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Lawfare Daily: Watching My Trial for Seditious Conspiracy with Katsiaryna Shmatsina and Benjamin Wittes

Benjamin Wittes, Katsiaryna Shmatsina
Thursday, June 27, 2024, 9:17 AM
Discussing Shmatina's prosecution by the Belarus government

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For today's episode, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes speaks with Katsiaryna Shmatsina, a Belarusian political analyst and think tanker currently on trial for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. Shmatsina discusses the charges against her, the trial process, and the broader political situation in Belarus. She delves into the history of the Lukashenko regime, its ties with Russia, and the repression of opposition voices. The conversation also covers the 2020 election and the subsequent crackdown on protests. Shmatsina shares her personal experiences with political repression in Belarus, her decision to flee the country, and her life under constant surveillance and fear of being targeted by the authorities. She explains her journey to seek asylum in the United States and her ongoing work in the think tank community.

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Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Katsiaryna Shmatsina is a Belarusian expert specializing in Eurasian politics and security. She serves as a Rethink.CEE Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Virginia Tech in Washington, D.C.

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