An online roundtable discussion "Presidential Elections and Protests in Belarus: Responses from above, below and without"

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Insitutet för Rysslands- och Eurasienstudier
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
  • Föreläsning

An online roundtable discussion featuring Sofie Bedford (IRES), Anastasia Ilina (Independent researcher and journalist) and Ryhor Nizhnikau (Finnish Institute of International Affairs).

Few could have predicted the political turbulence of Belarus in 2020. Presidential elections to confirm a sixth term for President Lukashenko were expected to be cut and dry; instead there have been defections from the elite, a new protest movement has emerged and, despite the best efforts of the regime, political contestation and street politics have shaken Belarus’s hegemonic, closed authoritarian system. 

This roundtable event provides timely analysis of the recent Presidential elections and considers what Lukashenko’s victory means for politics in Belarus. Three speakers will offer us their perspectives on the election and how the political environment has changed in 2020.

Dr. Sofie Bedford (IRES, Uppsala University) will consider how an English teacher with no previous political experience became the candidate who got ordinary Belarusians onto the streets to openly show their desire for change. She will also discuss why this is the most serious threat Lukashenka´s regime has faced in a long time.

Dr. Ryhor Nizhnikau (Finnish Institute of International Affairs) will examine how the regime has responded to new and unexpected (domestic and external) challenges, and what effect this has had on regime’s stability and Belarus-Russia relations.

Dr. Anastasia Ilina (Independent researcher and journalist) will discuss the role of new media and political technologies in the campaigns of alternative candidates and analyze the impact of Russian informational activities on the election.

NB! The seminar will be held on Zoom. To attend the event please click on the link