The Belarusian Private News Agency or shortly BelaPAN (Belarusian: БелаПАН) is a non-governmental independent Belarusian news agency, one of the main in the country. BelaPAN provides news on politics, economy, and sports from Belarus in Russian, Belarusian and English.[1] The staff includes a wide net of reporters and correspondents.[2][3]

IndustryNews agency
Founded19 November 1991
HeadquartersMinsk, Belarus
OwnerAles Lipay

The company also runs projects related to advertising, elections monitoring, etc. BelaPAN owns the on-line newspaper Belorusskiye Novosti.[4][5]

Since 2004, BelaPAN is the only Belarusian representative in the CEE-BusinessLine.[6][7] According to Media IQ in 2019, BelaPAN had the highest rating of being clear from state propaganda.[8][9] The agency is characterized by a well-balanced, objective and impartial coverage of current events both on Eastern and Western political spheres.[10][1]


Foundation and early yearsEdit

The agency was founded on November 19, 1991, by the journalist Ales Lipay.[11][12] In 1992 Irina Levshina joined the team, as of 2020 she is the editor-in-chief. In her recollections, BelaPAN’s first office was located at Брылеўскі blind alley in a small wooden building with an outhouse. The office had only one PC, one fax machine and three work desks.[13] Apart from Levashova and Lipay, the staff included three more employees, they printed the news and on foot brought them to editors offices of Minsk newspapers.[14][12][15]

Gradually the company grew and in 1996 it rented the office from BelTA. In the early 2000s, it launched Отдыхай (‘Rest’ in Russian) newspaper, but soon the project had to be shut down due to low profitability.[13][15] By 2001 six of nine Minsk FM radio stations worked on a news feed, provided by BelaPAN.[16] In 2002 the agency included analytical, advertisement, publishing, social, and web design departments.[17]

On the 1st of 2002 BelaPAN launched the web newspaper ‘Belorusskiye novosti’ ( It became the first in ByNet and Belarus. Unlike paper ones, it published the news to the day.[5][4][18]

In 2007 the separate editors office for multimedia was launched,[19][20][21] in July of the same year first infographics was introduced.[22] By 2008 at least 100 news articles were published in BelaPAN's feed, the company had a monitoring service and an advertising agency.[23]

Through the years, BelaPAN’s journalists were numerous times arrested,[24][25][26] questioned in the state General Prosecutor’s Office,[27] obstructed in the discharge of professional duties.[28]


BelaPAN’s website was hacked on October 24, 2011, the attackers left Lukashenko’s portrait on the main page.[29]

BelaPAN and Naviny domains were blocked on December 20, 2014.[30][31] On October 3, 2015, BelaPAN’s server experienced a significant DDoS attack after publishing materials on the ‘Pray for Belarus’ action.[32] Other blockages occurred on March 27, 2015, and February 15, 2016.[33][34] At that time several important political events took place: private entrepreneurs meeting at the Oktyabrskaya Square, in Brussels the EU Council meeting discussed the possibility of lifting the sanctions on Belarusian officials[35] Though the site's blockage could be done only by order of the government, officially it was named hackers' attack. Simultaneously several other independent media portals were blocked.[36]

BelTA caseEdit

Several journalists and the editor-in-chief of BelaPAN were arrested for alleged stealing of news from a paid subscription of a government-owned BelTA agency.[37][38] BelaPAN’s editor-in-chief Levshina was held in a temporary holding facility for three days.[39] Human rights activists, BAJ and OSCE members unanimously called the BelTA case an intimidation to all the independent media, and the reaction of local authorities to be highly disproportionate.[40][41][42]


BelaPAN has received numerous awards, including:

  • Dzmitry Zavadski Prize "For Courage and Professionalism" (2004);[1]
  • the Zeit Foundation's Young Press of Eastern Europe annual award (2005);[1]
  • the Runet Prize as the best online Russian language source of news outside Russia (2006);[1]
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award (2016);[43]
  • editor-in-chief Irina Levshina received Journalist of Year award (2018);[44]
  • BelaPAN’s reporter Tatjana Korovenkova was awarded Civil Society Champion prize (2018);[45]
  • Leader of Consumer Market Award (2019).[46]


