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Tag: belarus

Bringing Belarus back into line?

On April 3rd Russia and Belarus provisionally announced the resolution of their latest long-running energy dispute, signalling a reconciliation between neighbours who had fallen out over a range of issues during the past three years.  Key details remain to be worked out, but the settlement ostensibly reached on Monday more or less freezes the status quo in the bilateral relationship by pledging continued subsidies for Belarus.  This is an outcome Belarus longed for and Russia longed to change.

April 12, 2017 - Paul Hansbury

Belarus’ measured repressions

Over the past month and a half, thousands of Belarusians took to the streets protesting against dire economic conditions and demanding resignation of the country’s long-term ruler, Alexander Lukashenka. The Belarusian authorities have employed a set of measures to crack down on protests without jeopardising relations with the EU.

April 3, 2017 - Andrei Yeliseyeu

Belarus: In thawing EU ties, a trap in disguise

In what is regarded as an unexpected move, Belarusian authorities recently arrested three pro-Russian contributors to a Kremlin-friendly news outlet arguing against Belarusian independence from Russia. The arrests come at a time when relations between Belarus and Russia have increasingly deteriorated, while those with the European Union seem to have slightly warmed, despite ongoing concerns about the human rights situation in the country. However, Europe would be well advised to approach Belarus only cautiously.

December 22, 2016 - Andrew Witthoeft

Orthodox radicalism in Eastern Ukraine: Lessons for Belarus

During the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Cossacks became a tool of the “Russian World” propaganda and formed radical Orthodox groups. Now, the revitalisation of the Cossacks and the Russian National Unity movement, the creation of the Orthodox military-patriotic clubs and the opening of Rossotrudnichestvo (The Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation) branches in Belarus may suggest that the country is doomed to repeat the Ukrainian scenario.

December 12, 2016 - Heorhii Bushuiev and Ekaterina Maslakova

Poland and Belarus: Normalisation 2.0?

An interview with Dzianis Melyantsou, senior analyst at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies. Interviewer: Maciej Makulski

December 6, 2016 - Maciej Makulski

Belarus: Why do dictators need women?

Belarus, often called “the last dictatorship of Europe,” is a truly remarkable country in political terms. There are few other places where elections are rigged in such an open way and where, for over 12 years, opposition politicians have not set foot in the parliament. However, the latest parliamentary election in Belarus has brought some surprising results. Two opposition politicians were elected, among the other 108, to the Belarusian House of Representatives. Even more surprising is the gender of the selected politicians, as they are both women.

October 18, 2016 - Ales Herasimenka

Belarus: Unreal elections and their very real effects

Elections in Belarus do not typically leave much room for surprise. In the fully-fledged autocracy that the country has become since the 1994 ascent to power of Alexander Lukashenka, no ballot has been left to chance. Instead, votes have followed an ever-more refined script that is aimed exclusively at affirming the rule of the country’s strongman and the vertical of power, on which his reign rests. This electoral parody, naturally, has been regularly decried as neither free nor fair by domestic and international monitors. And it has only been consequent that Western leaders and institutions have long denied the “elected” Belarusian leadership the recognition that comes with a democratic mandate.

September 28, 2016 - Joerg Forbrig

The North Korean Embassy in Belarus. Diplomatic symbolism, economic horizons

Belarusian state media recently reported that the head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry's Asia-Pacific Department, Andreya Grinkevicha, discussed opening a North Korean embassy in Minsk with an official from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea's foreign ministry. The North Korean official named as Oh Seung-ho was in Belarus on a working visit. The opening of an embassy was mentioned as part of a boarder plan for increased Belarus-North Korea cooperation.

September 27, 2016 - Anthony Rinna

How democracy could become a threat

This piece originally appeared in issue 3-4 of New Eastern Europe . Subscribe now.

September 12, 2016 - Andrzej Poczobut

Existence without life

This piece originally appeared in the current issue of New Eastern Europe. Subscribe now.

On December 8th 1986 at 23:50, in the hospital of a watch factory in the town of Chistopol, Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Anatoly Marchenko, a Soviet prisoner of conscience, died at the age of 48. He was transferred to this hospital from prison after his health deteriorated dramatically as a result of a hunger strike that he declared in August of the same year and continued for several months. He wrote in his letter, which was published 12 years after his death: “Since August 4th I have been on a hunger strike, demanding a stop to the torture of political prisoners in the Soviet Union and their release.” He was buried unnamed under number 646.

September 8, 2016 - Andrei Sannikov

Invisible People of Belarus

Belarus, located in the far-flung reaches of Eastern Europe is the last dictatorship on the continent. When you walk the streets, you have a feeling that you are on a movie set. Everything is extremely clean and organised, the grass is always clean-cut, and the architecture glitzy and reflecting perfectionism. It does make you wonder exactly what may be hiding behind this facade. 

June 17, 2016 - Jadwiga Brontē

Belarus. The two hidden mechanisms of media censorship

The Freedom of the Press ranking recently published by Freedom House has found Belarus’ media environment to be Europe’s most restrictive. The ranking placed Belarus as 192nd out of 199 countries and territories within the “worst of the worst” category. These results suggest that media freedom in Belarus has neither been influenced by the country’s recent improvements in its relations with the West nor by the rapid spread of digital technologies. Some of the business community’s representatives have been unsatisfied with the ranking’s results, which call for a deeper reflection on the hidden mechanisms of control that afflict Belarusian media.

May 18, 2016 - Ales Herasimenka

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