Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

APCO Worldwide is providing strategic communications and media relations in the US for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the democratic opposition to Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 28 years.

She stepped in for her husband, video blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouskaya, and ran for president in the 2020 election after he was arrested and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Independent monitors said the election was rigged by Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Rioting broke out following the vote, which led to the arrests of more than 3,000 people and Putin sending tanks to Minsk to put down the uprising.

Tsikhanouskaya, who is currently living in exile in Lithuania, visited New York this month for the opening of the UN general assembly.

In a Sept. 19 interview with the Voice of America, she urged continued western support for Ukraine, which borders Belarus. She said: “It is very important to distinguish the Belarusian regime that became an accomplice to Russian invasion of the war and Belarusian people who are against this war, who are supporting Ukrainians in this situation.”