Lukashenko's foreign policy is defined by greed and fear. Meanwhile, beyond geopolitics, average people live in the shadow of the country's terrible 20th century history.
Irish people have called a worldwide demonstration on Saturday to demand an end to Ireland's strict abortion laws.
Figures published by the EU police agency suggest that Turks are now prime movers in the migrant smuggling industry. But it is still difficult to get a real picture of the situation.
News in Brief
- EU 'baloney' and 'pate' in Brexit jibes
- EU ministers to issue Canada trade pledge
- Report: Next EU-27 summit on 3 February
- Too many banks in EU, says central bank chief
- Germany's AfD party gets record rating
- EU must stop Airbus subsidies, says trade body
- Franco-Belgian spat over police migrant convoy
- US says UK trade deal 'impossible' for now
Caught between the competing geopolitical interests of its neighbours, Belarus President Alexander Lukashanko has managed to position himself as a strategic buffer between Europe and Russia. EUobserver's Nikolaj Nielsen examines life - political, economic and cultural - under this autocrat.
Nikolaj Nielsen is a Danish-American journalist working for EUobserver in Brussels. He won a King Baudouin Foundation grant for investigative journalism in 2010.
'Belarus - Europe's last dictatorship' is the second in a series of investigative reports by EUobserver. The report sheds light on Europe's most isolated nation and EU policy towards it. It is published in two parts.
Lithuania and Poland handed over confidential bank details to Belarus that led to the arrest of human rights defender, Ales Bialistki.
Eighteen years and still in power, Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko retains a mesmerising hold on a country which glorifies Soviet-era rule.
A former officer in the 'Diamond' - Lukashenko's elite bodyguard - who lives in exile in the EU, says he "cannot remain indifferent" to the brutality of the regime.
Belarus' former leader - Stanislav Shushkevich - says Lukashenko is an "arse-kisser" whose power will wane if the EU imposes economic sanctions.
Underground culture is flourishing in the heart of Belarus despite regime attempts to establish control.
Even as Lukashenko becomes increasingly cruel and unusual, the EU capital is seeing an unprecedented amount of lobbying on his behalf.
The EU in March blacklisted 29 Belarusian companies, but the measures are a drop in the ocean in terms of Belarus-EU economic relations.
Belarus' future nuclear plant, situated just 50km from Vilnius, sits on a fault line which saw a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 1909.
Money from the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has been distributed to individuals connected to Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko, according to a career politician in the regime.
Young people in Belarus who defy the regime are denied their education, jailed or punished by reprisals against their family. Many of them just want to leave.
- Bringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
- An Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
- UN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
- Can Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
- Entrepreneurship, Proactivity, Innovation - Turn Ideas Into Action #IPS2016
- Trimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations
- Don't Miss the Mega Conference to Master Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
- Fighting Terrorism: Do we have what it takes? 26 September, Brussels
- Karas Report on Access to Finance for SMEs in a Capital Markets Union
- "I still believe we can change Europe" Said David Grosclaude
- The Child Protection Index to be Launched in Brussels on 28 September 2016
- Digital Transformation: Unleashing Europe’s Potential
- Irish and Polish people march for abortion
- EU admits 'unrealistic' to close TTIP deal this year
- LGBT rights at stake in Georgia election
- UK to start Brexit talks early 2017, Johnson says
- Migrant smugglers mostly Turks, says Europol
- Canada woos sceptical EU left on trade deal
- EU rushing to ratify climate agreement
- EU commission seeks answers from Kroes