Belarus Protests: Implications for Relations with Russia and the West. Webinar, Sept 22


The Russia and Eurasia Program at The Fletcher School organizes a virtual panel discussion with experts Katsiaryna Shmatsina and Arsen Sivitski about the ongoing protests in Belarus and their potential geopolitical implications. The event will be chaired by Professor Chris Miller.


  • Do the recent mass protests and upheaval in Belarus have geopolitical implications?
  • How do they compare with earlier revolutions across Eurasia, such as those in Ukraine in 2014 and in Armenia in 2018?
  • Where does the Belarusian opposition today stand on relations with the EU, NATO, and Russia?
  • What has been the response of Russia to the latest developments in Belarus? What will it take for Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene in Belarus?
  • How are other countries, such as Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and the United States, responding to the developments in Belarus? How should the international community respond to the recent accounts of electoral fraud and police brutality in Belarus?
  • What is in store for Belarus’ relations with Russia and the West if Alexander Lukashenko manages to hold onto power?


Katsiaryna Shmatsina is an analyst at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from Syracuse University and a degree in law from Belarusian State University. Previously, Shmatsina worked for the American Bar Association, where she was involved in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), especially in the projects on good governance and rule of law in the UNDP in-country offices. She also served as a pro bono local expert on Belarus for the World Bank’s Doing Business and Women, Business, and the Law reports. In 2018, Shmatsina was awarded a fellowship at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington, D.C. In 2016, she received a Civil Society Leadership Award from the Open Society Foundations. In 2019, she was a research fellow in the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw within the prestigious Think Visegrad Fellowship program. Her areas of academic interests include Belarus’ foreign policy, international security, geopolitical risks, Russia, Eurasia, and NATO. Apart from her mother tongue Belarusian, she commands Russian, English, German, and French.

Arsen Sivitski is the Co-Founder and Director of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies in Minsk. He is an analyst of Belarusian security and foreign policy, focusing on international and regional security, strategic affairs, Russia, and Eurasia. He has a master’s degree in Philosophy from Belarusian State University. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Social Philosophy and Methodology of Science at the Institute of Philosophy at the Belarusian National Academy of Science. He also works there as a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Globalization, Integration, and Socio-Cultural Cooperation. He is a military officer in reserve of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, specialized in the use of multiple launch rocket systems and anti-tank guided missile systems. He is a permanent participant of the international seminar “NATO and Global Security” and the International Round Table on Innovations in International Studies at the Center for International Studies at Belarusian State University. As an independent foreign policy and strategy adviser, he cooperates with a range of consultancy agencies, specializing in investment, political and security risks assessment, and the post-Soviet space area. He has wide experience in holding briefings for political and military officials and participating in political and military simulations.

To participate on ZOOM, please register via myFletcher. The event will also be streamed live via Facebook.

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