Vincent Boland: Acts of heroism and humanity stand out in an annus horribilis

From athletes to protesters, and from young people to scientists, 2020 was shaped by inspiring people who gave the world reason to hope

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Veronika Tsepkalo and Maria Kolesnikova, the faces and voices of the Minsk protests

One day in the early 1990s, a journalist friend of mine interviewed Aleksandr Lukashenko, who at the time was in his apprentice years as the dictator of Belarus. As a final question, my friend asked him what his policy priority was for the next year, to which Lukashenko replied: “The consolidation of political forces.”

My friend had no idea what Lukashenko meant by those sinister words, and neither, we agreed, did the man himself. I ...