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Opposition supporters light phones during a protest against President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus. Opposition supporters light phones and wave an old Belarusian national flag during a protest against President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 19, 2020 (AP photo by Dmitri Lovetsky).

How Russia’s Putin Could Respond to the Protests in Belarus

Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020

Belarus’ long-ruling dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, is resisting calls to step down amid a historic wave of antigovernment demonstrations and strikes. Throughout the momentous period of unrest, one of the big questions is how far Russian President Vladimir Putin would be willing to go to support his ally. Belarus is a strategically vital country for Russia, and is also a key concern for NATO, as it shares borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, all members of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

On the Trend Lines podcast this week, WPR columnist Candace Rondeaux joined Elliot Waldman to discuss some of the scenarios that could play out in Belarus if Lukashenko were to step down, and how the Kremlin could try to maintain its influence in the country. ...

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