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Belarus: Inside Europe´s last dictatorship

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Belarus lies between Europe and Russia and is a dictatorship. How is it to live in Belarus, Europe´s last dictatorship? Belarus is located on the main route between Russia and Europe. The focus has always been on Russia, but that seems to be changing. And: more than the half of Belarus was radioactively contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster. How does Belarus and the people living inside a dictatorship deal with this?

In this eight-part travel series the Dutch journalist and author Jelle Brandt Corstius travels through Russia and visits the neighbor countries Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. What image do the Russians have of their neighbors and vice versa? What are the relations between the powerful Russia and the other former Soviet republics? And how do the countries around Russia treat their Russian inhabitants? A series about propaganda and identity.

Dutch Journalist used to live close to the Belarusian embassy in Moscow. Inside the embassy they used to have small shoe shops. Shoes from Belarus are incredibly popular in Russia. In the Soviet era but still today, they are produced in Belarus. Dutch Journalist Corstius takes a look at the shoe factory and talks to the employees about their country. They are all very positive about their homeland. It is a stable country as they say. That may be true, but it goes hand in hand with a dictatorship, whose beating heart is President Lukashenko´s palace.

After a bomb detonated in the metro in Minsk in 2011, 15 people died. Two people were taken as prisoners and executed two days later. Death penalty still exists in Belarus. A mother of the executed tells us her story and what kind of person her son was, that was made responsible for the attack. Belarus looks like a clean country. This appearance is kept up the hard way. The population has no priority in a regime, where the president is busy with building a new nuclear plant.

Original title: Een heldere dictatuur (5/8)
Director: Alexander Oey and Jelle Brandt Corstius
© VPRO September 2015

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English, French and Spanish subtitles by Ericsson and co-funded by the European Union.

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💬 Comments on the video
Author

I would like you to do such a report on the medieval dictatorship of Saudi arabia which is by the way very friendly with the Dutch monarchist government.

Author — J Cruz

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I have met people from Belarus - it is true they are industrious and honest
But they would not admit they are responsible for their situation

Author — Dick Johnson

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I think it’s hard to know the true opinions of the locals about the nuclear plant. I expect the people interviewed were well aware that foreign journalists are followed and watched by the secret police. People will say whatever they need to to stay out of trouble.

Author — Red Warlord

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Reporter I like your films. Keep it up. Have an interest with Russia as my Grandpa died there as POW in 56. Hey, maybe make a film about that too. I loved him so much and they took him from us

Author — olaf jensen

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Thank you so much for this VPRO! Great work! Please keep making more!

Author — The Rebellious Clone

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Thanks for uploading! Gracias por Subir éste video!

Author — Diego Cartus

Author

Very good video. Your journalism is top notch. I hope you get many more subs in the future.

Author — PEPSY J.

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Great reports and videos. Congrats and support to the vpro world news and especially to Jelle! I'm watching it all and I never get bored. Regards from Roland!

Author — Roland Lukavicius

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Is Kevin Spacey in a demonstration march in this doco? Looking for "young actors?"

Author — Justin Blackface

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Interesting. The Dutch reporter can speak Russian very well.... I am going to work in Belarus soon and of course, the people are powerless to stop Lukashenko. When I 1st went there I felt such an unease at how reserved people are.

Author — She-Ra Princess of Power

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we call this " proletatian " dictatorship , which at west " Capitalist " Dictatorship same ' Rich " people in power in definit do not matter who, they chose as president anyway .

Author — al bundy

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reading the comments to this very good documentary made me realize how many "trolls" are still active on the web. I hope you all can spot out the comments written by pro-Russia trolls. easy, isn't it? same profile photos, same way of writing and... same grammar mistakes. Lol. good Job Jelle, we love your documentaries and reportages. thank you for giving us an inside

Author — Alessandro Moschetti

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How are you all still at 16k subs where the norwegians at?

Author — Carlos Gutierrez

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The title put me off (pure propaganda - where do you get your funding, George Soros?) But I watched it, anyway.

Author — Justin Blackface

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What a grey dank place to live! Place reminds me of where I was born and brought up in Scotland. The old scientist dude is spot on when he says the cost of building nuclear power plants always ends up more expensive than the first estimate money gets embezzled for sure

Author — Marq LOECSTA

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Belarus number one country in Europe! NATO is bad!

Author — Sky Dreams

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This joker says Belarus is a dictatorship but it’s stable. He likes the stability. Wonder what he thinks about Iraq now 😂😂😂

Author — Sky Dreams

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At least they are way better than in capitalist Ukraine...

Author — Axel C