Belarus Capital – Ibelarus Fri, 24 Sep 2021 18:42:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Belarus Capital – Ibelarus 32 32 UN leader of the law is sounding the alarm over increasing human rights violations in Belarus Fri, 24 Sep 2021 18:42:56 +0000

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet reported that the human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate as President Alexander Lukashenko tightened repressive measures to suppress dissent.

The High Commissioner presented her latest update on Belarus to the UN Human Rights Council.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will attend a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 13, 2021.

This latest report has been investigating alleged human rights abuses in Belarus since May 2020. Bachelet said the government refused to cooperate or allow UN experts access to conduct its investigation, so all information was gathered remotely.

She said the results were very disheartening.

“I am deeply concerned about the tightening restrictions on civil space and freedoms, including the ongoing patterns of police raids against civil society organizations and independent media, and the arrests and prosecutions of human rights defenders and journalists who appear routinely politically motivated.” “Said Bachelet.

The report found that more than 650 people are currently detained for their opinions. Last year almost 500 journalists and media workers were arrested and at least 68 were ill-treated. The journalist Raman Pratasevich is one of the 27 journalists who are still in custody. He was arrested in May after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to the capital Minsk by the Belarusian authorities.

FILE - A man holds up a phone with a flashlight on during a rally by opposition activists accusing Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of manipulating the polls in his favor in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 10, 2020.

FILE – A man holds up a phone with a flashlight on during a rally by opposition activists accusing Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of manipulating the polls in his favor in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 10, 2020.

Bachelet said she was alarmed by ongoing allegations of widespread and systematic torture and ill-treatment of protesters who were arbitrarily arrested. She said even children were ill-treated while in detention and at least four protesters died in police custody.

“Gender-based violence in detention remains a matter of serious concern,” said Bachelet. “The Office has received reports of sexual violence perpetrated by law enforcement officers primarily, but not exclusively, against women and girls. This includes reports of sexual assault, threats of sexual assault, psychological violence and sexual harassment against both women and men. ”

Bachelet said thousands of people have fled to neighboring countries in search of asylum since the 2020 presidential election.

Belarusian ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yuri Ambrazevich, said the report was full of unsubstantiated statements and accusations. He said the experts ignored his administration’s position.

He questions the council’s power to act as a court and judge the actions of his country. He said the mandate given to the experts to investigate his country’s human rights situation was illegitimate.

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Iraqi migrant dies near border with Belarus, death toll up to 5 | National / World Fri, 24 Sep 2021 11:44:12 +0000

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – An Iraqi migrant died near Poland’s border with Belarus and another was hospitalized with COVID-19, Polish border guards said on Friday.

The fatality brings the death toll to five among migrants attempting to get from Belarus through an area of ​​dense forests and bogs to EU member states Poland and Lithuania.

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KGB arrests former workers at the Belarusian iron and steel plant Thu, 23 Sep 2021 16:07:30 +0000
Svyatlana cyl. Photo: Homelskaya Viasna

KGB officials arrested 40-year-old Svyatlana Zyl, a resident of Zhlobin who used to work for the Belarusian Iron and Steel Works (BMZ), and took her to Minsk, Homielskaya Viasna reports.

The search of Svyatlana Zyl’s apartment took an hour and a half. Then she was heard as a witness at the local KGB branch in Zhlobin. After another four-hour interrogation, the woman was transported to the capital.

They said that she The release would “depend on their behavior”youR ‘, Snyazhana PAhorzin one, the prisoner’s sister, stressed. At the moment, their status is unknown. A defense Lawyer Has not been allowed to see Svyatlana.

In May, shopkeeper SvYestlana cyl quit her job after the works authorities failed to renew her manager’s contract Ramanenka because of political reasons. As a sign of protest and solidarity, SvYestlana Letter of termination submitted and took her workbook with her that same day.

A total of around 40 people have been released from the BMZ since August 2020: some of them joined the nationwide strike, some did not get their contracts extended, others got a sack after be imprisoned. Alyaksandr HOman, Yaw B.aBrothersyou and IHar Pavaroyou were sentenced to imcaptivity for trying Beginning a strike in the company on August 17, 2020.

