Russian Language on the Decline Thanks to English, Says Official

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 29, 2017) The number of Russian speakers has decreased by about 50 million since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the chairman of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency on Monday. Vyacheslav Nikonov called for an expansion of the Eurasian Union […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Belarus Can’t Afford to Be the New Ukraine; Is it too late for Lukashenko to defy Russia?” – The National Interest/Nikolay Pakhomov

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

“On February 3 Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko launched the fiercest of his rhetorical attacks against Russia  …. moderate estimates show that Belarus has received approximately $100 billion of various Russian investments, preferences and support. … Politically, the Union State of Russia and Belarus that was formed in December 1999 never fully materialized. Furthermore, despite the geopolitical showdown between Russia and […]

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Whose side is Belarus on anyway? Belarusians generally feel closer to Russia than Ukraine, but refuse to get involved in the conflict between them. It is, they insist, “not our war”.

(opendemocracy.net – Yury Drakakhrust – May 12, 2016) Yury Drakakhrust is a Belarusian journalist. He is the author of a number of Russian-language publications on Belarusian and Russian politics, most notably (co-written with Dmitry Furman) Russia and Belarus: States and Societies. The validity of opinion polls in countries with authoritarian regimes is often questioned: how strong is the fear factor […]

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EU said close to lifting sanctions on Belarus as Lukashenko’s landslide win satisfies

Belarus Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – October 13, 2015) The EU is close to lifting sanctions on Belarus after its authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, won a fifth term in polls on October 11 with 83% of the vote, making some concessions to the political opposition in the process. While there hasn’t yet been any formal announcement of […]

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Lukashenko Victory Set to Stoke EU Rapprochement, Moscow Unease

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 12, 2015) Autocratic Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko looked set to win a fifth term as president Sunday in a largely uncontested and protest-free election that is likely to pave the way for a thaw in relations with European countries and a possible confrontation with neighboring Russia, traditionally a staunch ally. Exit […]

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U.S. Envoy Tells Russia’s Neighbors: Having Putin As Your Only Friend Not A Good Idea

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Pete Baumgartner – PRAGUE, September 15, 2015) The U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says there is a very important lesson for former Soviet republics to have learned from the devastating conflict in eastern Ukraine: Don’t be too reliant on Russia. “Having [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin as your only friend […]

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Belarus Leader Urges U.S. Involvement in Ukraine Peace Process

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Aliaksandr Kudrytski, Ryan Chilcote – March 31, 2015) Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko urged the U.S. to play a bigger role in the Ukrainian peace process and said a lasting solution will be impossible without its help. “The most worrying thing is that the U.S. hasn’t been openly involved in this process,” Lukashenko said in the new […]

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Even Lukashenka is Worried about What Putin May Do

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 22, 2014) It is a measure of just how worried the leaders of countries bordering Russia are about the possibility that Vladimir Putin will build on his Crimean Anschluss by moving against their states that even Alyaksandr Lukashenka feels the need to deny that Mensk is oppressing ethnic Russians and to […]

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Lukashenka as Machiavelli

Belarus Map

(opendemocracy.net/PONARS – Arkady Moshes – January 9, 2014) Arkady Moshes is Director of The EU Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia Programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs For those who assume that the Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenka long ago lost his freedom of action vis-a-vis Moscow, his recent bout of assertive behaviour was unexpected. It delivered the desired result, though. […]

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