Revival of the Protest Movement in Belarus?
GMF Senior Program Officer Maryna Rakhlei joined SWR2 to discuss Belarus and a possible revival of the protest movement against Alexander Lukashenko. Topics discussed included the subsided protests, whether less visibility has strengthened Lukashenko’s power, and the assistance the international community can provide. Regarding a possible revival of protests, Rakhlei noted that: “Participation in protests have become much more dangerous. Some people have been brutally beaten, randomly arrested and sentenced to prison. (…) In Minsk, for example, protests are hardly possible. There are preventative arrests, participation is criminalized, and journalists are arrested.” Rakhlei added that even without visible protests Lukashenko’s power has not been solidified, “Through chaired groups and solidarity within the community – that one can collect money within a few hours to pay for fines – you can see very clearly that the desire for change remains very strong.” While there are some steps that the international community can take, “it is up to the Belarusians to overcome the biggest challenges.”