Democracy Is Down but Not Out

June 04, 2021

Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarussian dictator, snatches a dissident from midair. Military strongman Assimi Goita launches another coup in Mali. Benjamin Netanyahu escalates a military conflict to save his own political skin in Israel. In the United States, the Republican Party launches a...

Belarus: Is There a Way Out of the Crisis?

September 29, 2020

Belarus is politically deadlocked. The peaceful movement protesting against veteran ruler Alexander Lukashenko and the manipulation of the presidential election on August 9 is too strong for the state to simply suppress it by force. As long as the political leadership continues to respond with...

Could COVID-19 Bring Down Autocrats?

August 28, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 initially looked like a gift to autocrats around the world. What better pretext for a state of emergency than a pandemic? It was a golden opportunity to close borders, suppress civil society and issue decrees left and right (mostly right). Donald Trump in the United...

How Russia Views the Election Aftermath in Belarus

August 18, 2020

In Moscow, all eyes are on Belarus. Russia and Belarus are intimately connected, so political actors in Russia feel an immediate connection with developments there. In formal terms, the two countries form a “union state” and an economic and defense community. Belarus is Moscow’s closest...

Belarus Is Not a Unique Case

August 14, 2020

The rigged election of President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has provoked massive protests among the citizenry. The uprising appears to have radically destabilized the authority of Lukashenko’s government. The New York Times offers this assessment: “Mr. Lukashenko’s security apparatus...

Big Blow for a Stable Dictatorship: Major Protests Hit Belarus

August 13, 2020

It’s not that Belarus hasn’t had any protests recently. It’s just they have never been this big and this bloody. The capital, Minsk, has seen the use of military machinery, grenade explosions and special forces attacking both protesters and innocent bystanders. Smaller cities are...

Belarus Understands the Diplomatic Power of Sport

June 11, 2019

It seems Minsk is becoming a fixture on the international sporting calendar despite the widely condemned human rights situation in Belarus. The second edition of the European Games is set to kick off on June 21 in Minsk, Belarus. Events covering 15 different sports, from archery to sambo, will...