Zhlobin: Another minor convicted in Belarus

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Good flow of EAEU investments to Belarus Wed, 22 Sep 2021 14:47:00 +0000

MOSCOW, September 22nd (BelTA) – The highest flow of mutual direct investments in the Eurasian Economic Union can be observed in Belarus, BelTA learned on September 22nd from Iya Malkina, a spokeswoman for the Eurasian Economic Commission.

According to the statistics department of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the net inflow of mutual direct investment into the Eurasian Economic Union in the first quarter of 2021 was $ 663.2 million, or 93% compared to the first quarter of 2020.

The mutual direct investment manifests itself primarily as investments in the capital of companies, including reinvestment of profits, investments in stocks and shares in mutual funds. The largest inflows of mutual direct investment are in Belarus ($ 501 million) and Kazakhstan ($ 137 million). Russia remains the main investor.

A total of 7.1 billion US dollars was invested in the Eurasian Economic Union by all countries in the world in the first quarter of 2021. The share of mutual investments in the total rose to 9%. Such indicators can be viewed as a rapid recovery in business activity in the Eurasian Economic Union compared to a significant drop in mutual direct investment in 2020, the official said.

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Namejs versus Zapad: Military exercises on both sides of the front line Wed, 22 Sep 2021 13:25:21 +0000

Autumn is for military exercises. In September, two large exercises took place in relatively close geographical proximity, one in Latvia and the other in western Russia and Belarus. Latvia’s annual large-scale exercise Namejs 2021 began on August 30th and will last until October 3rd. Russia’s much larger exercise Zapad-2021 began on September 9-16. Each exercise reflected the country’s key security concerns and aimed to test national and allied abilities to respond to identified threats.

Namejs 2021

The annual Namejs exercises are consistently the largest in Latvia and their repetition in 2021 is no different, possibly even more ambitious than in previous years. This is in part due to its geographic reach. The exercises have developed beyond the Ādaži training ground and surrounding communities, and are also taking place in and around other cities in all four provinces of Latvia and in the streets of the capital, Riga (a video of the exercise went viral, leading to an apology from Ministry of Defense).

Namejs’ ambition is also reflected in its two-phase scenario. In the first half of September, the first phase consisted of responding to a hybrid threat, while later in September the exercise was switched to countering a conventional military threat. The breadth of the exercise required the involvement of far more than just the military; These include law enforcement agencies, emergency services, local governments, and private companies. The complexity of the exercise has resulted in a series of sub or parallel exercises being conducted to focus on specific elements of Namejs 2021.

On September 2nd and 3rd, the Latvian Ministry of Defense simultaneously conducted the AMEX 2021 sub-exercise as part of Namejs 2021, during which Latvia tested its readiness to respond to any ambiguous or hybrid attack. AMEX 2021 comprised up to four Zemessardze Brigades (National Guard) as well as the Ministry of the Interior and other government and private representatives, who focused on selected cities of Riga, Cēsis, Rēzekne and Jelgava. At the same time, the NATO operations planning exercises “Steadfast Pyramid 2021” took place from September 6th to 10th and “Steadfast Pinnacle 2021” from September 12th to 17th. Each of them, which has been held annually in Latvia since 2011, focuses on challenges at the center of a specific single phase of Namejs 2021. The purpose of the Steadfast Pyramid 2021 is to practice the deployment planning of senior officers and commanders in a hybrid context. while Steadfast Pinnacle 2021 will shift the focus to operational planning in a conventional warfare context.

Namejs 2021 has a total of around 9,300 participants, including Latvian and Allied military contingents, the Zemessardze and reservists as well as representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the police, border guards, the fire and rescue services and the prison administration. Namejs 2021 and the associated exercises – which are clearly intended as a comprehensive and multi-dimensional test of the new Latvian state defense concept and total defense – involve practically all parties that would be involved in the defense of Latvia if an ambiguous or unambiguous invasion actually occurs.


