Lukashenko warns of war, closes the Western borders… not

Ben Aris in Berlin September 18, 2020

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko called on the people of Poland and Lithuania to “stop your crazy politicians”, who he warned are spoiling for war, and announced that he was closing the borders with Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Human Rights Watch documents police beatings, torture of protesters

Ben Aris in Berlin September 16, 2020

Human rights watchdog Human Rights Watch has released a report detailing the brutal police beatings and torture by Belarusian security forces during the crackdown on demonstrations after the blatantly falsified presidential elections.

Lukashenko, Putin meet in Sochi, Russia grants $1.5bn bailout loan... and more?

Ben Aris in Berlin September 14, 2020

Embattled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko flew to Sochi in Russia and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to broker a rescue deal on September 14.

What Belarus’ neighbours think about the revolution

bne IntelliNews September 14, 2020

With Belarus in uproar a new front in the geopolitical showdown between east and west has been opened. But really it's the people who live next door to Belarus – Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania – that matter the most

Estimated quarter of million Belarusians turn out for March of the Heroes

Ben Aris in Berlin September 14, 2020

Protests against Belarus’ self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko continue to gather momentum. Protesters work to unmask and shame violent security officers online. Latest gathering blow to country’s dictator ahead of meeting with Putin.

The Belarusian Banshees

Ben Aris in Berlin September 13, 2020

“You shall not pass!” chanted the shrieking women as the OMON riot police tried to push at least 20 women out of the way of a van full of detainees.

Kolesnikova charged with organising coup d'état, accuses Belarus government of kidnapping

Ben Aris in Berlin September 10, 2020

Opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova has accused the Lukashenko regime of kidnapping her after she was jailed on charges of organising a coup d'état on September 9.

Missing opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova found in a Minsk jail

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2020

Missing opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova has been found in the Minsk remand prison, according to her father Alexander. On the same day President Alexander Lukashenko gave a two-hour interview to Russian journalists.

More details of Belarus’ failed attempt to expel opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova emerge

Ben Aris in Berlin September 9, 2020

More details of the dramatic events on the Belarus-Ukraine border and the attempted expulsion of Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova emerged on September 8, as her two colleagues that escaped to Ukraine gave a press conference in Kyiv.

Belarus’ battle of the journalists

Ben Aris in Berlin September 8, 2020

The war between the population of Belarus and entrenched President Alexander Lukashenko took a new turn on September 8 as the journalists' big guns were brought up to the front in the disinformation war that is gathering momentum.

Belarus top supermarket Eurotorg brushes off the coronacrisis with revenues down only 2% in dollar terms in 1H20

Ben Aris in Berlin September 8, 2020

Belarus’ largest food retailer Eurotorg brushed off the coronacrisis and put in a decent set of results for the first half of this year that showed only a small decline in revenues in dollar terms, but an increase in local currency terms.

#BREAKING Belarus authorities try to forcibly expel Kolesnikova, who rips up passport and is detained at Ukraine border

Ben Aris in Berlin September 8, 2020

“This is terror at the state level. Stalin's KGB methods in action. National Coordination Council leaders are being abducted by masked men. By night, then they end up either in prison or in neighbouring countries," tweets local journalist.

Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova listed as "missing person"

Ben Aris in Berlin September 8, 2020

Opposition leaders Maria Kolesnikova, Anton Radniankou and Ivan Kravcov all went missing on September 7, assumed snatched by security services. Police say they have mounted a hunt for Kolesnikova.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Belarus – out of the frying pan and into the “Rublezone”

Gunter Deuber Head of Research at Raiffeisen Bank International and Marcus How Head of Research & Analysis at ViennEast Consulting in Vienna September 8, 2020

Belarus’ faked presidential election shows how quickly a domestic problem can become international and geopolitical. Moscow looks set to force Minsk into a “Rublezone” deal that will tie their economies much closer together.

Kazakhstan headhunts Belarusian IT developers, in vain so far

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet September 7, 2020

Astana Hub hoping political unrest could tempt some specialists into coming their way.

Belarus is bleeding money as reserves fall $1.4bn in a month

bne IntelliNews September 7, 2020

Belarus’ hard currency reserves fell by $1.4bn to $7.46bn as of September 1, down some 16% from $8.8bn (including gold) just before the current protests began in early August, according to National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB).

#UPDATED Maria Kolesnikova and two colleagues go missing

Ben Aris in Belrin September 7, 2020

Reports on social media describe her as abducted and bundled into a van in central Minsk on the morning of September 7, apparently picked up by police.

Lukashenko unleashes the Titushki as the people unmask the OMON

Ben Aris in Berlin September 7, 2020

At least 100,000 Belarusians took to the streets of Minsk again on Sunday, September 6 for the weekly mass demonstration against Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko under the slogan “all for one and one for all"

A general strike in Belarus could bring the Lukashenko regime down, but so far it has failed to reach critical mass

Ben Aris in Berlin September 4, 2020

A general strike by Belarus blue collar workers could bring the Lukashenko regime down, but it has failed to reach critical mass, leading to an uncomfortable standoff

Lukashenko’s crackdown leads to exodus of IT professionals

Ben Aris in Berlin September 4, 2020

The restart of Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko's brutal crackdown on protesters has led to a growing exodus of IT professionals that will destroy one of the country’s most successful sectors.