July 18 – July 24, 2022
The ruling elite

Redistribution of income to the regime; coerced loyalty of the population

The situation got worse

The state increases taxation on those with higher incomes, although overall household incomes remain low, especially in the regions. However, there is no visible sign of discontent in society despite the increased tax burden, declining welfare standards and economic recession.

The new transport tax impacts four times as many people as previously. Property owners have begun to receive tax demands for first apartments. A new tax has been introduced on some gardeners, mushroom pickers, and berry pickers. Universities, including MSLU and BSMU, are increasing fees. All individual entrepreneurs will have to pay contributions to the Social Protection Fund from 2023. Some pensioners were taxed as “social dependants”.

The population is adapting to deteriorating conditions and declining prosperity in the face of harsh repression, intense propaganda, and the background of the war in Ukraine. The regime selectively secures the loyalty of the key groups in society to maintain power. Statistics on state administration salaries have been classified.

Lukashenka retains full personal authority and directly controls the distribution of resources. The head of state issued instructions to build a shopping centre on the uncompleted Iranian “Magnit Minsk” site.

The government expanded economic regulation and introduced licensing for the export of flax fibre.

In healthcare, the personnel situation is deteriorating due to emigration, political purges, and reduced resources.

The authorities maintain employment of forestry workers by reducing wages and the working week; however, sanctions seriously affect the sale of products and foreign exchange earnings.

The fall in GDP is accelerating, and housing construction has slowed. The public sector is counting on import substitution to remedy this, although similar programs have previously failed. The authorities expect to create 14 import-substituting industries with the support of Russia.

The government is forced to revise financial measures in relation to certain disgraced categories of the population due to the mass relocation of businesses. For companies from the High Technology Park, the deductions of the park administration amounted to 1% of revenue.

The regime demonstrates no desire for dialogue or a resolution to the political crisis other than coercion and depoliticisation. Lukashenka ratified an amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure, enabling trials in absentialeading to property confiscation and death sentences.

After the expulsion of independent media and purges in state media, the influence of Russian TV is increasing. The Lukashenka regime lacks the resources to create a competitive product, so state media loses independence by integrating Kremlin propaganda.

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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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