Country Listing

Belarus Table of Contents



A drastic decline in living standards and the general breakdown in law and order throughout the former Soviet Union have contributed greatly to a dramatic rise in crime in Belarus. In the first half of 1993, Belarus's murder rate increased by almost 50 percent and muggings by almost 60 percent. Organized crime is present in Belarus as well. Independent Belarus has also become a transshipment point for illegal drugs intended for Western Europe; locally produced opium and cannabis supply Belarus's own populace.

Perhaps one of the more public crimes in the republic is corruption in the government. Although Alyaksandr Lukashyenka campaigned on an anticorruption platform, accusations of corruption have stuck to his administration. In December 1994, Syarhey Antonchyk read a report in the Supreme Soviet charging a number of high-level administration figures with corruption, which lead a number of these figures to offer their resignations. Lukashyenka refused to accept the resignations and banned four independent newspapers from publishing the report. Such incidents are generally acknowledged to be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Data as of June 1995