland

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