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Elections in Russia and Belarus: what is the fundamental difference?

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

Looking at the news from Russia today, we can observe the following: in Russia, a rather symbolic event is taking place, whereas in Belarus in 2020, the Belarusians aimed to bring about a change in the political system from a dictatorship to a democracy. Unlike Russia, a majority of citizens actively participated in these actions.

As a result, Belarus witnessed a tumultuous election in 2020 that marked a complete failure and political defeat for Lukashenko. In Russia in 2024, despite the "Noon against Putin" protest, there is no sense of a democratic and protesting majority or a significant segment of Russian society.

For the past two years, Russian society has not rallied against the war and Putin, despite the fact that the potential consequences for doing so in Russia are incomparable to the fully totalitarian system of control and widespread repression in Belarus. There are no large-scale repressions in Russia, nor is there widespread public dissent against the actions of the authorities.

In contrast, in Belarus, the majority of Belarusians oppose Lukashenko and the war, and the cycle of terror in the country continues unabated.

This is the fundamental difference. The Lukashenko regime in Belarus relies on fear, violence, and terror against Belarusians, whereas the Putin regime is founded on the consent and approval of the vast majority of Russians.

How can Putin and the war be stopped? By supporting Ukraine and providing it with the necessary resources to repel aggression and achieve victory on the battlefield. Simultaneously, supporting the Belarusians who persistently fight for the liberation of Belarus from the Lukashenko regime, a key ally of Russia, is crucial.

We must place our bets on those who actively fight and resist.



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