Topic: Belarus

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๐Ÿ”— Detention of Mark Bernstein

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Belarus

On 11 March 2022, Mark Izraylevich Bernstein (Russian: ะœะฐั€ะบ ะ˜ะทั€ะฐะนะปะตะฒะธั‡ ะ‘ะตั€ะฝัˆั‚ะตะนะฝ), a Belarusian blogger and editor of the Russian-language Wikipedia based in Minsk, was detained by the Belarusian GUBOPiK security force after online accusations of violating the 2022 Russian fake news law for his editing of Wikipedia articles on the topic of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. He was sentenced to 15 days' administrative arrest under Article 24.3 of the Administrative Code of Belarus (for disobedience to police officers).

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๐Ÿ”— Suwaล‚ki Gap

๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Geography ๐Ÿ”— Poland ๐Ÿ”— Lithuania ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Russian, Soviet and CIS military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Polish military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/European military history ๐Ÿ”— Belarus ๐Ÿ”— NATO

The Suwaล‚ki Gap, also known as the Suwaล‚ki corridor ([suหˆvawkสฒi] (listen)), is a sparsely populated area immediately southwest of the border between Lithuania and Poland, between Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast. Named after the Polish town of Suwaล‚ki, this choke point has become of great strategic and military importance since Poland and the Baltic states joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The border between Poland and Lithuania was formed after the Suwaล‚ki Agreement of 1920; but it carried little importance in the interwar period as at the time, the Polish lands stretched farther northeast, while during the Cold War, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union and communist Poland belonged to the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact alliance. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact created borders that cut through the shortest land route between Kaliningrad (Russian territory isolated from the mainland) and Belarus (Russia's ally). As the Baltic states and Poland eventually joined NATO, this narrow border stretch between Poland and Lithuania became a vulnerability for the military bloc because, if a hypothetical military conflict were to erupt between Russia and Belarus on one side and NATO on the other, the capture of the 65ย km (40ย mi)-long strip of land between Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus would likely jeopardise NATO's attempts to defend the Baltic states. NATO's fears about the Suwaล‚ki Gap intensified after 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and launched the war in Donbas, and further increased after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. These worries prompted the alliance to increase its military presence in the area, and an arms race was triggered by these events.

Both Russia and the European Union countries also saw great interest in civilian uses of the gap. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Russia attempted to negotiate an extraterritorial corridor to connect its exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast with Grodno in Belarus, but Poland, Lithuania and the EU did not consent. Movement of goods through the gap was disrupted in summer 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Lithuania and the European Union introduced transit restrictions on Russian vehicles as part of their sanctions. The Via Baltica road, a vital link connecting Finland and the Baltic states with the rest of the European Union, goes through the area and, as of November 2022, is under construction in Poland as expressway S61.

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๐Ÿ”— Depopulation of cockroaches in post-Soviet states

๐Ÿ”— Russia ๐Ÿ”— Russia/mass media in Russia ๐Ÿ”— Central Asia ๐Ÿ”— Insects ๐Ÿ”— Ukraine ๐Ÿ”— Russia/physical geography of Russia ๐Ÿ”— Russia/history of Russia ๐Ÿ”— Belarus

Depopulation of cockroaches in post-Soviet states refers to observations that there has been a rapid disappearance of various types of cockroaches since the beginning of the 21st century in Russia and other countries of the former USSR. Various factors have been suggested as causes of the depopulation.

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