Belsat TV broadcasts in Belarusian and Russian to the post-Soviet region. It is a subsidiary of Telewizja Polska and aims to provide reliable news, promote Belarus' national culture and language, and combat disinformation in countries targeted by pro-Kremlin media. The channel's programs are created by an international team working in Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Its founder and director is Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy.
THE VALUES that we believe in and strive to support
1. Everyone should be able to freely share their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment or censorship.
2. Seeking and understanding the truth is vital for making informed decisions.
3. Everyone should be treated equally under the law and has the right to participate in politics.
4. People should be free to choose their path in life.
5. Faith and spiritual beliefs are essential for many people.
6. We support the independence and sovereignty of Belarus.
7. We value the Belarusian language and culture at home and abroad.
8. Belarus has a rich history and its European roots that should be recognized and celebrated.
9. We believe in tolerance and respect for minority groups and their traditions.
10. We value diverse opinions and encourage open dialogue.
11. We support alternative attitudes and initiatives that challenge the status quo.
12. Building solid social connections and solidarity is crucial for a healthy society.
In the early 1990s, it was recognized that Belarus needed an independent media outlet that was not influenced by the political cliques in Minsk and Moscow. This need became more pressing as Alyaksandr Lukashenka tightened his grip on the country. Belsat was created in response and is currently the only TV station that provides the Belarusians with reliable news free from propaganda. The primary broadcasting language is Belarusian, which remains an essential aspect of the national identity for many Belarusians, despite being less frequently used than Russian. In addition to news, Belsat offers programming on topics that the state media avoids, such as social issues and high-level official corruption. The annexation of Ukrainian Crimea and the war in Donbas, accompanied by a propaganda campaign from the Russian Federation, prompted Belsat to expand its audience to include Russian-speaking residents of other former Soviet countries who are exposed to the false reality presented by the dominant pro-Kremlin media in the region.
Belarusian journalists see working for Belsat as the sole means of delivering an impartial message to their fellow citizens through contemporary media. Meanwhile, for the Polish team members at Belsat, it's a chance to repay their ethical obligation to those, who supported Poland from overseas during communist era.
HOW TO SUPPORT US
Belsat receives funding primarily from the Polish government. In 2007, Telewizja Polska and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed to provide organizational support and long-term funding for the channel. This model allows for co-financing from foreign states and private institutions that promote freedom of speech and democratic processes, particularly in the former USSR. This support provides financial benefits and gives the project political credibility. Viewers in Belarus feel that they are not alone in their efforts to democratize their country. International financial support helps to expand the variety of programs offered and supports the channel's technological development, such as:
Belsat is the sole TV channel broadcasting to the former Soviet Union region from a member country of the EU and NATO. As the Russian Federation's information campaigns turn more aggressive against countries it wants to keep within its influence, Belsat's growth as a credible news outlet could significantly impact the region's socio-political condition. Any organization interested in supporting this exceptional media project and monitoring Belsat actions should contact the Solidarity Zone Foundation.
Fundacja Strefa Solidarności
ul. Sękocińska 18/2, 02-313 Warsaw
Phone: +48 609 669 953
If you're interested in advertising on Belsat, the Polish television advertising department can help you. You can choose between two airtime slots - following the afternoon or evening editions of the channel's most-watched programs. Additionally, advertisements and sponsored texts can be published on the channel's website in four languages. To learn more, don't hesitate to get in touch with the Belsat TV secretariat:
ul. Jana Pawła Woronicza 17, 00-999 Warsaw
Phone: +48 605 605 630
From the outset, in addition to Telewizja Polska and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belsat has been supported by a range of institutions:
Belsat has also cooperated with the following media partners:
PRESSURE FROM THE BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES
Before the beginning of the broadcast, Alyaksandr Lukashenka criticized Belsat as a "senseless, unworthy, and hostile" project. The station has faced pressure and intimidation since its inception. In 2008, a campaign was launched to remove satellite antennas from buildings. While it was claimed to improve the appearance of the buildings, the channel's associates were summoned for questioning. The most common tactic used against Belsat was to reprimand journalists for collaborating with foreign media not accredited in Belarus. Additionally, accreditation requests and attempts to open an official bureau in Minsk were denied many times.
