Big Trouble in Little Belarus

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By Ciarán & Hugh. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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No Election Left Behind

2020 Belarusian presidential election

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Belarusian_presidential_election

EU response

EU officially doesn't recognise the results, but it took a while (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/19/belarus-crisis-eu-leaders-emergency-talks-lukashenko-protests). There's talk of sanctions but nothing specific yet

On the delay from a Politico Newsletter:

ANOTHER STATEMENT: The EU threatened sanctions earlier this week, but today’s videoconference is more about delivering a “quick reaction,” a senior EU diplomat told Jacopo Barigazzi. A decision very likely won’t come until the foreign ministers meet in person August 27-28 in Berlin, the diplomat said, for an informal gathering known as a “Gymnich.” And since EU High Representative Josep Borrell is technically on holiday away from Brussels, no press conference is expected at the end of today’s meeting — just a readout.

Also...

https://neweasterneurope.eu/2020/08/17/belarus-why-this-time-is-not-different/

Strikes

Call for solidarity from worker organisations: https://progressive.international/wire/2020-08-19-an-urgent-call-for-solidarity-with-the-workers-and-people-of-belarus/en

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/state-controlled-firms-join-strike-belarus-president-200818113145275.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/17/belarus-opposition-calls-for-general-strike-after-biggest-protests-yet

Including the state TV station - https://www.dw.com/en/belarus-television-broadcasts-empty-studio-as-state-media-joins-general-strike/a-54593079?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

Europe's last dictator...

For a very questionable graph: https://www.rferl.org/a/years-of-lukashenka-and-counting/30769566.html

But yes he's been in office a long time and it would not be reasonable to say he's been winning fair elections for a long time.

The response from the Lukashenka side to the possibility of a real challenger is not surprising - imprisoned candidates, banned rallies, etc (https://neweasterneurope.eu/2020/08/07/ahead-of-the-presidential-elections-in-belarus/)

From Maxim Rust, Polish political science researcher:

"The elections will be held on August 9th. Nobody is sure about how they will unfold or how the authorities will react to the planned mass protests in their aftermath. One thing is certain – regardless of the election results, Belarusian society is not what it was just a few months ago. "

That was pretty spot on

Crackdown

"Opposition leader" forced to leave for safety
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sviatlana_Tsikhanouskaya#cite_note-41
https://www.rferl.org/a/belarusian-opposition-candidate-forced-to-leave-country/30778578.html
https://news.sky.com/video/end-violence-on-streets-of-belarus-says-opposition-leader-12049164
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53733330

Internet cutoff
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/11/belarus-president-cuts-off-internet-amid-widespread-protests
https://twitter.com/BBCWillVernon/status/1293963021677735937

Beatings and torture of those arrested, general harsh approach to protesters
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/10/belarus-elections-lukashenko-protests-tikhanovskaya-europe/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/13/belarusians-accuse-lukashenko-regime-of-beatings-and-torture
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/10/belarus-elections-lukashenko-protests-tikhanovskaya-europe/
https://www.eurotopics.net/en/245568/protests-and-violence-after-belarus-elections
https://euobserver.com/foreign/149144?utm_source=euobs&utm_medium=rss

Journalists being rounded up specifically
https://twitter.com/HannaLiubakova/status/1293867313775747072
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/danpeleschuk/belarus-detention-centers-abuse-lukashenko-protests
https://www.dw.com/en/dws-belarus-correspondent-released-after-10-day-arrest/a-54584439?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

189 episodes