Bringing Down Europe’s Last Ex-Soviet Dictator

Long NYT magazine piece on the Belorussian opposition.

“We go into these elections not because we believe in their fairness, but because this is a chance to go to the people, to conduct a campaign door to door,” Milinkevich explained through an interpreter. “I will not say that at every door people will become less fearful immediately. But very many people, when they see others who are not afraid, who dare to tell the truth, they will start to have more courage.” For now, many people react uneasily when they encounter him, as if he were an apparition. In the consciousness of a people saturated with state propaganda and ideology, he appears as the shadowy leader of a revolutionary cadre financed by big powers abroad and committed to the overthrow of the government.