In this section you will find information about Belarus. Professional journalists from the independent non-state publication (location - Minsk) tell about what is really happening in Belarus. No political accents or ideological attitudes. Only the most important facts so that you understand the essence of what is happening in this corner of Europe.
Belarus news in English
ID card

New self-immolation in Belarus; the relocation of IT businesses continues; COVID-19 is receding. Belarus, January 22-25, 2021

A man burnt himself on the central square of Minsk opposite the Government House. EPAM continues to grow; the takeover of a fintech company may cost EPAM $31.2 million. IT businesses relocation continues; Lyft opens an office in Kyiv, and the Minsk office “will continue to operate as usual.” The Ministry of Health of Belarus announces an improvement in the epidemic situation and a decrease in the number of patients with coronavirus pneumonia. Lukashenko criticized the security of Belarusian ID cards.

A man committed an act of self-immolation in front of the Government House in Minsk

On January 22, a video showing something burning near the Government House in Minsk began to spread on social networks. It was claimed to be an act of self-immolation.

According to the Investigative Committee, a 35-year-old man doused himself with an “unidentified liquid” and then set himself on fire.

Investigators and employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Forensic Examination Committee worked at the scene.

The man, engulfed in flames, was quickly extinguished by passers-by and law enforcement officers.

Ambulance medical workers transported the victim to the Republican Burn Center.

Acquisition of a fintech company may cost EPAM $31.2 million

The purchase price of Deltix (based in Massachusetts, USA) could cost EPAM $31.2 million. The first tranche of $10.6 million has already been paid.

The Deltix website already states that it has become part of EPAM.

The Deltix management, like EPAM, has several immigrants from the former USSR. General Director Ilya Gorelik is from Belarus. Deltix was founded about 15 years ago and operates in the finance industry.

EPAM Systems earned $652.2 million in the third quarter of 2020. By the same period of 2019, revenue grew by 10.9%, or $64.1 million. Data for the fourth quarter of last year has not yet been announced.

EPAM Systems is a leading global provider of digital platform and software development services. In 2020, it has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the World for the second consecutive year.

EPAM was ranked 21st, up 50 positions from the previous year.

Lyft opens office in Kyiv, and the Minsk office “will continue to work as usual”

American taxi startup Lyft is recruiting employees for a new office in the Ukrainian capital, while the company does not plan to launch the service in Kiev, writes.

As the company commented, there are no plans to launch ridesharing in Kiev in the near future. But the startup is committed to hiring and retaining the best engineers around the world. In their opinion, Ukraine is known for its talents, like Belarus.

As to the situation in the Belarusian office, which is located in the capital, Lyft representatives answered briefly that “the Minsk office will continue to work as usual.”

Meanwhile, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine published a decree dated December 23, which increases the period of temporary stay of Belarusian citizens in the country to 180 days.

The document says that the citizens of Belarus who arrived in Ukraine will now be able to temporarily stay on its territory for no more than 180 days during the year. Earlier, the legal stay for Belarusians in Ukraine was no more than 90 days within six months.

The innovation will be valid until the end of 2021.

Also, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal said that Ukraine will facilitate obtaining a residence permit for Belarusian entrepreneurs, highly qualified specialists from the IT sphere and the field of innovation, as well as for their family members.

In addition, more than 60 Belarusian companies are negotiating to transfer their business to Lithuania. This was announced by the Minister of Economy and Innovation of Lithuania Aushrine Armonaite.

The Minister explained that Lithuania needs to improve regulation in order to maintain a high pace in business relocation projects, to win in the struggle with other countries for the most attractive business climate.

Armonaite recalled that with the beginning of the protests in Belarus, such well-known companies as Epam Systems, Wargaming, Flo Health, Coherent Solutions, Godel Technologies expressed their desire to settle in Lithuania.

The Ministry of Health of Belarus announced the improvement of the epidemic situation

The situation with the incidence of coronavirus infection in the country is gradually improving, according to the press service of the Ministry of Health. There are fewer serious patients who have developed COVID-19 pneumonia.

According to the Ministry of Health, positive dynamics can be observed not only in Minsk, where from January 25, several health care institutions are returning to their normal operating hours but also in the regions. For example, from January 24, the Mogilev Regional Clinical Hospital will return to its usual schedule.

Over the past 24 hours, a record small 1,024 patients with COVID-19 have been registered in Belarus, 618 patients have been discharged, the Ministry of Health reports in its Telegram channel. The daily gain is one of the lowest in recent times. Yesterday it was 1,752, and 1,748 the day before.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 238,635 people have been registered in Belarus with a positive test for COVID-19. 224,171 patients who had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered.

There are 12,806 patients in the active phase of COVID-19.

Over the entire period of the spread of the infection in the country, 1,658 patients with diagnosed coronavirus infection have died. Nine in the last 24 hours.

Lukashenko criticizes the security of Belarusian ID-cards

At a meeting with experts from the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Alexander Lukashenko reviewed a draft decree that will regulate the procedure for putting biometric documents into circulation.

He asked if there would be obstacles for citizens to exercise their rights during the exchange of documents. According to Lukashenko, it is important for the people to protect new documents from counterfeiting.

Lukashenko asked the developers of the decree whether it is necessary to enter biometric documents instantly, starting from April 30, or government agencies still need time to prepare.

Interior Minister Ivan Kubrakov reported that the Interior Ministry system is ready to issue biometric documents. The minister suggested that the issue of protecting the personal data of biometric passports is at a fairly high level.

The new passports with a biometric chip, which is used in the passport for traveling abroad, will also act as the old passport.

This is an internal document containing data about a citizen and his electronic digital signature. Through the ID-card, with the consent of the owner, it will be possible to access state databases where information about a specific person is stored.

The Ministry of Communications admits that the replacement of the usual passports will take place gradually.

The date of issue of new documents will be determined in a presidential decree, which will regulate all the nuances of their circulation.


In this section you will find information about Belarus. Professional journalists from the independent non-state publication (location - Minsk) tell about what is really happening in Belarus. No political accents or ideological attitudes. Only the most important facts so that you understand the essence of what is happening in this corner of Europe.