Episode 8: The 2020 awakening. Social mobilization and the presidential election
In early spring 2020, mass political mobilization began form in Belarus, caused by economic turmoil and exacerbated by Lukashenka’s inadequate response to the coronavirus epidemic. The coronavirus epidemic began developing in Belarus in early March, exactly when the more active phase pf Lukashenka’s election campaign began to unfold. By June, following the controversies and the regime in downplaying the impact of COVID-19, Belarus was among the 15 most-affected countries with the highest number of identified coronavirus cases per capita. The people responded by self-organization, crowd-funding and coming to the understanding that the state is no longer there to provide for them.Ahead of the election, the three main opposition candidates were arrested or forced to flee the country. The only true opposition candidate able to legally registered became Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya - who was joined by two other women (Veranika Tsapkala and Maria Kalesnikava). Their campaign over the summer draw huge crowds and giving the already politicized and angry society a new hope for change. This episode takes us through the year 2020. We start with the spring and the awakening through the election and the protests that broke out and continue until today.Hosted by: Adam ReichardtGuest speaker: Olga Dryndova, Belarusian analyst based in Germany, main editor of the Belarus-Analysen publication. Further Reading:“Belarusian spring? Politicisation of the wider society”. By Olga Dryndova. New Eastern Europe, 8 July 2020. https://neweasterneurope.eu/2020/07/08/belarusian-spring-politicisation-of-the-wider-society/“COVID-19 as the Worst Crisis of Lukashenko’s Career”. By Yuri Tsarik / Wilson Center Blog (19 June 2020): https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/covid-19-worst-crisis-lukashenkos-career“A new united opposition up against a tired president: counting down to the elections in Belarus” By Maxim Rust. New Eastern Europe 5 August 2020. https://neweasterneurope.eu/2020/08/05/a-new-united-opposition-up-against-a-tired-president-counting-down-to-the-elections-in-belarus/# ***This podcast is financed by Solidarity Fund PL within the framework of the Polish development cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and the grant titled: “In Solidarity with Belarus”. The podcast expresses exclusively the views of the speakers and cannot be identified with the official stance of the Solidarity Fund PL nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.