2023 WFD & CEDAR Lecture: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya


Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of the Belarusian democratic opposition movement. She stood against Aliaksandr Lukashenka in the 2020 presidential elections, after her husband was barred from running, arrested, and imprisoned. Lukashenka was declared the winner of the flawed and fraudulent elections. Following her forced exile from Belarus, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya inspired unprecedented peaceful pro-democracy protests in Belarus, with some rallies numbering hundreds of thousands of people. 

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is now Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya announced the anti-war movement to prevent the participation of Belarus in the war against Ukraine.  

She has visited 28 countries, gathering support and advocating for the release of more than 1500 of political prisoners and a peaceful transition of power through free and fair elections. In meetings with world leaders Tsikhanouskaya has argued for the need for a braver response to the actions of the Belarusian dictatorship.