The People vs. Lukashenko: Women-Led Resistance on the Eve of Belarus Election
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko is facing the biggest challenge to his 26-year authoritarian rule over 9.5 million Belarusian citizens. He is learning firsthand about the “power of the powerless” (a phrase used by famous Czechoslovak dissident and former Czech president Václav Havel to describe nonviolent resistance against Soviet rule) as he and others witness a major awakening of a heretofore withdrawn and passive population. In a break with precedent, his political opposition is led by several women who, until recently, were not widely known. This combined with widespread nonviolent resistance happening on the eve of the August 9th presidential elections is upsetting expectations, and shaking Lukashenko’s rule to the core.