Belarus at War: Domestic Crisis and Relations with Russia
How has the war and the ongoing domestic crisis affected Belarus and its relations with Russia? What is the future of both the Belarusian regime and Belarus as a sovereign state? This talk discusses the evolution of the Belarusian regime, state-society relations and the formation of a new model of Belarus-Russia relations since the outbreak of the Belarusian crisis (2020) and Russian-Ukrainian war (2022). It shows how both structural drivers and situational choices turned Aliaksandr Lukashenka into the only co-aggressor in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and how the war re-shapes the core pillars of Lukashenka’s domestic governance structure. Its outlook, as well as the future of Belarus as a state, however, will depend on the outcome of the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Ryhor Nizhnikau is a Senior Research Fellow in Russia, the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Eurasia program at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He works on Russia’s and the EU’s policies in the EU’s eastern neighborhood, and studies the institutional transformations in the region. He received his PhD in Political Science from Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu. His publications include EU-Induced Change in Post-Soviet Space: Promoting Reforms in Moldova and Ukraine (London: Routledge, 2019), and Russian policy towards Belarus after 2020: At a turning point? (Lexington Books, 2023), co-edited with Arkady Moshes.