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Between solidarity and pressure: Belarusians in Europe

Jana Shnipelson / Unsplash
Jana Shnipelson / Unsplash

Belarusian citizens face increasing administrative and legal difficulties in their host countries in Europe. The online public debate discusses latest developments and explores their backgrounds with a view on Belarus in a global context.

Thursday, 30 November 2023 01:00 pm – Thursday, 30 November 2023 02:30 pm

This event is in the past.

Since 2020, hundreds of thousands of Belarusians relocated to different countries in Europe and beyond. They face administrative, legal and personal difficulties. While many governments support the Belarusian diaspora in their personal and political struggles, we also observe contrary tendencies. Belarus’ involvement in the Russian war of aggression towards Ukraine makes European governments wary of Belarusian citizens as potential security threats. At the same time, Belarusian citizens all over the world now face additional hardships since the announcement of the regime that new Belarusian passports will only be issued inside the country. Many Belarusians face imprisonment if they return to their home country.

What is a way forward? How is the image of Belarus in an international context connected with that of Belarusians in diaspora? And how does this image differ in different countries?

We invite you to discuss these developments and current challenges of the Belarusian diaspora with two experts.


Katsiaryna Shmatsina (Researcher at Virginia Tech University, Washington, D.C., focusing on Belarus’ foreign policy, regional security, and geopolitical risks with respect to Russia, Eurasia and NATO)

Kristina Rikhter (Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s Advisor on legal affairs, member of Working group in Polish MIA)

The event will take place in English via Zoom. We provide translation to Belarusian. Please register via the form below.

Background Papers

Our discussion is also based on two background papers in which both speakers address different fields concerning Belarus and the diaspora. Kristina Rikhter outlines current challenges facing the Belarusian diaspora in their respective host countries. Katsiaryna assesses the situation of Belarus in an international context.

Background paper Rikhter Background paper Shmatsina



About the VisiBYlity for Belarusian democratic actors project: Capacity building, advocacy and research for more attention for the Belarusian diaspora in the German and European public: these are the core contents of VisiBYlity.

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