In this section you will find information about Belarus. Professional journalists from the independent non-state publication officelife.media (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.
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A restaurateur closes 7 establishments in Minsk and leaves the country; more than 700 people remain behind bars after Sunday’s protest; Belarusbank opens a Bitcoin exchange service. Belarus, November 16, 2020

In Minsk, cafes and restaurants that didn’t work on the day of the all-Belarusian strike continue to close. More than 700 people were arrested after Sunday’s protest, and two criminal cases are initiated. The operator of toll roads of Belarus BelToll will launch the sale of electronic vignettes from December 1. Exchange of cryptocurrencies using Visa cards has been launched in Belarus.

Restaurateur Vlad Lunevich announced his departure from Belarus

The information appeared on the businessman’s Facebook page. “Yes, I left, but my head, heart and soul remain in Minsk. You know everything is being done to bring our establishments back to life!” Lunevich reassured the fans of his business.

Seven establishments of Lunevich are closed in Minsk starting November 15: the Simple restaurant, the ENZO cafe, Lauka, DEPO, Let it be, BakeZavod and Underdog. Pizza place. Lunevich and the management of the establishments refuse to comment on the reasons.

These establishments are located on Oktyabrskaya Street. Space has formed there where progressive Belarusian youth hang out. Earlier the cult bar “Hooligan” also announced the closure. So, we may say that Minsk lost its Oktyabrskaya.

A wave of inspections from various government agencies swept through Minsk institutions in late October and early November. Officially, cafes and restaurants are fined for violations, but the owners believe that this is the state’s revenge for supporting the call for a general strike on October 26.

Some companies all over Minsk announced a non-working day for October 26 in support of a nationwide strike declared as a result of the authorities’ failure to fulfill the terms of the ultimatum announced by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Such companies include shops, cafes and bars, medical centers, and online stores. Now they are being massively closed by the decision of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service and the Ministry of Health due to various violations.

More than 700 people were arrested after Sunday’s protest in Belarus, and two criminal cases are initiated

For participation in protest actions on November 15, more than 700 people are accused of violating the legislation on mass events and placed in detention. They will be kept in custody pending the consideration of administrative cases in court.

The Investigative Committee of Belarus reports that a criminal case was initiated under the article on organizing group actions that grossly violate public order. According to the Committee, the actions of the protesters last Sunday caused disruption to the work of transport and organizations.

Also, according to the Committee, objects of city infrastructure and vehicles of employees of internal affairs bodies were damaged. Therefore, a hooliganism criminal case was initiated, too.

Apparently, those who were arrested on Sunday at the “Courtyard of Change” in Minsk may become suspects at the criminal cases. There were several hundred people. However, the number of suspects has not yet been reported.

BelToll will start selling passes online from December 1

The operator of toll roads of Belarus BelToll will launch the sale of the promised electronic vignettes from December 1, and they can be used from December 15. This means that vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tons will be able to pay for toll roads online, without going to BelToll points.

Online passes will be sold for 15, 30 days or for a year at a price of €14, €22 and €75, respectively, in Belarusian rubles at the rate of the National Bank. Moreover, an additional 15 days of the previous year and the same amount of the next year are given as a bonus to the travel pass for a year.

The BelToll fare collection system has been operating in Belarus since 2013. Its owner is the state company Belavtostrada, and the operator is Kapsch Telematic Services (a legal entity with Austrian capital). The fee is taken from vehicles with a technically permissible total weight of over 3.5 tons and smaller vehicles that are registered outside the EAEU.

Belarusbank started exchanging Bitcoin with Visa cards

A service has been launched in the country that provides for exchanging cryptocurrencies for Belarusian and Russian rubles, dollars and euros. This service is currently only offered to citizens of Belarus and Russia. The exchange requires a VISA card of any bank with 3D-Secure enabled.

When exchanging, the rate directly depends on the currency and volume of the transaction. Today, Bitcoin is offered for exchange, which can be converted into Belarusian and Russian rubles and dollars. Transactions with residents of Belarus are concluded in Belarusian rubles.

The project became possible due to the interaction of the HTP resident company WhiteBird, the Conte group of companies and Belarusbank. WhiteBird today is the only legal cryptocurrency exchange operator in the post-Soviet space, including Georgia and Ukraine.

Cryptocurrencies were legalized in the country in December 2017 following the adoption of the Digital Economy Decree. The industry is exempt from taxes until 2049, and citizens of the country have the right to own digital currencies, exchange them, buy and sell for Belarusian rubles and foreign currency. None of these actions needs to be declared.


In this section you will find information about Belarus. Professional journalists from the independent non-state publication officelife.media (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.