The August 9 presidential election in Belarus has led to extensive protests throughout the nation, with the Belarusian population opposing the fraudulent election of the incumbent and longstanding authoritarian Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Mass demonstrations following the marred election, including increasing calls for political change, have been met by a brutal crackdown on Belarusians ordered by Lukashenka and his government and carried out by the security forces, resulting in several thousand detentions, dozens of injuries, and at least one death as of August 12. While Lukashenka’s repression continues unabated, impacting Belarus and protesting Belarusians, the main opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was forced to flee Belarus under duress to Lithuania for refuge. Meanwhile, the international response to the election has been mixed with China and Russia quickly congratulating Lukashenka and the EU, United States, and transatlantic partners calling the elections fraudulent, condemning and urging an end to Lukashenka’s unconscionable violent crackdown of Belarusians.
We hope that you can join the German Marshall Fund of the United State’s (GMF) Frontlines of Democracy Initiative and GMF’s Warsaw Office for a critical and timely discussion focused on the outcome of August 9 presidential election, the current situation on the ground in Belarus, and what comes next for Belarusians and Lukashenka as the protests continue.