In February 2010, the Belarusian police tried to enter an apartment in Minsk that a representative of Belsat was living in. It led to the sentencing of a journalist who worked for the channel to ten days in detention, supposedly on the charge of hooliganism. In response, Professor Jerzy Buzek, the former President of the European Parliament, and Catherine Ashton, the EU's Foreign Affairs Chief, publicly spoke in defense of the journalist.
The European Parliament has passed four resolutions urging the European Union to support Belsat. Specifically, on January 20, 2011, the European Parliament emphasized the importance of supporting independent media in Belarus, such as Belsat broadcasting from Poland. Euro MPs have called upon the European Commission to use both political and financial resources to support the efforts of Belarusian civil society and non-governmental organizations in promoting democracy and opposing the regime. The resolution also suggests that the commission should discontinue its collaboration with Belarusian state-owned media and withdraw all forms of assistance to them.
In January 2012, the Belarus Human Rights and Democracy Act was signed by US President Barack Obama. The act specified the critical objectives of American foreign policy towards Belarus, including backing for electronic media broadcasting in Belarusian, such as Belsat.
However, in September 2014, the Belarussian Supreme Court banned Telewizja Polska from using the "Belsat" in Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. The ban did not take effect until the spring 2017, when Belsat aired live coverage of massive street protests against the unemployment tax.
During a demonstration in support of Syarhei Tsikhanouski, a blogger who aimed to run in the Belarusian presidential elections, two Belsat employees, Zmitser Lupach and Mikhail Arshynski, were arrested along with three other independent media staff in May 2020. The European Union's lead Spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy Peter Stano urged the Belarusian authorities to release them immediately. Before that, Reporters Without Borders had called on the international community to act.
Following the rigged presidential elections in 2020, a massive repression campaign was launched. Over a third of the cases involved individuals associated with Belsat. Between August 9 and December 31 of that year, there were 162 detentions and 97 arrests. These journalists spent 392 days in jail and were fined over $26,000. Despite this, various industry associations, human rights groups, and governments came to their defense.
To date, some of the Belsat associates remain incarcerated. Nevertheless, the channel is trying to secure its release with the international community's support.
HOW TO WATCH US
Belsat broadcasts daily from 07:00 Belarusian time (UTC+3).
Belsat can be watched by tuning into the Astra 4A satellite – position 5˚E, horizontal polarization, frequency 12303 MHz, DVB-S, Modulation, symbol rate 25546 MSymb/s.
You can watch Belsat on various cable networks in Poland and Ukraine. If you need more details, you can contact your cable provider. Additionally, cable network providers can obtain a free license to include Belsat's signal in their networks.
The channel can be streamed live on the Belsat.eu website and YouTube, where Belsat has thirteen thematic channels in four different languages:
· БЕЛСАТ DOC,
· БЕЛСАТ LIFE,
· БЕЛСАТ MUSIC,
· БЕЛСАТ NEWS,
· БЕЛСАТ NOW,
· ВОТ ТАК,
· ВОТ ТАК NOW,
· BIEŁSAT PL.
Stay updated on the latest news from Belarus and worldwide by installing the BelsatTV app. It is available for Android and iOS mobile devices and offers news content in Belarusian.
Belsat can be watched by installing the BelsatSmart VOD app for Internet-connected TVs and Android devices.
ul. Jana Pawła Woronicza 17, 00-999 Warsaw
Phone: +48 605 605 630
Director / Editor-in-chief of Belsat TV
Deputy Director – Deputy Editor-in-chief of Belsat TV
Deputy Director of Belsat TV for planning and content.