Cover Osteuropa 10-11/2020

In Osteuropa 10-11/2020

From boom to brain drain
The Belarusian IT sector and the regime

Alexandra Murphy

Deutsche Fassung


Belarus has a high performing IT sector, which has developed into an out-sourcing hub for software development. Several startups have become famous worldwide. In the past, this was promoted by the state through a favourable infrastructure, taxation policy and a lack of intervention, with the attitude that creativity needs freedom. This is no longer the case. The repressive measures taken by the state in the wake of the falsified presidential election have hit the IT sector hard. The sector is regarded by the authorities as an incubator for dissent, and they are applying pressure accordingly. Countless companies are relocating their headquarters to neighbouring states, and IT experts are leaving the country. This not only weakens the IT sector, but also Belarusian society and the country’s domestic economy as a whole.

(Osteuropa 10-11/2020, pp. 321–330)