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...

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...

Forbidden Fruit and Dirty Oil: Russia’s Latest Dispute with Belarus

May 20, 2019

Relations between Russia and neighboring Belarus are often denoted by strategic tit-for-tat. Reactions in the past weeks over disputed subsidies and tainted crude oil demonstrate that the alliance between the two post-Soviet states is unsettled. Any hint of insecurity within the Russian sphere of...

What’s Going On in Belarus?

June 15, 2017

Human rights violations go largely unnoticed in “Europe’s last dictatorship.” Amid protests and police violence in Belarus, with the biggest rally taking place on March 25 in Minsk and the country’s larger cities against the so-called “social parasites” law, the country has once...