On the UN's International Day of Democracy,
New Europeans invites you to join us for an
International Conference on Belarus, Ukraine and Russia
The event will be live streamed by New Europeans Kyiv
English and French
19:30 Kyiv - 18:30 Rome - 17:30 London
The revolution in Belarus is very different to what happened 7 years ago with Euro maidan in Ukraine. This is not about the European Union and the demonstrations are not directed against Russia.
What the protestors want in Belarus is simply to remove Lukashenko. The protests are taking place all over Belarus and not just focussed mainly in the capital as was the case in Ukraine.
Perhaps the best comparison is with the Solidarity Movement in Poland which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. We see large-scale strikes and a huge national grass-roots mobilisation with corresponding brutal repression by the regime which at that time was supported by Russia.
In the end, Russia let go of Poland and Ukraine but Putin cannot afford to lose Belarus.
We ask opposition activists and experts working both inside Belarus, Ukraine and Russia and internationally what they most fear and what they believe will happen next?
Chief Editor of the Russian Monitor and a director of New Europeans
BELARUS AND UKRAINE
lives and work in a town 70 km from Minsk. She took part in the very first protest 9-10 of August in Minsk, and now is participating every Sunday.
is a British-Ukrainian political analyst and journalist and former UN diplomat
Coordinator, Belarusians in Italy
Maria Laura Franciosi
founding President of the Brussels Club and former Head of Service of the ANSA press office in Brussels
former member of the state Duma and the only member of the Duma to vote against the annexation of Crimea during the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Olga Kurnosova is a political analyst, editor-in-chief of the After empire web-portal.
Birkbeck College, University of London and President of the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights
Journalist (Il Foglio, La Stampa, Linkiesta) and Russia Watcher
With contributions and comments from
Writer, activist and performer
Mats van Dijk
Graduate student in International Relations and Russian & Eurasian Studies at Leiden University
Dr Wolfgang Ressmann
Manager of the Project Media-Dialogue supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany
International Day of Democracy is an annual day that has been running for 10 years.
It is a United Nations, (UN), day of observation, the purpose of the day is to review the state of democracy in the world and uphold and and promote democracy and its principles. The day was founded on the 20th anniversary of the First International Conference of the New or Restored Democracies, which promoted global democracy.
On the day, individuals and organizations of all kinds work together for democracy and hold events to raise awareness of democracy, including conferences, discussions and debates, as well as press conferences and publicity campaigns though distribution of leaflets, posters and flyers, often with the UN logo on them. Major events to commemorate the day are held at UN headquarters.
Democracy and human rights are closely linked, and UN covenants on these matters are to the fore on this observance day. Democracy is a state where the people have rights, especially to vote for and elect their government and regulation from among themselves, rather than being controlled by a government over whom they have no right of dissent, election or protest. Lack of democracy can lead to lack of rights or a voice, and this impacts on human rights as set out by the UN.