The Russian exercises in Zapad (West) take place every four years, alternating with the three other strategic keystone exercises in Russia, Vostok, Tsentr and Kavkaz (East, Central, Caucasus). In contrast to Zapad-2017, there is significantly less hype about Zapad-2021, especially in Western media, but also from the Russian Defense Ministry itself. The inequality of Western attention between the two most recent iterations of Zapad is perhaps explained by the increasing familiarity of the West with the confrontation with Russia. Zapad-2017 was the first Zapad exercise after the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014 and the intervention in Donbass. The increased forward presence forces of NATO had only arrived in the Baltic states in 2017 before Zapad. In contrast, the direct confrontation with Russia in 2021 is already seven years old and leading to much less panic-stricken general coverage in the western press. Nonetheless, military analysts have treated both “short” and “long” Zapad in agonizing military details, most notably Konrad Muzyka, who wrote a 14-part overview of the lead-up to Zapad-2021, and Michael Kofman, who (together with Muzyka) covered the actual exercise day in and day out and was published about it elsewhere.

The scenario of Zapad-2021 emphasizes the defense of Belarus (fictionalized as “Polesie”) against a Western coalition, whereby the failure of an indirect color revolution in Polesie leads to an escalation and an attempted regime change by military means. Enemies of Russia and Polesies identified in the exercise were Pomoris (probably for Poland), Nyaris (probably Lithuania and part of Latvia) and the Polar Republic (probably Norway), which guaranteed participation of the Russian Northern Fleet. In the two-phase exercise, the Russian and Polish military were supposed to deploy and hit enemy forces in a defensive battle (September 10-12) before going on the offensive in order to destroy the enemy and restore the status quo ante (September 13th – 12th). 16th September). .

In addition to the actual scenario, three key features of Zapad-2021 are of interest. First, it’s believed to be larger than at least the two previous Zapad iterations (with an estimated 75,000 for 2013 and 50-60,000 for 2017). The Russian Defense Ministry claims that Zapad-2021 comprised 200,000 participants – while also claiming that it fell below the threshold of the Vienna Document of 13,000 participants. (Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe are required for exercises that exceed this threshold.) Still, the true extent of Zapad-2021 is difficult to gauge and depends heavily on another key feature of the exercise.

Second, Zapad is actually just the culmination of a series of smaller preparatory exercises in the two months leading up to Zapad itself. These preparatory exercises generally focus on mobilization, logistics and deployment, with Russian troops being positioned on training grounds in northwestern Western Military District and Belarus to do the last Zapad exercise yourself. Zapad is hardly the whole show. Furthermore, it is unclear whether the excessive (in contrast to the other, deflated) number of participants of the Russian Defense Ministry actively includes the many soldiers who were involved in the exercises off Zapad.

Third, Zapad is not that easy to analyze. In one sense, it reflects Russia’s understanding of NATO – and the United States in particular – warfare and aims to test Russian countermeasures developed since 2017. This can include new formations such as the 18th Motor Rifle Division in Kaliningrad; new, improved, or critical skills, including electronic warfare or command and control skills; new concepts of operation, etc. On the other hand, Zapad has at the same time become a scripted, fixed exercise, which harbors the danger for the Russians as well as for all western observers of possibly learning wrongly from the exercise.

It is particularly noteworthy how the last two Zapad exercises demonstrate great changes in Russia’s relations with Belarus. In 2017, Alexander Lukashenko wanted to draw a border between Belarus and Russia. In September 2021, due to the highly competitive presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020 and the subsequent pressure from the West on Belarus, Lukashenko was unable to present the same dynamic between Belarus and Russia – the former is much more firmly embedded in its orbit in a way that it was before had not given.

Exercises and threat awareness

It is worth thinking about how both Namejs 2021 and Zapad-2021 reflect their respective states’ perception of threats. While both exercises necessarily act as political signals to the other side, their implied threat perceptions remain reasonably honest – the contingencies that their respective militaries should be ready to respond to. Obviously, both sides would, possibly truthfully, denounce the aggressive intentions ascribed to them by the other. NATO’s defense declarations are certainly true, although Russia would find it unwise, in its view, to accept NATO’s declarations uncritically. Likewise, Russia’s own assertions that it has no interest in aggression against the Baltic states may be true, but it would still be unwise for the Baltic states and NATO as a whole to base their entire defense policy on faith.

