From the Document: "In 2020, protests against allegedly widespread electoral fraud and a brutal crackdown on protestors led to the rise of a mass opposition movement in Belarus, on a scale unseen since the country became independent in 1991 (Belarus previously was part of the Soviet Union). The protests emerged in the wake of Belarus's August 2020 presidential election, during which opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya mounted an unexpectedly strong campaign against Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for more than 26 years. Human rights activists and monitors report that during the crackdown more than 33,000 Belarusians have been temporarily detained or imprisoned and that currently 360, including more than 45 women, are political prisoners. At least 10 demonstrators and others have been killed or died in custody or under suspicious circumstances. The United States, the European Union (EU), the U.N. Human Rights Council, and others have called for an end to the crackdown and for the government to conduct a dialogue with the opposition and to hold free and fair presidential elections."
CRS In Focus, IF10814
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/