On August 19, it became known about a profound loss to the scientific community: Dr. Sergey Alexandrovich Shavel, a renowned figure in Belarusian sociology, has passed away. His scholarly contributions span more than 180 works, including 8 monographs. Sergey Alexandrovich led the Department of Social Theory and Methodology at the Institute of Sociology, delving into research on the social structure of society, challenges in stimulating creative and innovative activity, and the sociology of consumption. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.


The “Belarusian Academy” educational initiative, in collaboration with the “Personnel Reserve for New Belarus” company, is announcing admissions for the 2023/2024 academic year in the specialty of “Management in State Bodies, Local Governance, and Business.” The training is hosted at the Graduate School of Managers in Konin (Wyższa Szkoła Kadr Menedżerskich w Koninie, Wydział Zamiejscowy). Electronic document submissions are accepted until September 15, 2023. For details on the training program and application process, please read here.

Applications are open until September 10 for participation in the conference titled “To Give New Forms to New Aspirations. Vaclau Lastouski and Belarusian Linguists in the Cultural Discourse of the 1920s-1930s.” The conference is set to take place from November 10-11, 2023, at the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library in London. It will be conducted in a hybrid format, enabling participation from anywhere in the world. Proposals for presentations addressing the life and legacy of Vaclau Lastouski, and other leading linguists, as well as topics pertaining to the history of Belarusian linguistics and Belarusian studies can be forwarded to library@skaryna.org.uk until September 10, 2023. The official languages of the conference will be Belarusian and English.

The EU Council’s recommendation document titled “Key Competences for Lifelong Learning” has been translated into Belarusian. It outlines 8 essential competences required for self-realization, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, employment, active citizenship, and social integration.

The Adukavanka project has introduced an online lesson builder, allowing any teacher to craft an interesting lesson for specific tasks in just 4 steps. Additionally, there’s a catalog of teaching methods and activity options (around 120 in total) and an option to download a lesson design handbook. The project’s team is extending an invitation to join their volunteer group, eager to assist in fostering both the community and the platform’s features.

The campaign to gather signatures advocating for the establishment of a Belarusian-language school is ongoing in Vilnius. The campaigners’ goal is to pave the way for a tuition-free municipal school. To make this a reality, they seek the widespread backing of the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania. Find out how you can support this endeavor here.

The first Belarusian online school in Ukraine invites students from grades 4-10. The curriculum covers Belarusian language and literature, advanced English, foundational IT, along with the core school subjects. The school’s creators designed the program keeping in mind the contemporary needs and interests of students and their parents. Further details about the school can be found on the project’s website.

Read an extensive interview with Ales Lahvinets, the Program Director of the Free Belarusian University, about the institution’s mission. Delve into the current conditions under which the university operates, the assistance it garners from Poland, and the potential opportunities it can offer to Belarusians in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The discussion also touches upon the future trajectory of Belarusian education.

Siarhei Alsheuski conducted an analysis of the admission results for Belarusian universities. Utilizing the available data, the expert reveals discrepancies between the actual passing scores and applicant numbers versus the official statements from the Ministry of Education. Many faculties and specialties experience a shortage, even regarding state-funded slots, with the actual passing scores falling short of the desired 400 mark. The complete report with screenshots and diagrams can be accessed here.

The “Adukacyja.info” project is back under a new name – aduplace. Within the project’s profiles, there’s a wealth of information on educational opportunities, along with resources for self-improvement, such as curated collections, lecture summaries, stories of Belarusians participating in international programs, and more. You can find aduplace on platforms like Instagram, Telegram, and Facebook.

The Ideas Bank has published the text by Dr. Victor Shadursky, a Professor with a Doctorate in Historical Sciences, titled “What Kind of University Do Belarusians Need?”. Is there a discrepancy between the level of Belarusian students and educators and their Western counterparts? Is it possible to stop the degradation of Belarusian higher education? How can the formation of the Global League of Belarusian Students address these challenges? The complete article is available here

The study “Helmsmen of the Green Transition” conducted by the “Green Belarus” initiative, reveals that Belarus lacks education in the field of sustainable development and the green economy. Maria Faloleeva, one of the study’s authors, pointed out that Belarus might face the risk of losing certain markets if the nation’s production doesn’t align with ecological standards. To understand why these subjects are especially relevant, what specialists are lacking today, and what risks arise with the termination of the activities of international and public organizations, delve into the comprehensive interview with Maria Faloleeva.


