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Eastern Europe

Lukashenko tightens grip on power as regime prepares for new elections

Lukashenko tightens grip on power as regime prepares for new elections

by Maria Yeryoma

Around a month before Russia held its presidential elections that were neither free nor fair, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko held his own election-style event. The Central Election Commission of Belarus, controlled by the country’s dictator, claimed an unprecedented 73% turnout. Elections in Belarus, similar to those of neighboring Russia,

Belarus Weekly: Lukashenko torpedoes Putin's attempts to blame Moscow shooting on Ukraine

Belarus Weekly: Lukashenko torpedoes Putin's attempts to blame Moscow shooting on Ukraine

by Maria Yeryoma

Belarusians detained for commenting on the Moscow mass shooting, while Alexander Lukashenko torpedoes Putin's attempts to blame the attack on Ukraine. Belarusian authorities launch a massive raid targeting over 100 "People's Embassies" activists who seek to represent exiled Belarusians in their countries of refuge. Lukashenko inspects military drills held near

Belarus Weekly: EU seeks to criminalize sanctions circumvention, standardizing penalties across member states

Belarus Weekly: EU seeks to criminalize sanctions circumvention, standardizing penalties across member states

by Maria Yeryoma

Following sham elections, Belarus revives the All-Belarus People’s Assembly – crafted as a sanctuary for dictator Alexander Lukashenko and afforded extensive powers. EU Parliament seeks to criminalize sanctions violations and circumvention, standardizing penalties across member states. Lithuanian citizen dies in Belarusian prison: Lithuanian foreign ministry protests violation of consular rights,

Belarus Weekly: Warsaw calls for EU sanctions on Belarusian, Russian agricultural imports following Ukrainian investigation

Belarus Weekly: Warsaw calls for EU sanctions on Belarusian, Russian agricultural imports following Ukrainian investigation

by Maria Yeryoma

Warsaw calls for EU sanctions on Belarusian and Russian agricultural imports following Ukrainian investigation revealing multimillion-dollar trade between Poland and authoritarian neighbors. Belarus hits rock bottom in the annual Freedom in the World report, ranking it as the least free country in Europe and the 14th least free state in

What danger does Transnistria pose to Ukraine, Moldova?

What danger does Transnistria pose to Ukraine, Moldova?

by Paula Erizanu

When there was no mention of Transnistria — Moldova's Russia-led breakaway region — in Vladimir Putin's speech on Feb. 29, Moldovans sighed with relief. A day prior, the leaders of the unrecognized breakaway entity, sandwiched between Ukraine and Moldova, had asked Russia for "protection" — a plea that some saw as an invitation

Russia’s descent into totalitarianism: How it happened

Russia’s descent into totalitarianism: How it happened

by Katie Marie Davies

It is difficult to pin down the exact moment that Russia began morphing into a totalitarian state. For over a decade, the Kremlin was taking away civil liberties and feeding the population a revamped and increasingly more aggressive version of nationalism. For nearly a decade, most Russians didn't seem to

Belarus Weekly: Tsikhanouskaya urges democracies to 'show their teeth' after Navalny's death

Belarus Weekly: Tsikhanouskaya urges democracies to 'show their teeth' after Navalny's death

by Maria Yeryoma

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urged democracies to “show their teeth” after the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a Russian prison. The same week, a fifth Belarusian political prisoner died in custody. Meanwhile, early balloting for parliamentary elections in Belarus starts, with Lukashenko's law enforcers preparing to

Belarus Weekly: Russia's wanted lists include over 3,000 Belarusians

Belarus Weekly: Russia's wanted lists include over 3,000 Belarusians

by Maria Yeryoma

European Parliament condemns the human rights violations of Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, urges non-recognition of upcoming elections amid mass arrests and repression in Belarus. Lukashenko authorities sell seized property of political opponents through in absentia legal proceedings. The Russian Interior Ministry's wanted lists include over 3,000 Belarusians, including opposition

Belarus Weekly: Belarus, Russia to unify lists of 'extremists,' coordinating repression

Belarus Weekly: Belarus, Russia to unify lists of 'extremists,' coordinating repression

by Maria Yeryoma

Lukashenko signs decree exempting military from accountability for using firearms against civilians. Ukraine's former ambassador to Belarus becomes ambassador-at-large to exiled Belarusian Democratic Movement in major shift in Kyiv’s official position on Belarus. Belarus and Russia plan to unify their lists of “extremist” individuals and organizations, allowing more joint

Short-lived rise of Boris Nadezhdin, Putin's 'anti-war' opponent

Short-lived rise of Boris Nadezhdin, Putin's 'anti-war' opponent

by Oleg Sukhov

Russian elections are usually predictable and dull affairs. The outcome is known beforehand since the Kremlin handpicks all the candidates, has total control over the media and also rigs the votes. Despite this, there has been an unexpected flurry of activity in the run-up to the March 15-17 presidential election

Russian banks post record profits. Is war helping them?

Russian banks post record profits. Is war helping them?

by Katie Marie Davies

2022 heralded a new era for Russia’s banks. Increasingly isolated from the global economy and laden with heavy Western sanctions, the sector saw profits fall by 90 percent compared to 2021. For Russia’s technocrats, the future seemed dim. Then came 2023. Russia’s Central Bank announced last week

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1:57 PM

Norwegian foreign minister visits Odesa.

Barth Eide visited Odesa's port and said that he was "deeply impressed by the way Ukraine has been able to regain control and to ensure exports of grain to the world, despite constant Russian aggression."
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12:42 AM

Russia attacks 13 communities in Sumy Oblast, injuring 1.

Russian forces struck 13 communities in Ukraine's northeastern Sumy Oblast in 35 separate attacks throughout the day, the regional administration reported on April 16. One civilian was injured in the Yampil community following Russia's airstrike.
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