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Tag Archives: Identity

Freedom Day, Independence Day and the Art of Exclusion


Today many Belarusians celebrate Freedom Day (Dzień Voli) commemorating a creation on that day in 1918 of Belarusian People’s Republic – first attempt to bring about an independent Belarusian state. Debates about whether it was a successful project or a failed state endure even today, with both sides resorting to history, political theories and international law to prove their respective ...

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Slovak ambivalence on the Ukrainian crisis


On November 17, people in Slovakia commemorated 25th anniversary of one of the most important events in their recent history – the Velvet revolution. The Velvet revolution of 1989 meant the end of communist rule in the former Czechoslovakia.

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Vyshyvanki, security and consumerism

A magnificent vyshyvanka on a magnificent Belarusian man. Photo:

Identity politics is on the rise everywhere in Europe. From the UKIP in Britain and Front National in France to the Jobbik in Hungary, the national has become a valuable political currency that, when used properly, can be converted into political support, votes and, of course, power. Even in Belarus the national, oppressed and silenced for around two decades, is slowly crawling ...

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The interpretation of Soviet historico-cultural heritage in Belarus and Lithuania: from great martyrs to independent changers


In this little piece, I would like to compare memory politics in Belarus and Lithuania in the context of interpretation of Soviet historico-cultural legacy.

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Tolerance, Lenience or Obedience?


Since the first grades of school little Belarusians are taught that they are tolerant and lenient. These two traits are deeply rooted in collective memory of the nation and the identity of every citizen. However, it seems that the years of constant repetition of mantra of Belarusians’ tolerance and leniency, led by the government’s ideology machine, has emasculated and hollowed ...

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The Day of Europe: Ukrainian Failure?


On the 18th of May, 2013 Ukraine was supposed to celebrate the 11th Day of Europe. This day is officially celebrated since 2003 and has to be a symbol of peaceful collaboration between Ukraine and the European Union states based on common values and interests. As usual, the president held his speech saying that the Day of Europe unites Ukraine ...

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The Russian Empire: Autocratic Federation as only means of survival?


Grassroots movements for self-determination in Russia’s troubled regions have been continuously silenced by state-sponsored terror and aggressive military campaigns. To date these approaches have provided a crucial guarantee for the integrity of the Russian state. But what if the autocratic nature of the Russian state were dissembled, and on its place forged blocks of genuine democracy? Would the territorial integrity be sustained in a ...

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Moldova torn apart between West and East on 9 May


This year, the day of 9 May in Moldova was scandalous as never before, as too many more or less memorable dates overlap. Pro-Russian youth celebrates the Victory Day, pro-Romanians mark the Romanian Independence Day, while euro-enthusiastic politicians celebrate the EU Day. Even though there were so many disputes over what holiday to celebrate and how, today Moldovan population has ...

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Victory Day… With the tears in the eyes: Ukrainian discourse


“Victory Day… With the tears in the eyes” – This line from the famous song about Victory Day came to life yesterday in Western Ukraine. Representatives of the radical right-wing party “Svoboda” threw a smoke bomb into the procession of communists and veterans who were holding a march in the support of the Victory Day. This event represents just a tiny ...

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Victory Day as discourse: Belarus


  The ‘Victory day’, officially celebrated on the 9th of May, is truly the most pompous and high-flown festive occasion in Belarus. It gets even more attention from media and politicians, than the Independence Day, which, by the way, is also connected to the events of the Second World War. But the most attention, of course, gets president Lukashenka, who delivers ...

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