June 10 – June 16, 2024
The ruling elite

Lukashenka’s 2025 Elections: On Screen – a Fighter Against Corruption

The situation has not changed
Lukashenka’s 2025 Elections: On Screen – a Fighter Against Corruption

Lukashenka aims to boost his personal trust ratings during the presidential campaign preparation. The Belarusian leadership is rotating its media vertical to reach new audiences—those beyond the circle of loyalists. At the same time, the dictator is launching an anti-corruption campaign and attempting to distance himself from officials.

Lukashenka has begun a campaign in preparation for the presidential elections—firstly taking on the correction of media policy. He plans to reduce the Kremlin’s influence on the information agenda. The newly appointed head of the Ministry of Information, Markov, is critical of malignant propaganda and supporters of the “Russian world.”

The ruling class is trying to renew state ideology—to make it more attractive to wider sections of society. Ideologists are introducing the concept of the “Belarusian world.” As a result, part of the establishment is demonstratively distancing itself from the narratives of the “Russian world.”

It’s important to highlight: law enforcement is repressing the most active supporters of the “Russian world” who are critical of the regime.

Throughout his governance, Lukashenka has exploited the anti-corruption theme. During the “presidential campaign” in 1994, he called the fight against bribery and nepotism a key direction of work in case of victory. After coming to power, the politician maintains on TV screens the image of a fighter against corruption—especially on the eve of elections.

At a government meeting, Lukashenka devoted most of the time to anti-corruption themes and detentions among top officials. After a massive purge of the protest movement and civil society, the focus of law enforcement shifts to officials and the state sector of the economy.

Despite the start of campaigning, the ruling class is preparing public opinion for another cut in social guarantees—this time changes are relevant for large families.

The introduction of unpopular measures before elections indicates a deterioration in feedback from society. Before 2020, Lukashenka, followed by the state apparatus, held COVID-dissident views, which caused an increase in public dissatisfaction.

However, the Belarusian leadership seeks to avoid an explosion of protest activity as a result of the reduction of the “social pie.” Officials are “smearing” restrictions across different social groups.

Lukashenka’s state consistently reduces social obligations to various population groups due to budget redistributions in favor of the regime’s pillars. Funds are directed for the benefit of the beneficiaries of late Lukashenka’s policies: law enforcement, propagandists, and leadership of the state sector of the economy.

Thus, it is unlikely that the top leadership will soon dare to increase large-scale unpopular measures that could provoke protest mobilization. Lukashenka’s trauma from the 2020 revolution has not healed, so the politician strives to maintain a populist connection with the people. However, this does not exclude the gradual redistribution of funds in favor of the regime’s pillars at the expense of other population groups.

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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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