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Charting the Path From Protests to Power in Belarus

Sim Tack
Senior Global Analyst , Stratfor
Aug 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Opposition supporters protest against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s disputed electoral victory in Minsk, Belarus, on Aug. 18, 2020. 

Opposition supporters protest against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s disputed electoral victory in Minsk on Aug. 18, 2020. 

(SERGEI GAPON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Belarusian protest movement is positioning itself to gradually shutter President Alexander Lukashenko’s access to all levels of government and industry, which could eventually force his exit by robbing him of any power or legitimacy. While peaceful marches through Minsk and other cities make for impressive demonstrations of the opposition’s resolve, they don’t necessarily force political change. The opposition movement, however, has gradually increased demands for active statements of support from the Belarusian industry and local and regional levels of politics, which could eventually undercut the embattled president’s position. Protesters are seeking to achieve this by effectively forcing political and industry representatives to make a choice between allegiance to their opposition movement or Lukashenko, with an implied understanding that whoever chooses the latter will be barred from any power structures in a potential post-Lukashenko government. But personnel in key management or leadership positions who have benefited from the status quo...

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