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Breakfast Session under Chatham House Rule

Viability Of Opposition in Exile in the case of Russia and Belarus

May 18, 08:15-09:45
Room: Seville

Vladimir Putin’s re-election and Alexander Lukashenko’s intention to seek another presidential term in 2025 show that these leaders have a strong grip on their countries. Over the years, the Russian and Belarusian governments have intensified internal repression against opposition movements and parties, particularly after the war in Ukraine and the widely condemned Belarusian presidential elections of 2020. Opposition leaders are regularly put in jail on bogus charges, there is no free and fair judicial system, and in the worst case scenarios opposing the government can result in serious penalties. A lot of people opposed to the ruling regimes have fled the country and continue their activities from abroad. Is it possible for the opposition in exile to reach the public in their home countries? What are the prospects for Russian and Belarusian opposition leaders that are currently in exile? How to measure success in exile?


Roman Dobrokhotov

Editor-in-Chief of The Insider

Igor Gretskiy

Research Fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security

Artyom Shraibman
Artyom Shraibman

Political Analyst and Founder of Sense Analytics

Andrei Soldatov

Editor of


Mart Kuldkepp

Professor of Estonian and Nordic History at the University College London/University of Tartu