COMMENT: Belarusian establishment remains monolithic. or does it?

Tadeusz Giczan in London August 5, 2020

At his address to the nomenklatura, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said a remarkable phrase: “I’ll accept any of your decisions. But don’t you dare betray me! Betrayal won't be forgiven even in heaven."

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko warns of a “bath-house” in which “everybody” will suffer – as far away as Vladivostok

bne IntelliNews August 4, 2020

Incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus warned in his delayed State of the Union speech that "destabilising" the country would have serious ramifications, with the consequences being felt as far away as Russia's Vladivostok.

Belarusian authorities to hold concerts in Minsk park to prevent more opposition rallies

bne IntelliNews August 4, 2020

The authorities in Belarus have booked the Friendship Park in Minsk and say they will hold concerts there every day until August 8, the day before presidential elections, in a transparent move to prevent a second mass rally, the Minsk city government

“Favourite films” poll gives Svetlana Tikhanovskaya 61% support, Lukashenko 3%

bne IntelliNews August 4, 2020

With only a week to go before Belarus’ presidential election, polls are banned and exactly how popular each of the candidates is has remained a mystery. But one news outlet asked Belarusians to name their "favourite film" from six titles.

Former Belarus’ presidential hopeful Valery Tsepkalo exhorts 32 world leaders to act

bne IntelliNews August 3, 2020

Belarusian opposition leader Valery Tsepkalo called on world leaders to pressure Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko into allowing free and fair elections this coming weekend

Belarus economy increasing well managed, but remains vulnerable to external shocks

Ben Aris in Berlin August 3, 2020

Belarus is having a few bad years. GDP grew only by 1.2% in 2019 and will contract by about 5% this year, but its finances are increasingly well run

Lukashenko postones state of the nation speech as health fails

bne IntelliNews August 3, 2020

Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko cancelled his annual state of the nation speech that he was due to deliver on August 3 a week after he admitted to having the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Huge crowd turns out in Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s support rally-concert in Minsk

bne IntelliNews July 30, 2020

A rally-concert to support Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the only remaining candidate of the opposition in the Belarusian presidential race, attracted an enormous crowd of 63,000 people to the Friendship of Peoples park on the outskirts of Minsk.

Belarus’ Security taskforce links arrested Russian mercenaries to jailed opposition leader Sergei Tikhanovsky

bne IntelliNews July 30, 2020

Belarusian security services are linking the arrest of 33 Russian mercenaries to jailed opposition leader Sergei Tikhanovsky and have increased the severity of the charges against him as well as introducing more restrictions on opposition rallies.

Who are the 33 Russian mercenaries arrested in Minsk?

bne IntelliNews July 30, 2020

More details of the 33 Russian mercenaries arrested in Minsk emerged on July 30. Belarus has accused a Kremlin-linked military contractor of sending 200 fighters to destabilise the country ahead of August 9 presidential elections.

Lukashenko holds urgent meeting of Belarus Security Council following arrest of Russian mercenaries

bne IntelliNews July 30, 2020

Belarus' president called an urgent meeting of the Security Council following the arrest of 33 Russian mercenaries in Minsk that may be a ruse to cancel opposition rallies or even postpone the presidential election.

Lukashenko says he had coronavirus, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya gives second TV speech

bne IntelliNews July 28, 2020

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said that he had already had the coronavirus (COVID-19) but showed no symptoms during a televised meeting.

Lukashenko intimidating protestors with visits to military bases, mass strikes planned for post-elections

bne IntelliNews July 28, 2020

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has visited his third military base in the last few weeks in a move that is clearly intended to intimidate the growing number of protestors who are attempting to oust him in the August 9 elections.

Belarus presidential candidate barred from ballot leaves country with his children

bne IntelliNews July 24, 2020

Valery Tsepkalo and his children have left Belarus after "trusted sources" warned of his imminent arrest by Belarusian authorities. His wife Veronika has stayed to support Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main rival to incumbent President Lukashenko

Lukashenko accuses foreign media of inciting public unrest

bne IntelliNews July 23, 2020

Expel foreign media that call for "Maidans", says Belarus' authoritarian president as the August 9 presidential election approaches.

Risk analysis identifies Turkey, Iran and Russia among 37 nations likely to face mass ‘post-Covid’ protests

bne IntelIiNews July 22, 2020

“It’s a tinderbox” says analyst who determined projections of civil unrest and ability of countries to bounce back from pandemic.

Belarus opposition presidential candidate makes bold statements in first TV address

bne IntelliNews July 22, 2020

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya sharply criticised the current system and said she will announce a new, free and fair presidential vote if she is elected on August 9.

“Putin must be happy with events in Minsk” says Belarusian analyst

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius July 22, 2020

Pre-election clampdown on the opposition has worsened Minsk’s relations with the West, making President Lukashenko more amenable in future talks with Moscow — including on the unification of Russia and Belarus.

Thousands show up to support Belarus' leading opposition presidential contender

bne IntelliNews July 20, 2020

Between 5,000 and 10,000 gathered in Minsk to support opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, wife of arrested blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky. The other former opposition candidates have rallied behind her against incumbent Lukashenko.

Corona vote gambles pay off for incumbents

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 17, 2020

Timing is everything as politicians seek to take advantage of poll boosts from steering their countries through the pandemic and launching stimulus packages, before populations really feel the impact of the crippling economic recessions.