From the Document: "In 2020, protests against allegedly widespread electoral fraud and a brutal crackdown on protesters 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. Since August 2020, about 35,000 Belarusians reportedly have been detained or imprisoned. More than 500, including 62 women, are considered political prisoners. Several individuals have been killed or have died under suspicious circumstances. The United States, the European Union (EU), and others have called for an end to the crackdown and for the government to hold free and fair presidential elections."
CRS In Focus, IF10814
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/