Paul Hansbury, "Belarus in Crisis: From Domestic Unrest to the Russia-Ukraine War" (Hurst, 2023)


The war in Ukraine is entering what could well be its decisive phase as Kyiv prepares a counter-offensive and Russia announces plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons into Belarus as early as the summer.

More than ever before, this moves Belarus onto the front line of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its confrontation with NATO. Yet, for three decades, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka has tried to walk a tightrope between hugging Moscow close and clinging onto policy independence that is domestically popular and secures power for him, his family, and his allies. His increasing economic dependence and the war to his south have forced “Europe’s last dictator” to pick a side.

In Belarus in Crisis: From Domestic Unrest to the Russia–Ukraine War (Hurst, 2023), Paul Hansbury explains why Lukashenka had no choice but to buckle. He writes that "a 'quiet' annexation of Belarus to Russia is largely happening, even if many Belarusians are unaware of the fact" and “the outcome of the Russo-Ukraine war has arguably become the decisive factor shaping Berlarus's future statehood”.

Educated at Birkbeck, University of London, and St Antony's College Oxford, Paul Hansbury is a consulting analyst whose doctoral research was into the foreign policies of small powers - using Belarus as his primary case study.

*His own book recommendations were Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? by Karen Dawisha (Simon & Schuster, 2014) and Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard by Joseph Conrad (Penguin Classics, 2007 - first published 1904).

Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors, who also writes the Twenty-Four Two newsletter on Substack and hosts the In The Room podcast series.

Your Host

Tim Jones

Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors .

View Profile