February 28 – March 6, 2022
The ruling elite

The regime widens divisions in society as state propaganda aligns with the Kremlin war agenda

The situation got worse

Ideologues promote the Kremlin agenda regarding the war in Ukraine among regime loyalists, in stark contrast to the anti-war sentiment among democrats. The Lukashenka regime progressively diminishes social guarantees for state employees, leading to rising unemployment.

Ideologues shape loyalist opinion regarding the war in Ukraine based on the Kremlin agenda of aggression. The destruction of independent media infrastructure by the security forces strengthens the influence of Russian propaganda in Belarus, including among regime critics.
Security forces purge public spaces and the streets of cities of anti-war demonstrations. The regime fears the growth of anti-war sentiment due to the participation of Belarus in the war with Ukraine. The Lukashenka regime tries to placate loyalists by distancing itself from direct involvement in the invasion.

The Central Election Committee (CEC) certifies the constitutional referendum as valid and announces widespread support, with 82.86% of voters approving the amendments to the Constitution. Meanwhile, the Lukashenka regime fosters division and refuses to engage with dissenting views, counting on forceful coercion to depoliticise opponents and impose acquiescence regarding Lukashenka’s leadership.

The Government is taking steps to mitigate the impact of sanctions on the economy and deflect popular discontent. Belarusians are urgently requested to apply for additional ATM cards connected to the Russian “Mir” payments system.

Unemployment rises as layoffs continue. The regime aims to maintain control over the labour movement with the help of the siloviki, aided by the fact that many potential activists have already emigrated. January’s employment figures stand at 4.244 million, representing a decline of 12,600 since December 2021.

The authorities continue to undermine social guarantees, and living standards continue to decline. Pensions have fallen in real terms for the fourth month in a row, despite a planned increase.

Despite the collapse of the Belarusian ruble exchange rate, the National Bank maintains foreign exchange stability in the face of growing restrictions and sanctions. The national debt continues to rise as the refinancing rate increases to 12%, and the Ministry of Finance conceals other statistics.

In summary, security forces retain their influence on state policy against the background of the war in Ukraine.

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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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