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Belarus – Belarus’s creature of crisis: Two heads, one body (ECFR)

In the decades since Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s first and only fair presidential election victory in 1994, two Belaruses have coexisted inside the same borders. One is authoritarian, and to this day is represented by the official government and its supporters. The other strives for freedom and democracy, and survives under constant pressure and persecution from the first. These two Belaruses have never stood on an equal footing, and the latter had not been a substantial international player, despite regular efforts by activists and expats. This changed dramatically last year, when “free Belarus” finally attained a status that carries with it geopolitical weight. It did not supplant its authoritarian competitor, but nevertheless won de facto international recognition.
Belarus’s creature of crisis: Two heads, one body – European Council on Foreign Relations (ecfr.eu)