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Police set up a roadblock during a rally protesting the official presidential election results in Minsk Police set up a roadblock during a rally protesting the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Oct. 18, 2020 (AP photo).

Will Brutality Be Enough to Keep Belarus’ Lukashenko in Power?

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

After Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term last August in an election that was widely decried as rigged, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to demand his resignation. Rather than capitulate or compromise, Lukashenko unleashed a reign of terror that has included arbitrary arrests, torture, psychological abuse and other ill-treatment of protesters.

That is one of the main factors that has allowed the aging dictator to remain in power despite the unrest, says Dan Peleschuk, a freelance journalist who himself was imprisoned for two days in Minsk last summer while attempting to cover the protests. He joined WPR’s Elliot Waldman on the Trend Lines podcast to talk about what the future might hold for Belarus’ beleaguered pro-democracy movement. ...

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