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Belarusian political elites: new, imagined, lost?

The reality in today’s Belarus is that of decreased enthusiasm and less social mobilisation. The ruling elite of the Lukashenka regime is still wielding power and a large part of the society that was active during the 2020 protests is now living abroad or imprisoned.

When today we reflect on the protest movement that started in Belarus in 2020, we can see that one of its distinguishing features were the so-called new faces of the opposition that the whole world focused on and admired. Namely, the world became fascinated by the new Belarusian political leaders who were expected, and hoped for, to change, or fix, the country’s political system, drawing on the then enormous social energy that translated into political mobilisation unprecedented for Belarus.
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December 7, 2022 - Maxim Rust - Hot TopicsIssue 6 2022Magazine

One of the greatest hopes of 2020 was that the Belarusian system and its ruling elite would begin to crumble from within. At that time, we were pointing to all the scratches appearing on the system’s foundation, stating that they would soon become cracks and that the regime would fall apart. Photo: Dmitriy Drozd / Shutterstock

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