Panel 1

Belarus after four months of protest movement: how to overcome the political impasse

About Panel 1

Four months after mass protests broke out in reaction to the falsified presidential election, the situation in Belarus appears to be in a stalemate: The democracy movement insists on its demands for new, free and fair elections, an end to violence, and the release of political prisoners. Millions of people in the country support this, and civil society continues to organize itself with great energy into ever new, creative and decentralized forms. Lukashenka, on the other hand, keeps himself in power with the help of his security apparatus and backing from Moscow, refusing real dialogue, let alone to tender his resignation. Both sides see themselves in the majority and demonize each other. International mediation involving neighbors from the East and West, for example through the OSCE, is demanded by some and rejected by others. At the same time, trust between Russia and the West is at a new low.

What characterizes the current situation and the interests of the actors involved? What solutions do representatives of the democracy movement, analysts and activists see? What role do the Belarusian population and civil society play in the capital and countryside? These are the questions that we want to discuss on this Panel.

About Panel 1

Four months after mass protests broke out in reaction to the falsified presidential election, the situation in Belarus appears to be in a stalemate: The democracy movement insists on its demands for new, free and fair elections, an end to violence, and the release of political prisoners. Millions of people in the country support this, and civil society continues to organize itself with great energy into ever new, creative and decentralized forms. Lukashenka, on the other hand, keeps himself in power with the help of his security apparatus and backing from Moscow, refusing real dialogue, let alone to tender his resignation. Both sides see themselves in the majority and demonize each other. International mediation involving neighbors from the East and West, for example through the OSCE, is demanded by some and rejected by others. At the same time, trust between Russia and the West is at a new low.

What characterizes the current situation and the interests of the actors involved? What solutions do representatives of the democracy movement, analysts and activists see? What role do the Belarusian population and civil society play in the capital and countryside? These are the questions that we want to discuss on this Panel.

Moderator
Jakob Wöllenstein

Jakob Wöllenstein

Head of the Belarus Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Speakers
Valery Karbalevich

Valery Karbalevich

Political scientist in the analysis centre “Strategija”

Pavel Latushka

Pavel Latushka

Former Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, member of the Presidium of the Coordinating Council and Head of National Anti-Crisis Management

Aksana Shelest

Aksana Shelest

Sociologist, Centre for European Transformation

Dzmitry Bandarchuk

Dzmitry Bandarchuk

Co-founder of the citizens’ committee in Hrodna

Andrey Karpeka

Andrey Karpeka

Urbanist, Minsk Urban Platform

Vadim Mojeiko

Vadim Mojeiko

Analyst, Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies