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Belarus Youth

See the film Lucy Ash also made for Newsnight while she was in Belarus

Belarus is often described as the last dictatorship in Europe.

Former collective farm boss Alexander Lukashenka has kept an iron grip on power for the past 14 years in this country sandwiched between Russia and the European Union.

After rigged presidential elections in 2006, thousands took to the streets hoping to emulate the bloodless regime changes in neighbouring Ukraine and Georgia. But they failed and the nation still seems stuck in a Communist era time warp.

So are young people happy with the status quo or are they paralysed by fear? Lucy Ash travelled to Belarus ahead of parliamentary elections this autumn to ask the post Soviet generation where they think their future lies.

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 31 July, 2008 at 1102 BST. It was repeated on Monday, 4 August, 2008 at 2030 BST.

Reporter: Lucy Ash
Producer: Nick Sturdee

Crossing Continents

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SEE ALSO
Lukashenko's young challengers
04 Aug 08 |  Crossing Continents
Life under Europe's last dictator
26 Jul 08 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Country profile: Belarus
03 Jul 08 |  Country profiles
Lithuania slams Belarus arrests
26 Mar 08 |  Europe

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