Russia Alarmed and Awed by the Belarusian Revolution

15 Sep 2020

(Eurasia Daily Monitor) Five weeks of peaceful mass protests in Belarus after the falsified elections on August 9, have profoundly changed this formerly rather stable and conservative country, impressed its European neighbors, and set a sharp challenge for Russia, which is tied to this partner in a peculiar “Union State” arrangement undergirded by strong historical, cultural and economic ties. Belarus’s embattled head of state, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, has been clinging to power by combining intermittent brutal suppressions of street rallies with selective punishment of the leaders of the uprising; but so far, he has been unable to achieve the desired passive acceptance of his right to rule. In Lukashenka’s apparent calculation, his best hope for restoring habitual stability is support from Russia, and the Belarusian president’s visit to Sochi on Monday, September 14, is supposed to secure a decisive increase of this “brotherly help” (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 10). [...]

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