What is remarkable, however, is the fundamental similarity of the threat perceptions on which the exercises are based. Both expect a first hybrid attack; both then move to conventional operations to attack and defeat the enemy. In the case of Latvia, the hybrid scenario represents the initial aggression to which the country must respond, the presumed defeat of which leads to Russia escalating and open invasion. For the Russian scenario, the hybrid aggression expected by the West is essentially a prologue, the failure of which leads to an escalation of the West and an open invasion, including a simulation of the much-feared MRAU (massirovany raketno-aviatsionny udar or Massed Missile-Aviation Strike) from the USA, which the Russian and Belarusian military have to parry defensively and then defeat offensively. From a western perspective, Namejs 2021 clearly corresponds to the western perception of threats to Russia since 2014, but Zapad-2021 also agrees fairly well with the Russian perception of threats and assessment of the western’s international activities at least since the Arab Spring in 2011 and the general development of each other’s defense concepts Both exercises should cause few, if any, surprises to the observer on the other side.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a non-partisan organization that seeks to publish well-argued, policy-oriented articles on American foreign policy and national security priorities.

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Next year’s budget will keep the social focus Tue, 21 Sep 2021 13:24:00 +0000

Roman Golovchenko

MINSK, September 21 (BelTA) – The central government budget for 2022 will continue to be people-centered. Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko made the relevant statement during the meeting of the Council of Ministers on September 21, BelTA learned.

The Council of Ministers met to discuss the draft forecast for the social and economic development of Belarus, the main guidelines for monetary management and the draft central state budget for 2022.

Roman Golovchenko said: “The state budget will keep its social focus. Spending on public sector salaries, military pensions, supporting large families and other things will increase significantly over the next year. In addition, under Presidential Decree No. 240, 476 million Br. Were made available for the promotion of housing construction, or 1.5 times as much as in 2021. “

According to him, the budget for the next year was drawn up taking into account the risks arising from the sanctions and an inertia scenario of economic development. In the draft budget, GDP growth of 1% is expected, while the target is 2.9%. Therefore, all additional income of the economy is accumulated in special reserve funds. In essence, they provide an additional source of funding for household expenses, including wage increases and additional expenses that may arise during the year, the prime minister said.

The Prime Minister also named the key figures mentioned in the forecasts for the next year. The GDP growth rate will be 102.9%, he said. The real cash disposable income growth rate is expected to reach 102%. Fixed investments are expected to grow by 3.3%. The export of goods and services is expected to increase by 6.3%. The key factors of Belarusian economic growth in 2022 will be increasing external demand, which is expected to add 1.8 percentage points to GDP growth, and a balanced increase in domestic consumption without undue pressure on the financial and foreign exchange markets. According to forecasts by the Ministry of Economic Affairs regarding the development of foreign markets, foreign exchange income could rise by 2.7 billion dollars. According to Roman Golovchenko, growth will primarily depend on higher exports from a physical point of view.

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“Halloween Capital of the World” is only an hour away from St. Cloud Tue, 21 Sep 2021 12:24:29 +0000

If you’ve always wanted to go to a real Halloween town, you don’t have to travel far from the St. Cloud area. The Halloween capital of the world is just an hour’s drive southeast on Highway 10 in Anoka.

How did this city of just 17,000 people come to be the Halloween capital? According to, it was one of the first cities in the country to hold a celebration to keep kids from causing trouble on Halloween night:

In 1920, a week-long celebration was started in Anoka to take the trick out of the trick or treating. The Grand Day Parade includes a mass band made up of bands from four high schools. Another event is the Gray Ghost 5K Run, inspired by the sightings of Bill Andberg, a marathon runner in the 1970s whose gray-clad ghost figure often walks through a local cemetery.

These days, Halloween in Anoka is less about stopping troublemakers and more about providing the community with opportunities to support schools, scholarships, and family-friendly activities.

There are several events held in Anoka during the month of October to celebrate the upcoming holiday:

Painting competition: Run October 1st through October 23rd. Pick up your original design coloring sheet at the Rumriver Art Center, Anoka Halloween Gift Shop, and Anoka Chamber during business hours. The winners will receive a unique Anoka Halloween ribbon and a special prize.

Pumpkin weighing, scarecrow competition, pumpkin carving competition for adults: October 3. See some of the largest pumpkins in the state along with creative scarecrows and carved pumpkins.

Blood donation campaign: 4th of October. Look for the van that rolls into town and scares away the vampires on this very important mission.

House decoration competition public viewing: October 29-30. Look out of your car this year. Have fun watching the great transformation of every single participant.

