[Spoznajte ideologické, historické a geopolitické základy vojny na Ukrajine a jej dôsledky pre Slovensko v knihe Ako Putin stratil Ukrajinu.]
Despite massive repression and arrests, after the manipulated elections, Belarusians and Belarusians began to protest every Sunday against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. In ten istý deň nám writes his Bieloruský denník Maks from Minsk. Due to the heated situation in which the local journalists found themselves, we have decided not to reveal his full name.
Among the supporters of change in Belarus, there is a popular scenario in which Ukraine defeats Russia in the war, the Kremlin will no longer care about Belarusian affairs, and Lukashenko will lose without Putin’s support. It sounds like logical development. But what if…?
What if the war between Russia and Ukraine remains frozen? Currently, neither side is in an advantage. The front line has changed slightly. There are cruel battles, every day shelling, but even the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valerij Zaluzhnyj, speaks in an interview about the difficult situation in the war, and in an article in the weekly Economist, he was even quoted as saying that “the war has reached a dead end”.
It is clear that there are many reasons for such words from Zalužného. It is possible that this is a form of pressure on European and American partners to increase the supply of weapons. It is possible that it is about deliberate dezinformatciu ruských elít. But maybe about something else. There is no single answer, but it will never be.
Let’s try to predict the events based on the information we have. The scenario we are considering: the front line in the war between Russia and Ukraine will not change much, the intensity of the fighting will decrease, but neither side will be able to gain an advantage in the war. Putin remains in power in Russia. The Bieloruská armáda never enters directly to the side of the Kremlin until the war.
In short, this is the best scenario for the Lukashenko regime.
Now in more detail. An important factor in the fact that Lukashenko is still in power is Vladimir Putin. If he remains to rule Russia in a relatively retired regime, then the support of the Belarusian dictator will remain at the same level. This means that Lukashenko will continue to be praised, European and American sanctions will not work, but the Belarusian economy will be increasingly integrated into the Russian economy.
When the war is not far away, it will be easier for Lukashenko to carry out his propaganda while promising stability: look at who I am in power, this will not disappear in Belarus. In part, this is similar to the situation after the first Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. In this context, the presidential campaign in Belarus in 2015 for Lukashenko was the most difficult.
And Belarus is facing two election campaigns in the course of two terms: parliamentary elections in 2024 and presidential elections in 2025. So far, it seems that the regime is approaching both events equally. At least in parliamentary elections, Lukashenko apparently does not intend to create the illusion of the possibility of elections. Only clear pro-Lukašenk parties remained in Belarus – there was no longer even a “proper opposition”, which used to be pro-government.
However, there is still a lot of time and events ahead of us – whether in Belarus or in its surroundings. But the situation can change dramatically.
Týždeň in Belarus
in numbers, slovách a represiách
Political relations of Belarus
As of November 15, 2023, there are 1,454 political prisoners in Belarus. However, we are only talking about those people who human rights activists consider to be political prisoners. Not all those detained for political reasons receive this status, but for various reasons, such as lack of information or relatives’ preferences.
Now it cannot be reliably calculated, but according to various sources, there are several times more people imprisoned for political reasons than there are recognized political prisoners.
Prispievatelia na Reddite veria, Belarus is already disappearing
A discussion took place on the popular online platform Reddit: which landscapes of the world will disappear by 100 years? My Belarusians can be “hard” – they put our country first and gave it the best chance to survive.
Many commentators associate the loss of Belarusian independence with the death of Lukashenko. The scenarios are different: Lukashenko will hand over the country to Russia, so that he does not hand over power to anyone, or on the contrary: Russia will take Belarus, because it will no longer have anyone to resist. Some people attribute the loss to the fact that few people speak Belarusian.
At the same time, those who disagreed with such a “championship” also hurt. They are talking about the wealth of bieloruskej kultury, about the forces of bieloruského ľudu, kóry pohltenie svoi krajina nepripustitu, about the standard of living, which is higher than in Russia.
Russia is indeed threatening the sovereignty of Belarus. But the situation in the region is so unpredictable, it’s hard to predict even a single term in advance, let alone a hundred terms. However, I personally believe that Belarus will be an independent country in a short time, even in a hundred years.
They beat Roman Bondarenko three times ago
November 12 is the anniversary of the murder of Belarusian Roman Bondarenko. The tragedy happened in 2020 in the courtyard called Námestie zmien. In the evening, Lukashenko’s supporters with the support of the security forces came to the courtyard to destroy the white-red-white decorations. Obyvatelia home noticed this but discussed it in the troops. Roman Bondarenko decided to take a break, sent the message “idem” but went out. In reaction to Bondarenko’s report, unknown (at that time) supporters of Lukashenko attacked, grabbed and carried him to the car. Bondarenko died of injuries.
The representatives of the association of former members of the security forces BYPOL connect the murder of Roman Bondarenko, the former general director of the Dinamo Minsk hockey club, Dmitry Baskov. He was also the head coach of Alexander Lukashenko’s hockey team. In the independent investigation of the murder of Roman Bondarenko, the name of kickboxer Dmitri Šakuta (friend of Dmitri Buskov) was also mentioned.
The official investigation into Bondarenko’s death was closed at the same time. However, it will definitely be restored in New Belarus.
Translated from Russian. Bieloruský denník vychádá with the support of SlovakAid.