Yesterday, at the next pre-election rally of opposition candidate Tikhanovskaya in Belarus, there were again an extremely large number of people - a lot by Belarusian standards. We can say for sure that Lukashenko lost the street, and with a devastating score. Technically, this means little to him, since the main thing in his hands is the counting of votes and the punitive machine. However, this is not even the problem.
Another problem that has suddenly appeared in recent days is LLukashenko's illness. He himself claims to have suffered a coronavirus, and Russian experts suspect that the infection has caused serious complications.
So, journalist Kirill Shulika writes: “As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Lukashenko is pretty bad. In the opposition environment in Belarus, they talked about a stroke. It looks like the effects of the coronavirus. It is quite common for an elderly person with diabetes. This is the price of his coviidiotism. But it is interesting that right before that, apparently, he met with the Russian government delegation headed by Mishustin with the coronavirus. Mishustin okay, got sick, but what about the others?"
True, political scientist Tatyana Stanovaya does not doubt that Moscow is spreading these rumors: “Lukashenko is under an obvious political order in Russian telegram channels - the idea of a heart attack, a loss of control over the security forces, is being promoted. Scare Old Man..."
The third component of the crisis is the fate of the Russian soldiers of the Wagner PMC, who were detained in Minsk several days ago.
Network analyst Andrei Nalgin suggests that the story of the Russian fighters demonstrates Lukashenko's turn from Moscow to the West:
“The stingy message that the current Russian President Vladimir Putin has assembled an integral Security Council to discuss the detention of Russian citizens, allegedly mercenaries of PMCs, in Belarus, provoked a huge wave of ridicule on Russian social networks. They say that when the "Wagnerians" were put in Africa, it did not cause even a faint resemblance to what is happening now.
But in vain.
The first thing to understand: in any case, for Alexander Lukashenko, the current presidential term is probably the last one. Accordingly, he is preparing himself alternate airfields , which are not always associated with Russia. To be absolutely precise, all these airfields arose as a result of Belarus' offer of itself to the West in the person of the EU.
Second , and this became known not so long ago, in some part, the neighbors from Ukraine gave a tip to the Belarusians, moreover, by direct order of the current President Volodymyr Zelensky. “Already during their stay in the sanatorium, information about the presence of the relevant persons was received and verified by the operational services,” the official version says sparingly. But at the same time, according to sources, the information was received by the KGB RB from the SBU with the direct sanction of the Ukrainian president.
It turns out that the Belarusian counterintelligence officers were leading the Wagnerites from the very beginning. And this is an interesting moment, because Minsk has not previously stood in a pose of high alert in front of Kiev. And now we are even talking about the readiness to bend, and not in front of Ukraine, which here acts as a collective proxy , but in front of the EU.
And third . Having brewed all this mess, Alexander Lukashenko... got sick. And access to it is now very limited. The patient is allegedly under the supervision of doctors. For the Russians to break through to it is an unrealistic task, which means that the bilateral dialogue is frozen...
Meanwhile, there are persistent rumors that Alexander Lukashenko, as a "bribe", may transfer to the Ukrainian side a couple of people from the detained PMC fighters who fought in the Donbass, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend the inauguration of the new old president in September.
In parallel, Alexander Lukashenko is already "bargaining" with Western partners in his person. Dad asks recognition of their legitimate elections, and in return he will give Ukraine a part ChVKshnikov and Ukrainian side will disperse the message of the direct participation of Russia in Donbass conflict. And this opens the door to new anti-Russian sanctions.
In other words, Alexander Lukashenko is ready to turn over to Europe with giblets, so long as nothing threatens his welfare. Later, at the end of the ministerial meeting, the EU issued such recommendations... Perhaps, issues of guarantees were also discussed, but not to the Russian side. Hence the recent scandals.
Meanwhile, hostage - taking is Alexander Lukashenko's trademark technique in relations with Moscow. Therefore, yes, we can agree with those who argue that the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble will weaken, and Minsk's demands on Moscow will only grow..."
A purely pro-Russian version of events was given by the Belarusian blogger Andrei Chervonets, who rightly decided that the potential extradition of PMC fighters to Ukraine would only exacerbate the situation in Donbass:
“The Belarusian side agrees to hand over some of the detained PMCs who have Ukrainian citizenship and those who fought in the Donbass against the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The main condition that the Belarusian side put forward is to provide evidence of the guilt of these PMCs and their guilt in specific cases of the death of Ukrainian soldiers (read - providing evidence of participation in the civil war in Donbass on the side of the militia).
The source adds that rumors are circulating in the Office of the President of Ukraine that Lukashenko wanted to hold a telephone conversation with Putin, but the President of the Republic of Belarus was refused, so the Ukrainian side had good chances to get some of the PMCs detained in Minsk.
