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The election that changed Belarus

The August 9th presidential election has become a critical event for both the Belarusian society and the ruling elite. The election saw the breakdown of traditional divides between the government and a decades-old political opposition. New players have presented themselves as an alternative to the existing system and have shown themselves to be capable of amassing an unprecedented level of public support.

On August 9th, a consequential presidential election took place in Belarus. A few months prior, there was no indication that this year's campaign would be radically different from any previous one. Everyone had assumed that the regime would simply register a few opposition candidates with no chance. After a typically uneventful campaign, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka would then claim another "elegant victory". Perhaps a few protests were expected, alongside expressions of “deep concern” from the European Union and the United States. Belarusian political life would soon return to “normal” following the announcement of the results.
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September 7, 2020 - Maxim Rust - Hot TopicsIssue 5 2020Magazine

Following the announcement of the election results, mass protests broke out across the country, with the historical Belarusian flag becoming one of the symbols. Photo: Telegram channel of Photographers Against

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