At the end of July, historian and former director of the City’s History Museum, Alexei Batyukov, was detained in Mogilev. According to human rights activists, the reasons for the detention are unknown. Batyukov was detained in 2020 and fined for “participation in an unauthorized mass event,” and in 2021 his contract was not renewed, leading to his dismissal from the post of director at the Mogilev History Museum.

On August 6, it became known that Elena Kishkurno, a former teacher from the agro-town of Prazaroki, was sentenced to 10 days in detention for hosting “extremist” content on her VKontakte social network profile. The 66-year-old didn’t deny in court that she had posted materials deemed “extremist” by Belarusian authorities. However, she pointed out that she had already removed all such content back in 2021.

The Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus rejected the appeal of Valeryia Kastsiuhova, upholding her 10-year prison sentence. This verdict was initially passed by Dina Kuchuk, a judge of the Minsk City Court. Valeryia Kastsiuhova is a political scientist, editor of the “Our Opinion” analytical website, and compiling editor of the “Belarusian Yearbook”. Similarly, Tatsiana Kouzina, an expert in the field of public administration, the founder of the SYMPA School of Young Managers in Public Administration, and the BIPART Research Center, was sentenced to 10 years. Both experts were convicted of conspiracy to seize power, inciting hatred, and calling for action against national security. On August 10, it was revealed that both Kastsiuhova and Kouzina were transferred to Gomel’s Prison No. 4.

On August 10, news outlets announced the arrest of Elena Drobudko, who overseed the dormitory at the Belarusian State Economic University. Back in 2020, she had served on election commission No. 59, which operated from that very dormitory. As indicated by the “Golos” platform, the counted votes supporting Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya surpassed the tally mentioned in the final official report. Following the elections, Drobudko participated in demonstrations condemning the election rigging, leading to her arrest in August 2023.

On August 16, KGB officers detained at least 7 people at the National Historical Archives of Belarus. Those detained included the Deputy Director for Research and department heads. This isn’t the first crackdown at the NHAB. A series of firings and detentions happened during the tenure of its former director, Major General Oleg Orlov. A subsequent wave of arrests occurred just two days after the inauguration of the new director, Mikhail Glushakov, who has a lengthy history of service with the KGB.

Judge Dina Kuchuk of the Minsk City Court handed down a three-year prison sentence to scientist Yury Adamov, charging him with financing extremist activities. He was arrested in March 2023 for making donations to funds labeled as “extremist” and remained in the Minsk pre-trial detention center in Volodarka until his trial. He has been deemed a political prisoner. Yury Adamov is an active member of the Belarusian free software community and co-founder of the popular science self-published magazine, Pamylka.

Nikolai Bankov, a former professor from the Department of Communications at the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, was sentenced to 4 years in prison on charges of “financing extremist activities.” His conviction, overseen by Judge Sviatlana Bandarenka, stemmed from three donations he made back in August 2020. At the university, Bankov was responsible for instructing various courses to prospective officers set to join the Belarusian law enforcement agencies and departments.

Natalia Martusevich, a former department head at one of Mogilev’s universities and a PhD holder in Biology, has been accused of “inciting hatred.” Investigators allege that she advocated for violent actions targeting “Belarusians, Russians, and military personnel”. She will remain detained until her trial. Human rights activists report that Martusevich was taken into custody in March 2023.

Professor Yuri Bubnov has been sentenced to two years in prison over a research article. The Doctor of Sociological Sciences was charged with defaming and insulting Lukashenka. His paper, titled “Prerequisites for the Belarusian protest in 2020,” appeared in the lesser-known annual scientific journal ” Molodyozhnaya Galaktika” Human rights defenders point out that authorities likely became aware of the article due to a tip-off from Bubnov’s peers or other contributors to the journal.

On August 7, the MAYDAY TEAM Telegram channel revealed information regarding the arrest of Yulia Poplavskaya, an English teacher from Mogilev Secondary School No. 43. Human rights activists are unaware of the exact reason behind her detention. This arrest is the latest in a series taking place in Mogilev, orchestrated by the State Security Committee (KGB) of Belarus.

Well-known ecologist Anna Skrigan is set to stand trial in Mogilev, facing charges of “incitement of hatred.” As per information from human rights activists, the trial was set for August 21st and was intended to take place in a closed session. As of the time the digest was published, details surrounding the criminal proceedings and Skrigan’s arrest remain undisclosed.


The Kosht Urada has disclosed data indicating that Belarusian scientific research has witnessed a decline of about a third in its potential since the year 2000. At the onset of the 2000s, the sector had over 32,000 individuals engaged in research and development. By 2022, this number had dwindled to 25,000. This represents a loss of about a quarter in sectoral employment, and among the highly specialized segment – those with doctorate degrees – the potential has been reduced by a third.

