Since the beginning of Alexander Lukashenko’s presidency, the Belarusian authorities’ attitude towards the Belarusian language was seen as rather negative. However, amid turbulent events in the region, the official narratives on Belarusian statehood changed in 2014 with the rise of the so-called soft-Belarusization phenomenon. A new political discourse – positive towards formerly distinct opposition symbols, particularly the Belarusian language, was adopted by a number of different-rank government officials. Furthermore, it has been accompanied by a number of practical changes in government and civil society operations within an identity-building domain. This paper presents the results of a critical discourse analysis of the newly formed social representation reshaping the role of the Belarusian language, and the overall cognition of Belarusianness.
The article argues that technological innovations change war, and pushes to innovate, to rethink strategic, operational and tactical decisions which raise new issues of moral and legal impacts. Small states have to redefine their defence concerning major technological trends. Technological progress will only strengthen the polycentric system in military technology because war is waged in six domains; small states do not have access to all of them, and at the same time they lack financial and industrial capabilities. Artificial intelligence, the increasing role of cyber and informational elements, unmanned systems, 3D printing and changing battlefield force to adapt the defence of small states. Small states have to plan their defence in three periods – peace, attack until full occupation and resistance. Technological innovations for the defence of small states are important, but the most crucial element is preparation of military and society for total resistance with the focus on denying victory for the aggressor. Small states cannot compete with technologically advanced powers (in terms of arms quality and quantity), so they have to adapt by expanding their fighting force, adapt to defend in the areas which decrease technological advantage and increase uncertainty. Small states also have to approach defence more creatively by exploiting non-conventional instruments, focusing on capabilities to fight without clear command and control, investing in personal skills of officers and soldiers, as well as maintaining symbiotic relations with technologically superior allies.
The article analyses Lithuanian foreign policy in respect of the Ostrovets NPP from December 2008 till 2019. The aim of the article is to examine the goals of the Lithuanian foreign policy, its measures and outcomes. The analysis of official documents and high-level meetings was used to achieve this aim. The documents helped to reveal the strategic and economic features of the Ostrovets NPP, the official Lithuania’s position and its change. Meanwhile, the study of high-level meetings helped to determine the direction of Lithuanian foreign policy, its objectives, ways to justify them and means of their implementation. The study revealed that Lithuania opposed the construction of the Ostrovets NPP throughout the entire period under analysis, but initially it did that indirectly, emphasizing the issue of nuclear safety, and since mid-2016, the indirect resistance has gradually turned into a direct one - this nuclear power plant was considered a Russian geopolitical project. Although Lithuania’s interests with regard to the Ostrovets NPP have not been consistently represented at the highest political level during the period being analyzed, the country’s foreign policy can still be considered sufficiently effective. Lithuania successfully raised the issue of nuclear safety internationally, which eventually made Belarus to partially comply with Lithuania’s requirements for the admission of international experts. When it comes to constraining the supply of Belarusian electricity, Lithuania was able to agree on a favorable scenario for the synchronization of electricity systems of the Baltic States through Poland, securing Warsaw’s support. Nevertheless, attempts to constrain the supply of Belarusian electricity till the synchronization can only be effective if Lithuania succeeds in reaching agreements with Latvia and Estonia.
This article examines the susceptibility of Lithuanian youth to information attacks aimed at psychologically influencing them, i.e., changing or shaping their attitudes. It raises the question whether the bias of Lithuanian youth towards news sources and their passivity regarding political news can make them vulnerable to attacks. To answer the question, insights from propaganda and persuasion studies were applied to design a quasi-experimental study. The overall evaluation showed that the attitude of all the participants in the study significantly worsened after receiving propaganda information about the EU situation, their country’s political institutions, and the Polish minority. The study did not find sufficient evidence that Lithuanian youth participating in the study were more susceptible to propaganda products when they were not motivated to elaborate the information provided to them even though it came from a potentially credible source.