The protests in Russia spurred by the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny have drawn comparisons to the popular movement that emerged in Belarus last August after a fraudulent presidential election. But the differences between the two cases are more important than the similarities.
WARSAW – The biggest wave of protests in years has swept Russia, raising hopes that popular pressure will persist and intensify, gradually eroding an autocratic regime, as is happening in neighboring Belarus. But we should be wary of allowing the two countries’ similarities – which include history and language, religion and repression – to obscure profound differences.
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