• Will the death of a chief diplomat change anything in Belarus?

    Even before the Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei’s sudden death, it was hard to see how Minsk could ever return to its multi-vector foreign policy as long as Lukashenko remains in power.
    by Artyom Shraibman
  • Russia increases military presence in Belarus

    In October Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and president Vladimir Putin announced to deploy a new regional group of joint Russian and Belorussian forces in Belarus. What is behind this move? In a piece for Carnegie Politika the in Minsk based political analyst Artyom Shraibman argues that it's part of the ongoing erosion of the sovereignty of Belarus.
    by Artyom Shraibman
  • Can Lukashenko build an economy on bayonets?

    Lukashenko is able to repress the opposition, but can he manage the economy of Belarus as well as he manages the crack-down of society?
    by Mark Galeotti
  • Belarus and Russia: an ever closer union?

    Belarusian President Lukashenko has had a complicated love-hate relationship with the Kremlin. While Belarus has generally aligned its foreign policy outlook with the Russian Federation, at various moments Lukashenko tried to keep his geopolitical options open. In a special report Institute Clingendael identifies six scenarios for the future of Belarus and further elaborates the consequences of four of them.
    by Bob Deen, Barbara Roggeveen en Wouter Zweers
  • Lukashenko in survival mode: an international problem

    After de meeting of the presidents Putin and Lukashenko, the 28th of May in Soch, it remains crystal clear: Russia is the only country that can truly influence the behavior of the Belarusian regime. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before Western pressure is transferred from Minsk to Moscow.
    by Artyom Shraibman
  • Film shows Lukashenko's luxurious life: cars, castles, planes and watches

    The Polish-based Belarusian opposition news outlet Nexta on March 8 has published an investigative film about Alexander Lukashenko's luxurious life, reminiscent of Alexei Navalny's YouTube film Putin's Castle. Within a week the film (Lukashenko, Goldmine) was watched by 5,5 million viewers. Lukashenko dismissed it as rubbish and cheap photoshopping. 'I didnot steal anything from my state.' 
  • In the wake of possible new protests Belarusian courts harshly punish

    The Belarusian opposition wants to restart mass protests late March, but will people go back to the streets? Last month saw a heavy crackdown with outrageous verdicts for demonstrators and journalists in courts. The number of political prisoners since last summer has risen to 270, and only in February 102 people were convicted of 'political crimes' under the Lukashenko regime.
    by Adam Tarasewicz
  • Viktor Babariko from jail: The only easy path is the path to slavery

    Viktor Babariko, ex-candidate for president of Belarus and former top manager of Belgazprombank, has been behind bars for almost 8 months. On the eve of his trial, that started on 17 February, Deutsche Welle was able to obtain written answers from prison to questions on the future of Belarus, his presidential ambitions and his meeting with Lukashenko in the KGB jail.
    by Bogdana Alexandrovskaya
  • Lukashenko postpones constitutional reforms, Kremlin puzzled

    On February 11 and 12 Alexander Lukashenko gathered his loyal Belarusian People's Congress to discuss constitutional reforms. The Kremlin didn't find an alternative leader and Russia loses popularity in Belarus.
    by Artyom Shraibman
  • Russia follows traditional imperial and Soviet patterns

    Russian analysts see a changing attitude in the Kremlin’s reactions to crises in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kyrgyzstan. In their view the Kremlin is becoming more pragmatic. German Russia expert Hannes Adomeit disagrees and argues that Russia just follows traditional imperial Russian (and Soviet) patterns of behaviour.
    by Hannes Adomeit
  • Belarusian KGB’s murderous intention revealed

    After the disclosure of the assassination plot against Navalny by the FSB, new leaks this time point to the Belarusian KGB, planning the murder of political opponents of Lukashenko. It sheds new light on the killing of the Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet, who died in a car bomb in Kyiv in 2016. Our columnist Mark Galeotti on the Belarusian KGB's lack of tradecraft and the complicated relationship between the secret services of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
    by Mark Galeotti
  • Security forces are Lukashenko’s strong right arm – and Achilles’ heel

    So far the Belorusian security forces have been the loyal and brutal guarantee for the survival of president Lukashenko. The opposition is trying to undermine this loyalty by offering police officers who resign moral and financial support. With some succes. But many of them realise that they already have gone too far and have to continue.
    by Mark Galeotti
  • Ultimatum by Belarusian opposition can backfire

