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The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia 20036
This event is sponsored by the Center for Intermarium Studies and the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP.
About the Lecture: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made it clear to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka: Minsk must take steps towards deeper integration between the two countries. Polls have shown that, following the rise of Russian media presence in Belarus, pro-Russian sentiment increased within the society. What, exactly, is the situation in Belarus? What role could Belarusian civil society, the EU, and the U.S. play in the new paradigm?
About the Speaker: Franak Viačorka is the Vice President of the Digital Communication Network. He concurrently works as the consultant for U.S. Agency for Global Media, and he is the Creative Director of RFE/RL Belarus Service. Mr. Viačorka is a frequent speaker and advocate for democracy and personal freedom in post-Soviet countries. An expert in Russian disinformation, he recently published research on the Kremlin-backed media, Russian Orthodox church, and think-tanks as the Kremlin's “soft-power.”
Mr. Viačorka is the Founder and Vice President of the Belarusian cultural initiative Art Siadziba. In 2014, after the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, he launched a nationwide campaign promoting the national identity of Belarus." Before that, he served as a leader of the youth wing of the Belarusian Popular Front (BNF).
After suffering through torture while serving under forced conscription in the Belarusian army, Mr. Viačorka’s personal story became the plot for the award-winning, Polish-French film Viva Belarus. His work in Belarus has been chronicled by documentary filmmakers and recognized by many international organizations, including the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and Open Society Foundations. Mr. Viačorka was the first Vaclav Havel fellow for RFE/RL under Havel’s personal recommendation.
Mr. Viačorka has earned degrees from American University in Washington D.C. and Warsaw University in Poland, and he has also studied at Georgetown University and European Humanities University.