Meet the 73-year-old great grandmother squaring up to Lukashenko in Belarus

Nina Bahinskaya has been shoved and restrained, arrested and fined half her pension. What drives her to protest?

15 Sep 2020

On 9 August, Belarus went to the polls to elect their president. Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, was seeking a fifth term.

When the result was announced, Lukashenko had won 80% of the vote. However, the Belarusian people believed the election was rigged and took to the streets in their thousands to protest peacefully.

One of those protesting was 73-year-old great grandmother Nina Bahinskaya, who has become a famous face on the streets of Minsk as she squares up to Lukashenko’s riot police.

She has been arrested and fined half of her pension but still comes back for more.

Index on Censorship’s associate editor Mark Frary spoke with her to find out how she became an unlikely protestor, why she always carries a flag and whether she fears for her safety in the face of police brutality.

With thanks to Franak Viacorka, Radio Free Europe, Euroradio and Alina Stefanovic (interpreter).

Mark Frary

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