Parades: Light Up the Night Parade on October 23, Big Parade of Little People on October 29, Grande Day Parade on Main Street October 30.

Other events include outdoor movie nights, scavenger hunts, wine and painting nights, campfires, and more. To see the full list of events, visit

Happy Halloween, how lucky are we that the perfect place to party is just a short drive from our area?

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker has compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche rates residences based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs and localities were taken into account. Offers and pictures come from

There’s a robust mix of offerings on the list from great schools and nightlife to walkable and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to the arrival of new businesses, while others offer insights into the history of the area with well-preserved architecture and museums. Read on to see if your hometown was added to the list.

7 countries roughly the same size as Minnesota

8 fast food chains that should come to St. Cloud

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Ballot Videos Taint Russian Elections – Kelowna Capital News Mon, 20 Sep 2021 20:30:00 +0000

In a surveillance video, a hand emerges from behind a Russian flag to put ballot papers in a box. Another one shows a woman pulling ballot papers from under her clothes and with the help of another woman, giggling, putting them in the box.

Then there is the mop being pulled up by someone to cover a camera in a room where workers were looking through documents after the polling station in southern Russia closed.

A clean choice?

Russian authorities claimed that there were fewer violations in the three days of elections for a new parliament than in the last election in 2016, but several videos and photos of incidents of electoral fraud have surfaced since Friday.

Critics argued that without the ballot manipulation, the Kremlin-backed United Russia party could not have won enough votes to maintain its super-majority in parliament, which is especially important for the next election in 2024. Then the current term of office of President Vladimir Putin expires. and he will either be expected to re-elect himself or choose another strategy to stay in power. In any case, a State Duma that the Kremlin can control would be key.

Over the weekend, election observers and opposition officials shared photos of thick, folded stacks of ballot papers in clear ballot boxes that were apparently folded into one piece. Videos from election surveillance cameras at polling stations showed people trying, with varying degrees of success, to put multiple ballot papers in boxes. There was also footage from several regions of scuffles and confrontations between poll workers and election observers trying to expose violations.

In a video released by activists of the liberal Yabloko party, which was reportedly filmed on Friday in the Siberian region of Kemerovo, a woman steps inconspicuously in front of a ballot box, blocking it from view of a camera. But behind a Russian flag next to it you can still see a hand reaching for the box. The hand enters ballots several times and the woman then walks away.

Russia’s prominent independent election observation group Golos pointed out another video showing ballot boxes being filled in the Bryansk region, which borders Belarus and Ukraine. In the video, a woman pulls out ballot papers from under her clothes. They put it in the box with another woman. Giggles can be heard on the video as pollers go about their business at their desks as if nothing had happened.

In a district in Saint Petersburg, a piece of cardboard appeared in front of a surveillance camera shortly after a man opened a safe with ballot papers that was supposed to remain sealed, the local news agency Fontanka reported and showed the video. The police are investigating the incident.

The video from the southern Stavropol region showed two election workers handling documents at polling station No. 1085 in the city of Pyatigorsk. Suddenly a mop is lifted to the lens of the surveillance camera and blocks the view of the manipulation of the ballot papers.

The incident caught the attention of the Central Electoral Commission of Russia, whose chairman, Ella Pamfilova, sacked the polling station chief.

Still, during a conference call with Putin on Monday, she insisted that the number of complaints the commission had received this year was “as low as ever”. According to election officials, more than 25,000 ballot papers have been invalidated – including those from the Bryansk polling station.

On Saturday, Pamfilova claimed that videos were being fabricated. It showed a video in which the police confronted a group of people in an apartment with video equipment, ballot papers and a ballot box. The video showed that the group had photos of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, among others.

Golos, who has been exposing Russian electoral problems since 2000, disagreed with Pamfilova’s assessment of the extent of the violations that year.

“Violations during the voting and counting, the three-day voting process and the counting process in some regions, where we believe the results have been significantly skewed, do not allow us to speak about the veracity of the results obtained by the electoral commission system just demonstrated, ”the group said in a statement on Monday.

—Daria Litvinova, The Associated Press


]]> 0 Former BoE policy maker Vlieghe joins Element Capital hedge fund Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:34:17 +0000

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Bank of England politician Gertjan Vlieghe has agreed to join the major US hedge fund Element Capital as chief economist, a company representative said Monday.