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee has released a human rights report highlighting an increase in military propaganda within Belarus’s educational system for the first half of 2023. Examples cited in the report include commemorations for Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, which involved the participation of school children from Gomel, and a proactive search for individuals to head military-patriotic education in schools and other educational establishments.

On July 25, the enrollment campaign for state-funded spots in Belarusian universities concluded. This year, Belarusian universities aim to admit over 52,000 students, with 28,400 of these seats being state-funded. As stated by the Minister of Education, Andrei Ivanets, medical specialties remain popular, with the average competition for specialized universities around 2.5 applicants per spot. The highest competition for state-funded form of education was observed at the Belarusian State University for “Design” and at the Vitebsk State Medical University for “Dentistry”; in both instances, the competition was 12 applicants per spot. Regional universities also saw heightened competition. Further details on the competition and qualifying scores can be found here

The Belarusian State University has increased the tuition fees for both full-time and distance learning programs, as well as for international students. The increase is approximately 7%. The updated fees will be effective from September 1st of this year. Further details on the new pricing can be found here.

The Minister of Education, Andrei Ivanets, emphasized that Belarus does not have a system of paid education because the state heavily subsidizes the education sector. At most, students cover up to 70% of their educational expenses, while in certain specialties, like medical and artistic ones, they only cover about 50%. The minister highlighted that having students pay for their education in the country serves as a form of social assistance for the youth pursuing higher education.

Education officials have released standard recommendations for teaching school subjects for the upcoming academic year. Schoolchildren in 2023/2024 can expect a significant emphasis on ideology. Teachers are advised to discuss the “genocide of the Belarusian people” during lessons across various subjects, including during pre-conscription training and in foreign language lessons. To instill patriotism, teachers are directed to integrate suitable content not just in history lessons but also in chemistry and computer science classes.

Some Belarusian schools in Minsk and Brest, ahead of the new school year, are removing British flags and other related symbols from English classrooms. Teachers were verbally directed to replace them with Belarusian symbols or sceneries. While officials from the Ministry of Education deny any formal directives or guidelines on this matter, they confirm that suggestions were made during meetings with the intent to foster a neutral setting in foreign language rooms.

The Ministry of Education has proposed an initiative to ensure that schoolchildren are fully engaged on Saturdays. The Ministry representative stated that schools are tasked not only with keeping students occupied on this sixth school day but also during holidays. To achieve this, it’s suggested that resources from additional education institutions, cultural and sports centers, military-patriotic clubs, and youth organizations be utilized. The idea is to offer elective classes and activities; no mandatory curriculum for Saturday is in place. 

Media outlets have highlighted that in Belarus, an LLC named “Wagner Group” has been registered and will be focusing on “educational activities.” This legal entity was registered by the Osipovichi District Executive Committee on August 4, 2023. The company’s primary area of activity is listed as “Other types of education, not categorized elsewhere.”

Mercenaries from the private military company “Wagner” visited the children’s military-patriotic club “Rys’” in late July. Also present at the meeting was the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Commander of the Internal Troops, Nikolay Karpenkov. Propagandists published a video in which children are seen dressed in camouflage and green berets, with the mercenaries teaching them their own distinctive “jamba” hand gesture.

Belarus plans to launch an equivalent to Russia’s “Avangard” educational and methodological center for military-patriotic education. The Russian center was inaugurated in 2020 and admits over 30,000 cadets annually. They conduct gatherings and primary training for “volunteer-contractors” there. Among other things, cadets are educated to “counter Nazi ideology.” In Belarus, the “Youth Patriotic Education Center” is set to be established at the Brest Fortress. Lukashenko has designated the project as an “All-Belarusian youth construction.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense has proposed to Minsk to collaborate on engaging the youth to “counteract the information-psychological warfare.” The suggestion was articulated by Viktor Goremykin, the Deputy Minister of the Russian Defense Department, on August 18th in Minsk during a pro-Russian “anti-fascist congress”. The envisioned “council or task force” is suggested to comprise cultural personalities, advisors on scientific and historical matters, military specialists, and youth movement representatives.

On August 22, the Belarusian State University organized a “university-wide volunteer event” to improve the territory of the “Stalin Line” Historical and Cultural Complex. Over 50 students from all departments participated, clearing pathways of grass and trash, fixing the walls of trenches, and more. Once the work was done, there was a guided tour of the complex, an informal chat with the university’s rector, Andrei Korol, and a themed lunch featuring soldiers’ porridge.