Belarus diaspora new and old: The current state and challenges it faces


Katsiaryna Lozka, PhD Fellow at Ghent University 



Kristina Rikhter, Legal Advisor, Office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Tatsiana Kulakevich, Research Fellow at the Institute for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies and Assistant Professor, University of South Florida

Živilė Dambrauskaitė, Visiting Researcher, Eastern European Studies Center (EESC)

Hennadz Korshunau, Senior Researcher at the Center for New Ideas


Belarus’ events of 2020 mobilised and reinvigorated the Belarusian diaspora as a force d'etre. Even though, according to some estimates, over 1.5 mln Belarusians live abroad, they had never succeeded in developing  their global agency prior to 2020. The start of the presidential election in 2020, and the repressions and violence that followed, turned Belarusians living abroad into a real political force in Europe and beyond. This was further reinforced by Russia's war against Ukraine in February 2022 and a wave of displacement of both Belarusians and Ukrainians that followed. The Belarusian diaspora rose to prominence once more to protest against Russia’s aggression, express solidarity with Ukraine, and show that ordinary Belarusians do not support the actions of Lukashenka's regime. While consolidation is afoot, there are also many challenges facing the Belarusian diaspora in the context of ongoing war and Lukashenka's continuing persecution of free Belarusians.

What are the current challenges and opportunities for the Belarusian diaspora? How connected are Belarusian diaspora communities in different countries? What can Belarusian communities abroad do to support the vision for a democratic Belarus? What kind of support does the Belarusian diaspora need from the international community? How can diaspora reach out to the domestic audience? These and other questions will be discussed in a panel discussion organised by the Oxford Belarus Observatory, in partnership with the Research Center of  Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Office, and the IGSD, University of Warwick.


The discussion will be held in an online format via ZOOM with Belarusian simultaneous translation.

Please register here to participate and ask questions to the speakers.