Vlieghe served on the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee for six years before stepping down as an external member at the end of August after his second three-year term ended. Prior to joining the MPC, he was a partner at Brevan Howard hedge fund.

Element Capital has approximately $ 15 billion under management. The fund closed on new investment in 2018 and returned $ 2 billion to investors earlier this year.

Vlieghe will be based in London and is expected to take up his new role later this year. News of his appointment was first reported by the Financial Times.

During his time as a policy maker, Vlieghe was generally quite reluctant, preferring to cut interest rates below zero when the UK economy continued to weaken.

A few months later, as the UK economy continued to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the BoE would likely hike rates in 2022.

In his last BoE speech in July, Vlieghe highlighted the role of the aging population and higher income inequality in lowering global interest rates and the limited ability of central banks to ease financial conditions in future downturns.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Michael Holden)

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Ukraine hopes to win big after liberalizing its gambling market Sun, 19 Sep 2021 19:27:22 +0000

Football fans had gathered in an arcade in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, to watch the semi-finals of the Champions League 2009 between Barcelona and Chelsea.

But their evening turned into a tragedy when a fire broke out in one of the dozen of slot machines installed in the arcade.

Due to the lack of emergency exits, people struggled to escape the flames. Nine people were killed and another 11 injured.

It triggered a fundamental change: the MPs banned casinos, arcades with slot machines, bookmaker shops and internet gambling.

Fast forward 12 years and the industry is back. In the year since the sector was liberalized, the government has issued 40 licenses.

In the capital, Kiev, advertising for betting is stuck on billboards, public transport and television screens.

The government hopes to increase its coffers: President Volodymyr Selenskyj has announced that he will bring in 160 million euros annually.

“It’s a success story for Ukraine”

Anton Kuchukidze, chairman of Ukraine’s Gambling Council, said the country has the potential to become the largest gambling market in Eastern Europe.

“The potential here is very high,” Kuchukidze told Euronews. “It’s a success story for Ukraine.”

Not everyone is convinced on this last point, but the new law improves the situation before the 2009 fire.

“Before 2009 it was horrible,” said Kuchukidze. “There was no social protection. Children and gambling addicts had access to the casinos even though they were under state control. Slot machines were everywhere and the market was de facto not under state control.

“You can say that it was good that the sector closed in 2009, but what came after that was even worse. The market stepped into the shadows and operated illegally, while the government received no income. “

He said that illegal gambling halls were emerging, masked as lottery shops, which were not affected by the ban.

The new rules introduced last year restrict who can open casinos both online and offline. Only certain hotels with a certain standard can open a casino and there are also rules to prevent access for gambling addicts. The fines for breaking the rules are steep and Kuchukidze is confident it will keep people at bay.

Sergey Potapov, CEO of online casino Cosmolot, said he was working with user data to detect early signs of gambling addiction.

“Hopefully it will allow us to predict who is likely to get addicted and stop before that,” he said.

Illegal gambling halls

Despite claims that Ukraine’s gambling liberalization was a success, the industry still has problems to solve.

Potapov, for example, complains that taxes are too high and that this prevents new companies from entering the market.

He said that online casinos pay an annual fee of € 170,000 regardless of their income. Players must also pay 19.5% tax on their winnings.

A new law is being discussed that will replace the annual fee with a gross gaming income tax rate of 10%.

“We are ready to pay taxes and we do,” said Potapov, “but the tax system has to change to be competitive with Russia, Belarus or other countries. I think many companies are waiting to enter the market until the new law is in place. It is not sustainable as it is now, and everyone understands that. “

Other critics claim that the new legislation is not being properly implemented, pointing to the illegal gambling halls still operating in Ukraine.

In addition, the Ukrainian police recently arrested a member of the Ukrainian Gambling and Lottery Oversight Commission on suspicion of taking a $ 90,000 bribe to issue a gambling license.

Kuchukidze said he was working with the police to shut down the illegal gambling halls and that a new tax framework was on the way to help the sector.

“More than ten foreign companies showed interest in the Ukrainian gambling market when the tax bill was passed in first reading,” he said. “And I think that if it is accepted we will see more investors in Ukraine and that is of course because Ukraine is the largest gambling market in Europe and we will see that later.”

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