16:22 Jun. 18, 2016
Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich does not expect political change soon in Belarus, Russia, or other post-Soviet states
Svetlana Alexievich, the Belarusian author awarded the Nobel Prize for literature last year, says the prospects of steering Belarus and neighboring Russia away from authoritarianism in the near future remain dim but urged those who desire political change to persevere.
Alexievich told an audience in Washington on June 17 that those in her generation who had hoped for a democratic future in the post-Soviet world "suffered a defeat" in the 1990s and failed to prevent the ascendance of strongman leaders with a Soviet mind-set.
"The degree of faith that people had in the 1990s, their eyes shining -- I don't think we'll see that in our area of the world again soon," she said at the National Endowment for Democracy.