The Belarusian Election: Three experts explain what to expect from the presidential vote and the real political battle that follows
On August 9, Belarus concludes its most contentious, openly dirtiest, and toughest presidential campaign ever. During the race, one leading (albeit unregistered) candidate has been imprisoned (as well as two campaign chiefs of staff) and another fled the country altogether. Long-time incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) now faces a surprisingly formidable challenge from Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya), a woman thrust into the nation’s political spotlight.
To understand better what is at stake in the race, what it means for Lukashenko to compete against a woman, and why the Belarusian authorities arrested nearly three dozen alleged Russian mercenaries just days before the election, “The Naked Pravda” turned to three experts on Belarusian politics.
- (3:03) Maryia Rohava, doctoral candidate at the University of Oslo whose research focuses on nationalism, symbolic politics in post-Soviet autocracies, and identity studies
- (6:10) Ryhor Astapenia, fellow at Chatham House and founder and research director of the Center of New Ideas in Belarus
- (7:50) Franak Viačorka, journalist in Belarus and creative director at RFE/RL’s Belarus service
“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Fridays (or sometimes Saturdays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”