    The perseverance of the Belarusian demonstrators has been amazing - for more than 2 months now every week a hundred thousand or more marched in Minsk - but there are signs that the energy is diminishing. Partly this is due to weather conditions, partly to growing threats of the use of violence by the authorities. In this respect the ultimatum of Lukashenka's presidential opponent Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is a risky step.
    by Kamil Kłysiński
  • Lukashenko is becoming a toxic asset for the Kremlin

    Lukashenko's weakened position after the presidential elections of August 9 seemed an opportunity for Russia. At last Putin could force him to accept total integration in the Union State he has been dreaming of. But now the Belarusian president seems unable to crush the protests and the West has turned him down Belarus is becoming a problem for the Kremlin as well. It can lose the sympathy of the last Slavic brothers left after the Ukraine crisis.
    by Artyom Shraibman
  • Putin rules the waves in Russia's sphere of influence

    Putin's first public reaction to the crisis in Belarus ultimately proves that countries in Russia's so called 'sphere of influence' are not allowed to have an internal political agenda of their own. If protests in Belarus lead to more independence from Russia and inclination to the West they will be stopped.
    by Alexander Baunov
  • The West and Belarus: a case for Hippocratic diplomacy

    Belarusians must chart their own future. The West can encourage them but it's too presumptuous and too counter-productive to tell them how to act. In the meantime, sanctions are ineffective and might actually make Belarus more dependent on Russia, argues Mark Galeotti. The West should provide practical aid and comfort. And Lukashenko should no longer be referred to as the president of Belarus. It’s a symbolic measure, but symbolism matters in politics.
    by Mark Galeotti
  • Lukashenka's rule is entering its last phase

    Vote rigging in Belarus is nothing new. The pattern is always the same. This time, however, the electorate doesn't accept the falsified outcome. Matthew Frear, expert on Belarus, explains what has changed in the domestic political landscape. The damaged Lukashenka clings to power, but will be forced out, now or somewhat later. His rule is entering its last phase.
    by Matthew Frear
  • Can Russia-West Divide Save Lukashenko?

    Both Russia and the West may be sick and tired of the mercurial Belarusian autocrat, but up till now they still saw him as the lesser evil, writes Maxim Samorukov of Carnegie Moscow. Outdated regimes can prove extremely resilient if favored by broader geopolitics.
    by Maxim Samorukov
  • Lukashenka will be re-elected, but at what price?

    The social economic circumstances for the presidential elections in Belarus are extremely unfavourable for the authorities. Recession, decline in living standards and no reforms in sight, have caused popular protests and a wish for change. The risk of the regime falling, however, is still pretty low. Re-elected, a weakened president Lukashenka, may be forced to resort to increased Russian subsidies and thus severely limit the sovereignty of his country
    by Kamil Kłysiński
  • Elections in Belarus: even in the regions Lukashenko highly impopular

    After unseen police violence, anger in Belarus reached even some of the smallest towns across the country. In the weeks before the

  • The president without a plan: corona in Belarus

    Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko has not taken strong measures to counter the coronavirus in his country yet. He still claims that nobody is going to die from the virus, even though it is likely that some already have. What is going on in Belarus? 
    by  Andrey Shingaryov
  • Russia pushes, but doesn't dare to force Belarus into a union state

    While Moscow pushes Belarus into further integration with Russia, talks between Putin and Lukashenko on December 7th failed to bring substantial progress. Minsk is playing hard to get and is not willing to obtain economic gains at all costs, but it's unlikely that Moscow’s embrace will shift from fraternal to fratricidal, argues Matthew Frear.
    by Matthew Frear
  • Tensions between Kremlin and Minsk rise after 'Integration Ultimatum'

    Four sacks of potatoes and a piece of lard were the Christmas gifts president Lukashenko brought for his meeting with Putin on December 29. But tensions about sovereignty of Belarus have risen again. It's an old power play between Minsk and Moscow. Arseny Sivitsky analyses the concerns from the point of view of Belarus.
  • Torn between the EU and Russia, Belarus is rife with conspiracy theories

    Last Monday, April 3, Lukashenko and Putin met in Saint Petersburg to overcome their controversies. After the meeting they announced