15
April 2024
Past Event
The Struggle for Freedom in Belarus with Andrei Sannikov

The Struggle for Freedom in Belarus with Andrei Sannikov

Past Event
Hudson Institute
April 15, 2024
Belarusian presidential candidates Andrei Sannikov speaks to journalists after voting in Minsk, Belarus, on December 19, 2010. (Photo by Maksim Malinouski/AFP via Getty Images)
Caption
Then Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov speaks to journalists after voting in Minsk, Belarus, on December 19, 2010. (Photo by Maksim Malinouski/AFP via Getty Images)
15
April 2024
Past Event

Event will also air live on this page.

 

Inquiries: mdewitt@hudson.org

Speakers:
Andrei Sannikov
Andrei Sannikov

Belarus Opposition Leader

peter_rough
Peter Rough

Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Europe and Eurasia

tod_lindberg
Tod Lindberg

Senior Fellow

Listen to Event Audio

Although Belarus gained independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke up, it has been the crown jewel of Russia’s sphere of influence for three decades since. Domestically, Belarus remains firmly in the grip of its authoritarian ruler, Alexander Lukashenko, who has maintained power since 1994 through brutal repression and a series of unfree and unfair elections.

Nevertheless, Belarusian civil society has a strong identity and a tradition of peaceful protest in support of freedom and democracy. In 1995, Andrei Sannikov resigned in protest from his position as deputy foreign minister of Belarus after Lukashenko put forward a referendum that would pave the way for the strongman’s consolidation of power. Sannikov has fought for Belarus’s freedom ever since. In 2005, he won the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Service to Human Rights. In 2010, Sannikov ran for president in a sham election in which Lukashenko claimed to have won more than 80 percent of the vote. In the aftermath, Sannikov led a peaceful demonstration in Minsk’s main square. Riot police attacked, badly injuring Sannikov. He was subsequently arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. Under international pressure, the Lukashenko regime released the opposition leader in April 2012. Threatened with rearrest, Sannikov left Belarus and received political asylum in the United Kingdom.

At Hudson, Sannikov will offer remarks on Belarus’s strategic importance, Russia’s regional ambitions, and prospects for political change in Minsk, followed by a question-and-answer session with Hudson Senior Fellow Tod Lindberg.

Agenda

2:30 p.m. | Welcome and Introduction

  • Peter Rough, Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Europe and Eurasia, Hudson Institute

2:35 p.m. | Remarks

  • Andrei Sannikov, Belarusian Opposition Leader

2:50 p.m. | Conversation

  • Andrei Sannikov, Belarusian Opposition Leader
  • Tod Lindberg, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

3:05 | Audience Q&A

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