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April 8 – April 14, 2024
The ruling elite

Deficit of Loyal Staff, “Wolf Ticket” for Dissenters

The situation has not changed
Deficit of Loyal Staff, “Wolf Ticket” for Dissenters

Lukashenka sees the personnel deficit as a factor restraining economic growth but not an existential threat to his personal rule. The regime plans to address labor market issues by reallocating resources from the private sector to benefit state-owned companies and by encouraging pensioners. The ruling class will continue repressions against dissenters to maintain the stability of Lukashenka’s power.

The ruling class does not plan to change its attitude towards opponents despite the “widespread deficit” of workers at state enterprises. Nevertheless, the regime maintains economic optimism due to high GDP growth rates, despite Western sanctions and restrictions.

The Belarusian establishment aims to maintain a high share of the state sector in the economy, which is linked to Lukashenka’s personal preferences. The ruling class continues to invest in loss-making state companies. The government increases the state’s share in the statutory funds of seven woodworking and related enterprises.

Lukashenka often resorts to Soviet practices and hands-on management of the economy. High officials directly interfere in the activities of state companies. The state sector is considered the most loyal and controllable segment of society by the regime.

After the 2020 crisis, the ruling class strengthened ideological control and personnel selection in the state sector. State companies discriminate against political opponents of the regime. Administrations of such enterprises deny employment to workers with “political” administrative articles.

At the same time, the regime’s protectors maintain high levels of repression to demotivate opponents. Political repressions have plateaued, but purges and arrests continue.

The personnel reserve for state industry could be ensured not only at the expense of pensioners but also by restricting opportunities for the development of the private sector.

Lukashenka’s senators have approved a bill with restrictive innovations for individual entrepreneurs.

Thus, the ruling class will not abandon the use of force to coerce society into submission at least until the end of the 2025 presidential elections.

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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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