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July 17 – July 23, 2023
The ruling elite

Lukashenka criticises agricultural barons as state-sponsored discrimination against regime critics continues

The situation got worse

Regime enforcers continue their campaign to silence opponents with fines, arrests, criminal prosecution, and discriminatory legislation. Lukashenka attempts to curb the agricultural sector’s demands and criticises agricultural managers.

Under the influence of the security forces, the Belarusian leadership has probably decided to reduce agricultural subsidies. Following reports from the State Control Committee, the Prosecutor General’s Office, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Lukashenka criticised the management of state agricultural organisations. Minister of Agriculture, Igor Brillo, will soon be dismissed.

The regime enforces discriminatory measures against critics. Lukashenka approved the text of the citizenship oath of the Republic of Belarus and the procedure for revocation of citizenship “for extremism” and, in reality, for criticising state policy and high-ranking officials.

Regime enforcers are trying to silence opponents with high fines and detentions. In Vitebsk, a mother of many children was fined BYN 2,200 for “picketing in social networks”. A raid was mounted on the Minsk Cathedral Church of the Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a Catholic priest was detained in Lida.

The government is implementing protectionist measures to shield Belarusian producers from competition and imports. Traders are obliged to sell a minimum level of locally produced goods.

Labour market shortages increase to record levels due to retirement and emigration due to the political crisis.

The ruling class continues constructing a new party system on the eve of the elections to local councils, parliament, and the National Assembly. The leadership has decided to terminate individual loyalist parties as the Ministry of Justice moves to liquidate the Belarusian Patriotic Party, headed by 2015 ex-presidential candidate Mykolaiv Ulakhovich, who heads the “Belarusian Cossacks” association. The Ministry of Justice also filed to liquidate the Belarusian “Green” party.

Populist measures on the eve of the election campaign include a salary review for state organisation leaders by members of the House of Representatives, officials of the Ministry of Labor and State Control.

As election campaigning for local councils and parliament approaches, the ruling class will expand populist measures to buy the population’s loyalty.

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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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