January 9 – January 15, 2023
Society and political parties

Democrats maintain pressure for sanctions against the regime as the Provisional Cabinet creates military formations in Ukraine

The situation has not changed

The Joint Transitional Cabinet (JPC) adopts a more forceful stance and initiates the creation of a Belarusian military unit allied with the Ukrainian armed forces, implicitly distancing itself from the volunteer groups (“Kalinoŭski Regiment”, “Terror” and “Pahonia” battalions). Critics of the sanctions rhetoric of the joint democratic agenda are manoeuvring to strengthen their influence in light of expanding repression in Belarus and the absence of tangible results from the sanctions strategy.

Forces led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya are concentrating their efforts on further delegitimisation, political isolation and sanctions against the Lukashenka regime. The JPC is also focusing attention on communication with society, support for anti-war initiatives, and the creation of Belarusian formations in the armed forces of Ukraine.

Several former political prisoners and relatives of current detainees in Belarusian prisons and camps formed a unified bloc and appealed to society and world leaders. However, it should be noted that there is no unanimity among the relatives of political prisoners regarding sanctions against the Lukashenka regime in terms of trading concessions for the release of political prisoners.

In response, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya launched an initiative to create an international trust fund to support repressed Belarusians and will also address the World Economic Forum in Davos, demonstrating that democrats retain their influence on relations between Minsk and Western capitals.

Tsikhanouskaya’s office is also negotiating with the Lithuanian government regarding the issuance of replacement documents to Belarusian citizens in exchange for expired passports.

The JTC security bloc continues to develop contacts and cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities. Valer Sakhashchyk, the Cabinet representative for Defence and National Security, announced an agreement with Kyiv to create a new Belarusian military unit in Ukraine.

Political organisations cannot effectively communicate with their supporters due to increased repression and persecution of dissident public activities. Despite the arrest of their leader, Andrei Dzmitryeu, the “Tell the truth” initiative continues online discussions and debates with supporters. Meanwhile, political parties refrain from publicising events due to the fear of repression.

Democratic rhetoric will continue to radicalise in reaction to the diminishing scope for legal public activity in Belarus.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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