The Telegram channel that reported this, despite its anonymity, has very great authority and you can relate to its messages with confidence, since a lot of its insider information has come true.
What's the bottom line?
I spoke about this, but I will repeat myself. It turns out to vote for Lukashenko, it is to vote for the war in Donbass. Because he believes (well, I draw such a conclusion from his behavior and statements) that if he participated in hostilities in the LPR or DPR against Ukrainian punishers, it means a criminal. It turns out that he supports the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the national battalions, the murder of civilians in Ukraine. Supports the Bandera coup in Ukraine in 2014.
I do not know how to call such actions of the Belarusian authorities so that these words are not abusive..."
Meanwhile, the popular Telegram channel Nezygar reports about a serious drop in the rating of the Belarusian president among the pro-Russian citizens of this country:
“A source in Lukashenko’s headquarters says that after the story of the detention of Russians, Lukashenko’s rating began to fall seriously in the Vitebsk and Mogilev regions and stabilized in Minsk and in the western regions.
“The president's rating is in the region of 60-62%.
But his headquarters faced a drop in the rating in the east and an increase in Tikhonovskaya's rating. What threatens a second round of elections. This is clearly not the scenario that Lukashenko would like to see”.
According to the expert, Lukashenko's technologists have outplayed themselves.
Lukashenko wanted a high turnout and a high result.
Traditionally, support was given to him by Vitebsk, Mogilev, Grodno and partially Minsk.
The pro-Russian eastern voter was determined to vote for Lukashenko.
While the western regions were critical and the turnout was at the expense of state employees and state companies.
This time, Lukashenka's entourage convinced him that the pro-Russian voter would be disloyal.
Consequently, it is necessary to cheat the nationalists and win over the critical urban voter to our side.
From here, the stake was chosen on anti-Russian hysteria.
Against the background of the anti-Russian campaign chosen by Minsk, the voter in the east really began to change his position. “People just don't want to go to vote. They say that Lukashenko is tired, confused, leading the country into the abyss".
The focus of Lukashenka's election campaign was shifted to Minsk and the western regions.
Hence the calibrated anti-Moscow agenda, the theme of European integration, sovereignty and rejection of deep ties with Moscow.
“Lukashenko’s technologists decided to accumulate the effect of cooperation with nationalists.
They believed that the voter would automatically go to them. And if this does not happen, then Lukashenko will agree to an alliance with a representative of the opposition. It was called - to ride the Belarusian Maidan”.
However, technologists did not pay attention to the factor of fatigue and political shyness of Lukashenko.
Thus, Lukashenko began to lose the pro-Russian voter. And the nationalists began to bite off Lukashenko's rating and pump up Tikhanovskaya's rating.
Now Lukashenko's entourage has a dilemma: they successfully quarreled with Moscow, the pro-Moscow voter became disloyal; the opposition is playing its game, increasing pressure on the regime.
“Nothing can be done with Tikhanovskaya. She became Teflon. You can arrest, but then the whole scheme collapses. It will also not work to steal votes - this will lead to the mobilization of all opponents of Lukashenko. And a low result is disloyalty and further conflict among the elites".
Political analyst Marat Bashirov, on the other hand, believes that everything is going according to plan with Lukashenko:
“While pampered Europe accuses Alexander Lukashenko of militarism and dictatorial manners, Old Man meets with the paratroopers and expresses confidence that they will be able to ensure the military security and national interests of the country.
These are not at all beautiful phrases for the Airborne Forces Day. The Belarusian army has great power, and the paratroopers are the elite, instilling fear in opponents. NATO has long been transformed into a "paper tiger". Since the end of the Cold War, NATO forces in Europe have been significantly reduced. To such an extent that American President Donald Trump generally considers it unnecessary to spend money on the maintenance of this organization. The old man is not very versed in political technologies. And it is clearly losing information wars with the West. But he understands well that in the event of a real threat, he can only rely on the armed forces. No one will rush to help.
It is the real fighting efficiency of the country's army that motivates Western political strategists to throw pacifist ideas into the Belarusian society. Why does a small country need such an army? Who are you going to fight with? Wouldn't it be better to spend money on the "knowledge economy", medicine, etc. All these theses are actively circulated on the Internet and at rallies by the so-called "opposition". Modern technologies for disseminating information allow such messages of youth to be sucked into a beautiful wrapper. This is what they do in the headquarters of the "revolutionaries". But Old Man does not bend under this propaganda. If he starts to make pacifist speeches, they won't believe him anyway. They will find something else to find fault with. As in a fable: "You are only to blame for the fact that I want to eat." The West does not intend to refuse to "eat" Belarus due to its strategic position in the east of Europe. Therefore, Old Man is rigidly bending his line and does not intend to retreat from it. A strong army is a strong and independent country. And for the majority of Belarusians this logic is clear.
