What was happening in the first half of June with technology, the internet and security is covered in the news overview for 01-14 June 2023.
E-Health: Development Bank will help the Ministry of Health create a digital healthcare platform
The Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023 reflects the position of Baltic countries in the global ranking. This index shows the success of these countries in creating and supporting startup ecosystems.
In this index, Sweden occupies the 5th place, which is a high indicator. Germany follows Sweden in 7th place, Finland is in 13th place, and Estonia is in 14th place.
Lithuania and Denmark also show good results, ranking 17th and 19th respectively. Norway, the Russian Federation, Iceland, and Poland are located closer to the middle of the ranking, occupying the 23rd, 29th, 32nd, and 33rd places respectively.
Countries with lower positions in the index include Latvia (39th place) and Belarus (80th place). These countries likely face significant difficulties in developing and supporting their startup ecosystems or are in the early stages of this process.
The percentage of companies with Russian capital among foreign residents in the Hi-Tech Park has increased to 30%.
As of the beginning of 2023, there were about 30,000 online stores operating in Belarus, with a growth rate of almost 4% in 2022, which is approximately equal to 1,000 new trading platforms.
Nearly half (49%) of all registered online stores belong to companies, while individual entrepreneurs own 50.7%.
Since April 2023, the Belarusian IT sector has lost 20% of its employees due to the war in Ukraine, as indicated by Dev.by. In the first four months of 2023, 5,800 employees were laid off, which is 30% less than the same period in 2022. The average monthly number of layoffs in 2023 was 1,400, compared to 2,400 in 2022. The number of new hires decreased by 40% from January to April 2023 compared to the previous year. Since the beginning of the war, the losses in the Belarusian IT sector have exceeded the losses during the first wave of relocation (August 2022 – December 2021) by 6.5 times. According to experts at @devby, the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, led to a significant collapse of the industry under the pressure of sanctions and an unfavorable external environment.
According to a study by the Belarus IT Companies Club, 56% of Belarusian IT companies have faced a decrease in demand for their services in the last six months. In the past year, 81% of them have opened offices abroad, which is 22% more than the previous year, and an additional 10% plan to do so. More than 53% of IT company executives predict further decrease in demand this year, expecting a decline in revenue of 10% or more.
Officials have named a propaganda YouTube channel, where some videos receive only 30 views, as the “best internet project.” The Ministry of Information announced the winners of the “Golden Letter” contest, which is held among state media. Some of them cause bewilderment.
State media topped the ranking of Belarusian YouTube channels by the number of views in May 2023.
Interestingly, predominantly Russian audiences follow Belarusian state media, which made it into the top ten. These conclusions were drawn from an analysis conducted on the infopolicy.biz platform.
The ranking also includes five independent Belarusian media:
Top 30 Belarusian Videos by Views in May 2023
Most Popular Content from Belarusian State Media on Instagram, May 2023
III Belarus Media Community Forum
Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus, known for their connections to Russian propaganda, managed to contact Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya by pretending to be Poroshenko. However, they were unable to maintain the conversation in Ukrainian with Vechorko. Despite the propaganda attempting to find sensational confessions in the “prank” video with Tsikhanouskaya, no secret revelations were made.
According to information from “Fontanka,” a Belarusian citizen accused of making critical statements about Lukashenko was detained in St. Petersburg. He had been wanted since January 2022.
The YouTube channel GUBOPiKa was blocked for violations of rules related to inappropriate images and materials of a sexual nature. This happened after the publication of a video about the arrest of a priest accused of distributing pornography to minors. The GUBOPiKa team has already opened a new channel. The authorities of Belarus have presented for discussion a draft decree on taxis, proposing to provide law enforcement agencies with online access to information about all taxi orders made by citizens.
As a result of the split in the BYPOL organization, control over the organization’s social media has passed into the hands of a group led by Matvey Kuprechik.
- The Instagram page of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, with 153,000 followers, was declared extremist on June 1.
- The administrator of the “Belaruskaia Turma” group was arrested. The trial took place on June 5. The group spread negative messages about Lukashenko’s opponents.
- The General Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus declared the “Society of Railway Workers of Belarus” extremist.
- The scientific-technical Telegram channel and chat @lab66 in Belarus were declared extremist.
- The publication “Zerkalo” has been classified as an extremist organization. Participants could face up to 7 years of imprisonment.
- The prosecutor of the Brest region restricted access to the internet resource flirck.cоm due to violations of the media law.
- The logo of the Belarusian Association of Journalists was declared extremist.