Desynchronization of forces within the domestic political cycle, maintaining international pressure, and isolating the regime
The influence of the democratic movement on the internal Belarusian agenda is decreasing, as is the isolation of political organizations from internal Belarusian political processes as a result of repression and emigration. In turn, civil society and democratic forces are trying to increase international pressure on the Belarusian Red Cross Society because of its odious General Secretary, and also support attention to Belarus at the summit of the European political community and the Warsaw Security Forum.
The discussion about the elections to the Coordination Council is intensifying among the democrats.
Tsikhanouskaya’s coalition ignores the beginning of the new election season in Belarus. Among the priorities of the Cabinet, the elections to the parliament and local councils, which the ruling class plans to hold on February 25, 2024, are missing.
Democrats are intensifying contacts with European partners to promote the idea of developing a unified EU strategy towards Belarus.
Tsikhanouskaya took part in the summit of the European Political Community at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez. Democrats support the attention of European countries to the situation in Belarus and also develop contacts with the leadership of post-Soviet states. Tsikhanouskaya held a working meeting with the leadership of Armenia, as well as Bulgaria, Norway, and Latvia.
Tsikhanouskaya’s cabinet achieved another success at the international level in promoting the unified agenda of civil society, including regarding the elections of deputies of local councils and parliament planned by Lukashenka’s regime. During the OSCE side event on Belarus, the creation of the “Group of Friends of Democratic Belarus” from OSCE participating countries was announced.
A discussion on Belarus was held for the first time at the Warsaw Security Forum.
Political organizations maintain a harsh rhetoric towards Lukashenka’s regime in the situation of refusal of the ruling class to dialogue with civil society. Democrats promote ideas and create conditions for persecuting regime guards who are guilty of crimes against Belarusians and Ukrainians. Such measures meet the expectations of fans of Democrats. However, on the other hand, the threat of persecution consolidates the security forces and the bureaucratic vertical around Lukashenka.
International contacts and civil society pressure are bearing fruit. According to the results of the investigation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued an ultimatum to its Belarusian colleagues – to remove the odious General Secretary of the Belarusian Red Cross Society, Dzmitry Shautsou, or lose international funding.
Democrats are trying to soften the wariness of a part of Lithuanian society towards Belarusians, as well as start a discussion about historical memory with a discussion of problematic issues in Belarusian-Lithuanian relations. During the discussion in the Lithuanian Seimas “Lithvinism: origin, influence and challenges to Belarusian-Lithuanian relations,” Tsikhanouskaya voiced the general position of democratic forces in support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Lithuania.
Tsikhanouskaya’s office is making progress in communications with the Czech government. The Office of Democratic Belarus will open in Prague by the end of the year.
Democrats continue to mobilize their supporters to support Ukraine. A rally of solidarity with Ukraine and Belarusian political prisoners was held in Wroclaw, Poland.
Tensions are increasing among volunteers in Ukraine. The volunteer harshly criticized the leadership of the headquarters of the Kastus Kalinouski regiment.
Thus, the Democrats avoid mobilizing their supporters for elections in a situation of continued large-scale repression.
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Situation in Belarus