The memory of the Great Patriotic War and the feat of the Belarusian soldiers is alive. NATO's "paper tiger" cannot really oppose anything, so it snaps at information provocations. On this front, Old Man clearly has something to improve and improve. But that's another topic..."
Network analyst Anatoly Nesmiyan generally skeptical refers to any change of power in autocratic countries, whether Russia or Belarus:
“Sooner or later, the dictatorship in Belarus will end. The mobilization method of management is rational for solving crisis problems - in fact, it is anti-crisis management. However, it is certainly not suitable for development, since the essence of any anti-crisis management is a shift in the balance in decision-making towards speed and to the detriment of quality. Such management makes sense when it is necessary to "solve" problems in the conditions of a management collapse, but in a working management machine the quality of the decisions made begins to play a decisive role. The dictatorship is not in a position to provide this component of governance, tending to "manual" adjustment, which means - introducing a significant proportion of subjective and even openly voluntaristic factors.
This is the fate of any dictatorship, especially in today's complex world. Even if an unmercenary person is in power who wants only good things for his country and people, sooner or later (rather sooner) he will implement the principle of good intentions, which know where the road is paved. But the unmercenary in power is an oxymoron. Usually such disgusting personalities come to her that it is definitely not necessary to suspect them of wanting to develop anything, except for their personal and clan well-being.
Dictatorship is ineffective. And like any ineffective system, it is quickly overloaded with internal and external contradictions that devour all free, and then the entire resource of the system. After that, it consistently goes through a phase of systemic crisis to disaster. Russia is already in a catastrophic plot, Belarus is on the transition to it.
For post-dictatorship, the same question always arises - getting out of the vicious circle. There is always a temptation to replace the “wrong” dictator with the “right” one. He certainly will not repeat the mistakes and miscalculations of the previous one. This is due to the fact that dictatorship is an extremely comfortable thing. The people themselves voluntarily give the dictator responsibility for their future. Responsible for him is a troublesome and difficult task. The easiest way is to entrust the management of the country to the beautiful, smart and young. And wash your hands yourself. The legitimacy of the dictatorship is based primarily on this comfort, on the refusal of personal responsibility. And having removed one ("wrong") dictator, there is always a temptation to stay in the comfort zone and not be responsible either for yourself, nor for your children, or for your country. Not for your future. The bosses have a big head, even if they think.
This is the vicious circle along which the backward and wild societies move. And if it is not torn apart, then there is no point in displacing Putin, Lukashenko or some Mugabe. Someone will come and everything will be repeated again.
There is, of course, a way to break the circle and create a spiral. This is the rotation of power, its turnover. Not as an end in itself, but as a tool. Therefore, for post-dictatorships, the formation of democracy becomes key. It does not necessarily (and even does not necessarily have to) repeat its western version, but the meaning of any democracy is to create a sense of people's responsibility for their future. They, and only they, have the right to choose the leadership of the country (region, city) - and they are also responsible for their choice. The right choice - life takes on perspective. Wrong - there is a dead end looming ahead. It is important that any mistake can be corrected. Remove the unsuitable leader and put in another - perhaps more suitable.
All this needs to be learned. And it is absurd to believe that the dictator will be replaced by a wise and correct one. Most probably not. Therefore, it is required to learn to search and choose. Create control mechanisms in which subjective factors would matter significantly less than objective ones. In the USA, for example, the president's term of office is 4 years. Trump with the idea of postponing the elections (by the way, he seems to have already refused) does not extend his term in any way - on January 20 it ends with any development of events. And even theoretically, it is impossible to imagine voting on "zeroing" the presidential terms in the United States. Therefore, neither three, nor five, nor six terms are possible in the United States today. We have to play within the framework of the rules that are set.
In this sense, it doesn't matter who comes after Putin or Lukashenko. Well, of course, it is important, but not important in the sense that the main thing is to return to the idea of a change in power. Drive the elite into a framework beyond which they cannot manipulate and cheat. Any attempt to usurp power is a crime against the state, and there is not a single clear explanation as to why usurpation is good. If Lukashenko has failed to solve all the tasks before him in five terms, it means that he is a bad leader. Or the tasks are too difficult for him. Let someone else do it. It will not work for him - it means the third. The people have the right to choose which of the applicants for solving the problems facing the country is more appropriate.
It is possible to break the circle of post-dictatorship. But many people may not like the solution. This decision is everyone's personal responsibility. Which is not easy. However, any other option brings people back to the past. And instead of one dictator another will come. No better and no worse - the same. And with the same consequences. Then the next generation will have to make the choice. Or even the next one.
And all the other countries and peoples who have gone through this, will go further and further..."