  1. ^ a b c d e Unesco 2011, p. 84.
  2. ^ "Person of the Day" (in Russian). Radio Svoboda. 2005-03-09. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  3. ^ Bystrov, A. (2018-08-10). "With attacks on independent media, the "thaw" in Belarus is over". Open Democracy. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  4. ^ a b "Умер основатель БелаПАН Алесь Липай" (in Russian). The Village. 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  5. ^ a b Shibut 2006, p. 3-4.
  6. ^ "CEE-BusinessLine jetzt als Bürgerservice auf" (in Russian). APA-OTS. 2004-05-05. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  7. ^ "AFX nutzt CEE-BusinessLine als Quelle für CEE-Finanzberichterstattung" (in German). APA-OTS. 2004-04-06. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  8. ^ "13 медиа использовали пропаганду и манипуляции в апреле" [13 Media Used Propaganda in April] (in Russian). Media IQ. 2019-05-23. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  9. ^ "Рекордно высокий балл у БелаПАН" [BelaPan Hits the Record] (in Russian). Media IQ. 2019-10-29. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  10. ^ "Analytical Report on Media Freedom in Belarus, 2014" (PDF) (in Russian). Belarusian Association of Journalists. 2014. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  11. ^ "Год назад умер Алесь Липай — основатель негосударственной информационной компании БелаПАН" (in Russian). Belarusian Association of Journalists. 2019-08-23. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  12. ^ a b "БелаПАН отмечает 25-летие" [BelaPan Turns 25] (in Russian). 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  13. ^ a b "Ирина Левшина: Ненавижу расхожую фразу «выйти из зоны комфорта»" (in Russian). Belarusian Association of Journalists. 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  14. ^ "Поздравляем! БелаПАН празднует 25-летие" (in Russian). Belarusian Partisan. 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  15. ^ a b "Как Лукашенко не пускали в БелаПАН. И другие наши истории" (in Russian). Belarusian Association of Journalists. 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  16. ^ OSCE 2001, p. 28.
  17. ^ "Открылась интернет-газета «Белорусские новости»" (in Russian). C-News. 2002-07-02. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  18. ^ Gradushko 2013, p. 51.
  19. ^ Gradushko 2019, p. 115.
  20. ^ Gradushko 2013, p. 95.
  21. ^ Bykovsky, P. "Мультимедиа в BYNET" [Multimedia in ByNet] (in Russian). Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  22. ^ Gradushko 2015, p. 113.
  23. ^ "17 лет назад начало свою работу «Беларускае прыватнае агенцтва навінаў», или просто БелаПАН" (in Russian). 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  24. ^ "Власти в Минске пресекли "Марш рассерженных белорусов"" [Authorities Suppresses Angry Belarusians March in Minsk] (in Russian). TASS. 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  25. ^ "Журналиста БелаПАН будут судить" (in Russian). 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  26. ^ "В МВД заявили, что задержания у магазина были связаны с дракой у машины" (in Russian). InterFax West. 2020-06-24. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  27. ^ "Журналиста БелаПАН допросили в Генпрокуратуре" (in Russian). 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  28. ^ "Жанна Литвина: Нарушены права журналиста БелаПАН" [Joan Litvina: BelaPAN Journalist Rights Violated] (in Russian). 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  29. ^ "Взломан сайт компании БелаПАН (Скриншот)" (in Russian). 2011-10-25. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  30. ^ "Заблокирован сайт агентства БелаПАН" (in Russian). 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  31. ^ "Что стоит за блокировками сайтов в Байнете" [What’s behind ByNet Sites Blockage?] (in Russian). Deutsche Welle. 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  32. ^ "БелаПАН: DDоS-атака на наши сайты - грубое давление на СМИ" [DDoS Attack on BelaPAN Is a Severe Pressure on Media] (in Russian). 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  33. ^ "Некоторые провайдеры заблокировали доступ к оппозиционным сайтам" (in Russian). 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  34. ^ "Freedom of Mass Media in Belarus, 2016" (PDF) (in Russian). Belarusian Association of Journalists. 2017. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  35. ^ "October Square, Minsk" (in Russian). 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  36. ^ "Доступ к сайту БелаПАН был заблокирован из-за хакерской атаки" (in Russian). 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  37. ^ "В офисах TUT.BY и БелаПАН обыск" (in Russian). Belsat. 2018-08-07. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  38. ^ Shestakov, I. (2018-08-12). "Не тот товар: почему в кражу белорусских новостей сложно поверить" [The Wrong Goods: Why Stealing of News in Belarus Seems Unlikely] (in Russian). Izvestiya. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  39. ^ "После допроса в СК главного редактора БелаПАН Ирину Левшину отправили в ИВС" (in Russian). InterFax West. 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  40. ^ "OSCE Representative concerned over measures against independent media outlets in Belarus, calls on authorities to release detained journalists" (in Russian). OSCE. 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  41. ^ "Приговор Марине Золотовой – сигнал всем журналистам" (in Russian). Belsat Eu. 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  42. ^ "Belarus Detains 18 Journalists in Raids at Independent Outlets". NY Times. 2018-09-08. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  43. ^ "Информационная компания БелаПАН стала лауреатом III ежегодной премии КСО в Беларуси" (in Russian). 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  44. ^ "Ирина Левшина: Моя мечта — уважать руководство моей страны" [Irina Levshina: My Dream Is to Gain Respect Towards My Homeland’s Authorities] (in Russian). Reformation. 2019-12-12. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  45. ^ "В Минске определили "чемпионов гражданского общества" 2018 года" (in Russian). Spektr. 2019-01-11. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  46. ^ "Премия "Лидер потребительского рынка" отметила пятилетний юбилей" (in Russian). BelTA. 2019-12-12. Retrieved 2020-07-20.


External linksEdit