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9 September 2020

Which way for Belarus? Protesters defy Lukashenko's grip on power

For years, Belarus had been branded as Europe's last dictatorship. Now, is it ripe for revolution? Despite a crackdown and claims by longtime strongman Alexander Lukashenko that he won re-election with 80 percent of the vote, protesters in major cities keep coming out. With a neophyte leadership that's now either in exile or in jail, can the opposition sustain the momentum?

And can Lukashenko - in power since 1994 - put dissent back in a box? He has received the belated support of Russia - but what are the terms and conditions? After all, the Kremlin has not forgotten his rejection of a more integrated economic partnership between the former Soviet neighbours. For now though, Russia's all in.

And what about the West? On the day that the opposition coalition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya addressed the Council of Europe from her new exile in neighbouring Lithuania, calls for sanctions continue to grow, particularly after the broad daylight abduction and attempted deportation of another leading opponent.

France 24  askеd about the case of Maria Kolesnikova and more broadly, what the coming days and weeks have in store.

Guests of the studio:
  • Ksenia BOLCHAKOVA, Reporter, Sept à huit, TF1
  • Olexiy HARAN, Professor, Kyiv-Mohyla University
  • Andrey KORTUNOV, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council
  • Tatsiana CHULITSKAYA, Researcher, Vytautas Magnus University

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ariana Mozafari.

Source: France 24