Lukashenka regains popularity as the security forces intensify the persecution of opponents
Support for state institutions grows in response to the regime’s populist economic measures, aided by harsh repression of the opposition, media purges, and the background of the war in Ukraine.
Society is adapting to gradual economic decline and falling standards of living, and confidence in government institutions is increasing. Lukashenka is probably satisfied with the political effect of his intervention in price regulation and is likely to continue with intermittent populist initiatives. An independent survey by BEROC reports that people approve of state price controls.
Small and medium-sized businesses suffered the most significant drop in income due to price regulation and punitive expropriations. The authorities’ measures against entrepreneurs are connected with doubts about the political loyalty of the private sector and the need to shore up the state budget.
Concern regarding falling numbers of healthcare personnel prompted Health Minister Pinevich to announce a review of doctors’ salaries. However, the working class opposes health care pay raises, and resources are diverted to the security forces.
The Lukashenka regime continues to restrict opponents’ political, civil, and social rights. A law enabling the deprivation of citizenship of Belarusians for “extremist” activities has been adopted.
The Ministry of Health wants to limit free treatment for “social parasites” and Belarusian citizens living abroad.
The authorities intend to completely depoliticise society before campaigning for parliamentary and local council elections and force supporters of change to abandon criticism of the Belarusian leadership.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has levelled criminal charges against Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maryja Maroz, Pavel Latushka, Volha Kovalkova and Siarhei Dyleuski.
The Lukashenka regime will continue to purge dissent and create favourable conditions for conducting political campaigns.
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Situation in Belarus