A few weeks ago, Belarus shocked the world when it forced a commercial flight from Athens to Vilnius to land and seized two passengers, one a dissident journalist. But that outrage was only the most recent affront to international law and accepted state behavior by Belarusian autocrat, Alexander Lukashenko, and more importantly, his patron, Russia’s Vladimir Putin. For years, Putin has pressed the countries along Russia’s border: cyber attacks on Estonia and Ukraine, war with Georgia and then Ukraine, the seizure of Crimea, constant air and naval border violations, as well as aggressive disinformation campaigns—all designed to sow chaos.
Dalia Bankauskaitė is a Partnership Associated Professor at Vilnius University and a Nonresident Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, D.C. Also, Dalia cooperates with the Swedish Defense University (SEDU) in the Baltic Sea Safety and Security program. Her research is focused on the concept of comprehensive defense, namely, the approach that examines the whole of society and building social resilience by mobilizing and motivating society. She has extensive professional experience in strategic communication in Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltic Sea region.
Ms. Bankauskaitė holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics (LSE), UK and EMBA from the Baltic Management Institute (BMI) in Lithuania.
Marius Laurinavičius is as Senior Expert at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis. Previously he lived in Washington DC where he worked at the Center for European Policy Analysis and served as a fellow at the Hudson Institute. He’s the author of “Weaponizing Kleptocracy: Putin’s Hybrid Warfare” and “A Guide to the Russian Tool Box of Election Meddling: a Platform to Analyse the Long Term Comprehensive Kremlin Strategy of Malign Influence”. Before moving to think tank business M. Laurinavičius had worked for the largest Lithuanian media group ‘Lietuvos Rytas’ for almost 22 years. Back over the years working as a journalist Marius Laurinavičius has become Lithuania’s leading foreign and security expert. His many contributions have been recognized by Lithuanian political leadership as well, as he received several official awards for his contribution to Lithuanian foreign policy. He has a Master degree from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University