Since then, the former teacher and housewife, has surprised everyone – herself included. Only standing because Lukashenko had jailed her husband, Tikhanovskaya headed a female triumvirate of opposition politicians through an almost perfect campaign. Belarus’s 26-year autocrat claimed a landslide victory in the 9 August vote, but she almost certainly won it comfortably.
In the grim crackdown that followed, Tikhanovskaya was forcibly removed from the country. Many predicted that would be the end of the road for her and the movement she headed. Instead, Belarus has witnessed a remarkable, sustained and increasingly creative civic awakening.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies