September 4 – September 10, 2023
The ruling elite

Filtering raids by security forces in the public sector, high profitability of business in exchange for periodic expropriations

The situation has not changed
Filtering raids by security forces in the public sector, high profitability of business in exchange for periodic expropriations

The ruling class strengthens the loyalty of the population through migration processes and repression. Critics of Lukashenka’s regime are persecuted and their civil rights are restricted, while potentially loyal people from post-Soviet countries acquire citizenship and access to the labor market. Controlling bodies and security forces maintain a significant weight in the redistribution of the most profitable markets, and also increase additions to the state budget.

The ruling class takes additional discriminatory measures against political migrants with restrictions on civil rights and consular services to intimidate, depoliticize and strengthen public loyalty. Belarusian diplomatic missions will no longer issue passports to citizens of Belarus permanently living abroad. Even earlier, the ruling class canceled the opportunity to vote in elections and referendums for citizens living abroad.

In turn, the Belarusian leadership actively grants citizenship to residents of other post-Soviet countries (most often from Ukraine). New citizens are loyal to the current leadership and adhere to similar ideological attitudes with nostalgia for the USSR.

The government hopes to reduce the record personnel deficit at the expense of foreigners. The Ministry of Labor plans to expand the list of professions in which foreigners can work.

In turn, the security forces continue to purge the public sector of workers disloyal to the Lukashenko regime, who continue to emigrate from the country. Large enterprises in Lida were raided and mass arrests were made for “extremist” subscriptions.

Controlling bodies continue to replenish the budget due to expropriations from businessmen. Despite the imperfection of the legislation and harassment from the regulatory authorities, the business in certain areas has a high margin, especially related to government contracts with vertical connections.

The State Control Committee opened a criminal case for failure to pay a tax in the amount of BYN 800,000 against a company that supplied veterinary drugs to organizations of the agro-industrial complex.

State control detained a large Vitebsk developer on suspicion of tax evasion. The businessman transferred BYN 330,000 to the budget as compensation for damage to the state.

The official media increase the synchronization of the agenda with the Russian mass media. Joint Russian-Belarusian entertainment projects, as well as Russian experts, are planned on Belarusian television.

Thus, private business adapts to the risks of criminal prosecution, but also to high profitability in a situation of increased closure of the public sector from society.

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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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