August 7 – August 13, 2023
The ruling elite

Regime enforcers plan non-stop repression as the ruling class prepares for elections

The situation has not changed
Regime enforcers plan non-stop repression as the ruling class prepares for elections

The regime leadership fears renewed protests if repression eases, and regime enforcers aim to retain influence on the leadership. Preparations for the 2024 elections proceed with the liquidation of “superfluous” parties, consolidating support for pro-government organizations.

The deputy head of GUBAZiK confirmed that persecution of regime opponents and dissidents will continue. Terms of detention for political prisoners are extended.

Pro-government activists call for even greater isolation and disenfranchisement of supporters of change. During a meeting at the headquarters of “patriotic forces”, there was a proposal to restrict nominations of presidential candidates to exclusively pro-government organizations.

As political campaigning nears, Lukashenka appoints security personnel to key positions in potentially disloyal departments and organizations, such as appointing an ex-KGB officer as head of the High Tech Park.

The National Bank is carrying out a managed devaluation following a large-scale fiscal stimulus, aiming to boost state-owned company exports and clear warehouse stocks. The USD to BYN exchange rate increased by 22.1% year-to-date, although in July, citizens and businesses sold more foreign currency than they bought.

The private sector is optimistic about the economy and assessments of the risk of doing business in Belarus are improving. Businessmen use online platforms, such as Wildberries, to boost sales, particularly to CIS markets.

Meanwhile, state-owned companies report an increase in warehouse stock and in some cases, reduced production, creating problems with the payment of salaries and the reduction of unemployment. At “Polotsk-Steklovolokno” workers were offered food and company products in lieu of wages.

The leadership continues to manipulate the political party landscape ahead of the parliamentary and local council elections with the liquidation of two pro-government political parties by the Supreme Court.

There are plans to address staffing shortages in the healthcare system by increasing the number of students and introducing a mandatory five-year internship in state institutions.

Enforcement authorities continue to supplement the state budget. In 2023, customs officials confiscated BYN 10.5 million, almost 2.5 times as much as last year.

The ruling class will increase restrictions on regime opponents to deter participation in election campaigns.

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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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