Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Political and public figure, activist, head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus

Original name:

Sviatlana Tsihanouskaia

Vilnius, Lithuania

Date of Birth



Maiden name Pilipchuk. Svetlana was born on September 11, 1982 in a small village Mikashevichi, Brest region in the BSSR.

At the age of 12 Svetlana went to Ireland under the program “Children of Chernobyl”.

In 2000 she graduated from school No. 2 in Mikashevichi with a gold medal. 

Svetlana continued her education at Mozyr Pedagogical University at the philological faculty, specializing in English and German.

In 2005 Svetlana married businessman Sergei Tikhanovsky.


She worked in Gomel as a translator and collaborated with various companies, including the Irish charity organization Chernobyl Life Line, which helps victims of the Chernobyl disaster. 

Svetlana and Sergey jointly own businesses: the companies ODO Compass and Raduga Amusement LLC, where 51% of shares belong to Sergey Tikhanovsky and the remaining 49% to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

Personal Life

Married to Sergei Tikhanovsky. They have two children: daughter Agnia (born 2016), son Kornei (born 2010).


  • Globsec Award, 2020
  • International Economic Forum Special Award, 2020
  • John McCain Freedom Award, 2020
  • Freedom Award of the Seimas of Lithuania, 2020
  • Politiken Freedom Award, 2020
  • Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, 2020
  • Lev Kopelev Prize, 2021
  • In 2021, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda nominated Tihanovska for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Political Activity

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was far from politics, but it was in this sphere that she became widely known. Her husband, Belarusian businessman and blogger Sergei Tikhanovski, planned to participate in the presidential elections in 2020, actively criticizing the incumbent President Lukashenko. But when the Central Election Commission of Belarus refused to register him and a number of other opposition activists, Svetlana decided to become a candidate. She managed to gather a lot of support around her and become a single representative of the entire opposition in these elections.

The official data of the elections on August 9, 2020 showed that Tikhanovskaya received only 10% of the votes, while Lukashenko received 80%. However, the opposition insisted that the results had been manipulated. 

Shortly after the election, Tikhanovskaya was forced to leave Belarus for Lithuania. 

In exile, Tihanouskaya became a key figure in the Belarusian opposition. Western countries, most of which rejected the results of the Belarusian elections, regarded Tihanouskaya as a top-level representative. She has held meetings with leaders of countries such as Great Britain, Germany, France, Austria, and others.

Criminal cases have been filed against her in Belarus, including charges of extremism and attempted coup d’état. The Belarusian authorities sent a request to Lithuania for the extradition of Svetlana Tikhanovskaia, which was rejected.

On March 6, 2023, Sviatlana Tihanouskaya was found guilty by Minsk City Court on all charges and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment in a general regime colony. Among the crimes she was accused of were high treason, attempted seizure of power, creation and leadership of an extremist association, and calls for illegal seizure of power.

Speeches at conferences


Mozyr Pedagogical University
Faculty of Philology

Specialty Foreign Language (English, German)


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