Belarus: From Revolution to Resolution?
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Belarus: From Revolution to Resolution?
1st July 2021 @ 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Since August 2020, the ceaseless courage of the people of Belarus has gripped the world. Following rigged presidential elections, mass protests against Aleksyandr Lukashenka have grown into a wider democratic movement, despite the disproportionate and terrifying use of force against protesters. Tragically, the plight of those imprisoned in Belarus, sometimes for the flimsiest of connections with the opposition movement, has become increasingly desperate. The regime’s decision to hijack a RyanAir flight to seize the blogger, Raman Pratasevich, is only the last in a long line of brazen behaviour.
Despite the growing humanitarian crisis in Belarus and his lack of legitimacy, Aleksyandr Lukashenka has refused any direct dialogue with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, his opponent and – many believe – the rightfully elected President. EU and US sanctions have done little to change the situation and Belarus is now at a crossroads. How should the opposition proceed? How to help those imprisoned? How to maintain the momentum of the democratic movement? Are negotiations a viable option? And what role can and should the UK play in these processes?
To discuss these questions and more, the Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host this esteemed panel of experts on what is a timely and important topic.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of democratic Belarus. After her husband was imprisoned for daring to run in elections against Aleksyandr Lukashenka, Ms Tsikhanouskaya took the courageous decision to take his place, coalescing the opposition forces behind her. Unable to face losing, the regime rigged the elections and launched a brutal crackdown on protestors, forcibly expelling Ms Tsikhanouskaya. Since then, Ms Tsikhanouskaya has managed to support the democratic cause and Belarusian people from Vilnius, where she functions as a legitimate President of Belarus for the transition period.
The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP has been the Member of Parliament for North Somerset since 1992. In John Major’s Government he served as a Minister at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. In May 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed him Secretary of State for Defence. Between July 2016 and July 2019, he served as Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade. As International Trade Secretary he was tasked with creating the UK’s first Independent Trade Policy for forty years post-Brexit.
Tom Tugendhat MP is the Member of Parliament for Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling, and the elected Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, a position he has held since 2017. Tom Tugendhat MP left the British Army in July 2013 after a career in which he served on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and, most recently, as the Military Assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff. He received an MBE, for his service in 2009. On returning to the UK, he worked for the Army Strategy Team helping prepare for the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Edward Lucas is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He was formerly a senior editor at The Economist. Lucas has covered Central and Eastern European affairs since 1986, writing, broadcasting, and speaking on the politics, economics, and security of the region. He is the author of four books: ‘The New Cold War’ (2008, newly revised and republished); ‘Deception’ (2011); ‘The Snowden Operation’ (2014), and ‘Cyberphobia’ (2015).
Vladislav Davidzon is a journalist, editor and artist who for ten years has been Tablet Magazine’s European culture critic and roving reporter in Eastern Europe. As well as being a policy analyst and essayist, his art and literary criticism and reportage have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bookforum, The American Interest, The New York Observer, Foreign Policy, Kyiv Post and The Washington Examiner. He founded The Odessa Review and he is a Non-Resident Fellow at The Atlantic Council. Vladislav’s book ‘From Odessa With Love‘ was published by Academica Press.
Dr Jade McGlynn is the Director of Research at the Henry Jackson Society. Prior to joining HJS, Jade worked as a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Oxford, where she also gained her DPhil in Russian. Jade has been published in various media outlets, leading academic journals, think tank reports, and collected volumes. Her first book ‘The Kremlin’s Memory Makers: The Politics of the Past in Putin’s Russia’ is due out next year with IB Tauris/Bloomsbury.