The assault on the Belarusian expert community: what comes next?

July 23rd, 5 PM

Pre-registration is required for access, details below.

Valeria Kostyugova (Nashe Mneniye) and Tatsiana Kuzina (Sympa) were detained by the security forces. They are charged with a conspiracy to seize power and calls for damage to national security, among other things. Many other representatives of the expert community were forced to leave Belarus due to pressure and threats. The official newspaper of the presidential administration calls the expert community "the unharvested weeds that we have to find and eradicate".

Today’s open questions include:

  • How prepared was the expert community for such a development? What are think tanks doing to keep things going?
  • How can experts interact with various political actors (e.g. state representatives, headquarters of Lukashenka’s opponents) under the current conditions?
  • What will the forced emigration of the expert community lead to? How to avoid radicalization and losing the plot?

Keynote speakers:

  • Andrey Kazakevich, PhD, Director of the Political Sphere Institute, Executive Director of the Belarusian Association of Research Centers;
  • Natallia Rabava, Director of SYMPA/BIPART;
  • Ryhor Astapenia, PhD, Belarus Initiative Director, Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House; Director of Research at the Center for New Ideas;
  • Kateryna Bornukova, PhD in Economics, Academic Director of BEROC.


Anton Ruliou (Belarus in Focus Information Office/Press Club Belarus) and Vadim Mojeiko (BISS)

Working languages: Belarusian and Russian with simultaneous interpretation into English.

We invite analysts, international journalists, employees of the foreign ministries, representatives of civil organizations who are interested in what is happening in Belarus to participate.

Video recording is envisaged. The Chatham House Rule will apply upon the participant’s prior notice and will be off the record.

How to participate (please note that you will not be able to join the meeting after it starts):

  1. To join the online discussion, please fill out the Google Form (  
  2. In response, you will receive a link inviting you to join a Zoom meeting (if you do not have Zoom, you may install it on your PC, phone or tablet following the same link. It is free and easy).


  • Belarus in Focus Information Office
  • Press Club Belarus
  • Nashe Mnenie
  • Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) 
Short title: 
The assault on the Belarusian expert community: what comes next?