Publications

Communist and Soviet Historical and Cultural Heritage of Eastern Europe in the 21st Century

Joint publication of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Belarus and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies.

Places of Memory: a European Perspective on Overcoming Past Trauma

Joint publication of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Belarus and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies.

KAS Belarus

AT THE ORIGINS OF BELARUSIAN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Collection of the works of political scientists who stood at the origins of modern Belarusian political science and who were associated with the EHU in different periods of its existence.

Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko

In the Shadow of War: Lukashenka reaches for lifelong power

The Belarusian national anthem begins with the line “Belarusians are peaceful people”. For many years it had been a core promise of Minsk’s foreign policy positioning to rule out the possibility of an aggression towards any neighbors. This sentence is now even supposed to become part of the national constitution, despite Russian tanks rolling and missiles flying into Ukraine from Belarusian territory every day. After this Sunday’s referendum, which took place under circumstances which democratic forces call a “de facto military occupation by Russia”, the regime declared that a majority of Belarusians voted in favor of constitutional amendments – although pre-referendum projections suggest that the figures presented are strongly inflated (presumably more than doubled) and the necessary quorum was almost certainly not met in reality. When the amendments will come in place on March 9th, the state setup of Belarus and the country’s formal geopolitical positioning will be changed substantially – at least on paper. For Aliaksandr Lukashenka, the goal is to secure a path to unlimited rule and personal immunity and minimise the "danger" of the “opposition” ever taking over. Although in reality, many question how much control he still has left, apart from repressions. In the foreign policy realm, the country is abandoning neutrality and its non-nuclear status. Hence, the majority of people doesn’t expect any improvements in the country from the constitutional amendments. Many ask: why a new constitution if the current one isn’t being applied anyway? The democratic forces had called for an active boycott of the “illegitimate” referendum beforehand. Faced with their country being dragged into a highly unpopular war against a peaceful neighbour, thousands of Belarusians seized the opportunity to protest – for the first time in over a year.

HOW SANCTIONS INFLUENCE THE BELARUSIAN REGIONS

A BLOW TO EMPLOYMENT AND BUDGETS, INCREASED SOCIAL POLARIZATION

The Belarusian regions have been in decline for many years. While the authorities have been trying in vain to find a way to stimulate economic growth in the regions, ordinary Belarusians are becoming more and more dissatisfied with their life in Belarus. The political crisis only exacerbated the problems connected with the economy, demography, migration and the overall quality of life. However, after the summer of 2021, pressure from Western countries has added even more strain to existing internal challenges. Sectoral sanctions imposed after the Ryanair incident have affected dozens of enterprises in various fields. In this paper, it is explored how these sanctions will influence regional development, how local residents perceive them, and which cities and regions are most vulnerable to them. The research was conducted by the Centre for New Ideas and supported by KAS Belarus.

What concerns Belarusians?

The study of issues and fears in Belarusian regions

Almost a year since its beginning, the political crisis in Belarus is escalating problems that people in this country had been facing before it started. The Belarusian society is in depression. The challenges it is experiencing look unsurmountable and intertwined in a snarl knot. In an attempt to unravel it, this paper focuses on main issues that concern the Belarusian people and major differences between e.g. Minsk and the regions, as well as groups of population.

jo.sau / flickr / CC BY 2.0

Reactions to the Belarusian provocations

Lithuania at the center of Belarusian provocations and illegal migration

One week after the preliminary apogee of the Belarusian provocations against Lithuania and the EU with a high number of illegal migrants at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border and verbal threats of possible terrorist attacks in Lithuania, the arrival of illegal migrants to Lithuania has initially stopped. However, this situation has led to consequences for the neighboring states of Latvia and Poland. Lukashenka continues to try to destabilize the situation. He wants to prevent illegal migrants from returning to Belarus. In a special session on August 10, the Lithuanian parliament made far-reaching decisions to deal with the crisis. It was decided to build a physical barrier and expand military powers. Not only the EU, but also NATO are now asked to provide support in the crisis.

Okras / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Illegal migration as a political weapon

About the situation on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border

The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly threatened the EU to allow refugees from war zones to enter the EU in response to the sanctions imposed on his country. The main target is Lithuania, which has an almost 680 kilometer long and mostly unprotected border with Belarus. The increase in illegal migrant flows from Iraq and African countries is actively promoted by the Belarusian regime. According to Ylva Johansson, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, this is not just a migration crisis, but an act of aggression aimed at destabilization.

Klimapolitik, China, Demokratie, Menschenrechte: Weltweite Erwartungen an die Biden-Regierung

Alles auf Anfang oder alles ganz neu?

Hohe Erwartungen richten sich an die neue US-Administration unter Präsident Joe Biden, v. a. bei den Themen Klimapolitik, Multilateralismus, Demokratie und Menschenrechte. Was wird weltweit von der neuen Regierung der USA erwartet? Die Auslandsmitarbeiterinnen und Auslandsmitarbeiter der Konrad-AdenauerStiftung haben sich in ausgewählten Ländern in Europa, Nordamerika, Afrika, Asien, Lateinamerika und im Nahen Osten die wichtigen Trends genauer angesehen.

churnosoff / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0/ creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Belarus under a Deep Snow Cover

The wheels are in motion, but there is no sight of a solution to the political crisis.  A snapshot of the situation

While the stem of the thermometer would rarely drop below zero in Belarus in the winter of 2019/20, the second frost wave with stable double-digit negative temperatures is about to hit Belarus at the beginning of February. The country has been under a thick blanket of snow for weeks, and it also seems to many that the “Belarusian summer” is followed by a long winter, reflecting the political situation. But there is much more to this. Belarus has largely disappeared from the German media at the moment, so this report provides an overview of the overall situation and selects focus areas.