August 14 – August 20, 2023
The ruling elite

Regime pre-election measures include an increase in public sector salaries, restrictions on the private sector, and more repression of opponents

The situation got worse
Regime pre-election measures include an increase in public sector salaries, restrictions on the private sector, and more repression of opponents

The regime is attempting to rewrite history, inject ideological propaganda into the education system, and align Belarusian culture with the concept of “Russian peace”. The authorities continue to shape the political party system and eliminate superfluous political parties as election campaigning approaches.

The government remains optimistic about the economy in light of GDP growth of 2.9% in January-July 2023, and real income growth accelerating during the summer. These positive metrics reassure the leadership that the strategy of supporting state-owned companies, reforming the private sector, and reducing the number of individual entrepreneurs remains correct.

Minsk is losing small businesses and private entrepreneurs with the mass departure of IT-specialists costing the economy more than BYN 1.0 billion in wages alone.

In an attempt to shore up ratings, Lukashenka criticises the education system and announces increased control by the security forces for the new academic year. The Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Control Committee will form a monitoring group to supervise textbooks, and a further purge of educational programs seems likely.

The authorities have classified some 19th century poems by Vincent Dunin-Martsinkevich as “extremist”, along with the works of other Belarusian authors. (после Dunin-Martisinkevich)

Security forces are expanding their influence on education as the Ministry of Education and the Prosecutor General’s Office prepare lesson materials on the topic of the genocide of the Belarusian people for schoolchildren of all ages.

Following the appointment of a new director (a former security officer) mass detentions are reported at the National Historical Archive, and “Wagner Group” plans to engage in educational activities in Belarus.

Of the fifteen incumbent political parties, “Belaya Rus” and three others were re-registered, six were liquidated, and the remaining six are in the process of winding up. The party system will probably consist of four pro-government parties, theoretically covering the political spectrum: right-wing (Liberal Democratic Party), centrist (“Belaya Rus”), social-democratic (Republican Party of Labor and Justice) and left-wing (Communist Party of Belarus). The liquidation of the remaining parties, both opposition and pro-government, will be complete before the elections.

The regime continues to appoint people from the security agencies in state administration and related areas, leading to further personnel purges and ideological conformity.

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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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