Benas Gerdžiūnas

Interview: Why did so many Kurds go to Belarus?

Political disillusionment, lack of economic opportunities and dreams of a better life are reasons why many asylum seekers that enter Lithuania from Belarus originate from Iraqi Kurdistan, a region considered one of the wealthiest and most stable in the region.
Europe's East 22-12-2021

‘Then I understood what they want’: Unmasking the Belarus border attack

Belarusian officers used migrants as pawns to attack the EU border, handing out axes and pelting Polish guards with stones. The investigation team of EURACTIV's media partner LRT.lt has pieced together a chronology of events with exclusive witness testimonies revealing the scale of the Belarusian regime's involvement.

Lithuania declares state of emergency on border with Belarus

The Lithuanian parliament decided on Tuesday (9 November) to declare a state of emergency at its border region with Belarus, a first since the country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. 
Global Europe 15-07-2021

Baghdad to Lithuania: How Belarus opened new migration route to EU

Days after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to flood Europe with migrants, dozens of mostly Iraqi Kurds started arriving in Lithuania. In a cross-border investigation spanning Lithuania, Belarus and Iraq, EURACTIV's media partner LRT.lt digs into the new migrant smuggling scheme.
Europe's East 09-06-2021

Belarusian activists stage rally in Lithuania seeking to block traffic to Belarus

Belarusian activists in Lithuania have staged a rally aiming to block traffic heading to and from Belarus via the Medininkai border crossing, in a bid to put pressure on the Belarusian regime to open borders and call for stricter EU sanctions.
Politics 26-05-2021

Will the flight ban trap Belarusian dissidents in the hands of Lukashenko?

The EU has effectively banned air connections with Belarus in the wake of a forced diversion of a Vilnius-bound flight from Athens which the Baltic states have labelled a "hijacking", however critics of the move fear the new measures could hurt dissidents fleeing regime repression.
Global Europe 29-04-2021

Russia expels two Lithuanian diplomats in tit-for-tat move

The Russian foreign ministry has expelled two diplomats from the Lithuanian embassy in Moscow, as well as one employee each from the embassies of Latvia and Estonia.
Technology 18-09-2020

Revolution will be Telegrammed: social media channels drive Belarus protests

The protests in Belarus have been organised using Telegram, an encrypted social media app able to sidestep internet bans. With the biggest channels now followed by millions of subscribers, the few people managing them are wielding unprecedented, and largely unchecked, power.