July 18 – July 24, 2022
Society and political parties

Leadership struggles amongst democratic forces as the emphasis on forceful regime change increases

The situation has not changed

In civil society and democratic forces, the intensity of mutual recriminations and attempts to consolidate alternative centres of influence are growing. Communication between democratic organisations continues to focus on implacable opponents of the ruling regime in Minsk. Supporters of peaceful change continue to lose legal mechanisms for feedback and influence on the authorities, strengthening the hand of more radical elements.

The leader of democratic Belarus, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, revised the format of the Congress of Belarusians in August this year after criticism from other political organisations, including partners. The registration procedure for participation in the Congress will be more open and encourage broad representation of democratic forces, including critics.

Pavel Latushka joins the public criticism of the actions of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s office. The leader of the NAUintends to organise firm opponents of the Lukashenka regime, who are prepared for a violent confrontation.

Supporters of forceful regime change continue to strengthen their positions in the protest movement, despite the detention of activists and the propaganda campaign. According to representatives of BYPOL, about 200,000 people are registered with the Peramoga plan.

The views of society remain highly polarised due to the harsh actions of the security forces against opponents of the Lukashenka regime, the suppression of legal civil and trade union activity, and the persecution of dissenters. Critical comments regarding the regime and state apparatus continue despite waves of mass detentions.

Public accusations and showdowns among governments and civil society organisations undermine the trust and support of change advocates, which can harm fundraising initiatives.

The influence of democratic forces and civil society on public opinion in the EU in relation to Belarusians and Minsk is decreasing against the background of the Lukashenka regime’s involvement in the Ukraine war.

The European Commission allocated EUR4 million to support Belarusian culture, which resulted from activities and emigrant organisations cooperating with European partners – the Belarusian Council of Culture and the Danish Institute of Culture.

Tension is growing in civil society, and the agenda of the democratic forces is losing focus with attempts to create alternative centres of the protest movement without coordination with the office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of leading Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries to the most topical and relevant issues, including on behind the scenes processes ongoing in Belarus, in Russian and English.

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