by
August 1 – August 7, 2022
The ruling elite

The authorities seize resources from businesses and banks as well as purge some ideologists and siloviki

The situation has not changed

Competition for influence and dwindling resources intensifies as the security forces step up the anti-corruption campaign. Support for the public sector continues to increase, financed by surcharges and expropriations from businesses and banks.

Lukashenka continues his tour of the regions, mobilising the state apparatus for the harvesting campaign. The leadership is gradually strengthening the position of technocrats and marketers in the administration.

The security forces receive additional powers to regulate economic relations – the State Customs Committee has been granted authority to restructure corporate debt.

The authorities are expanding restrictions on access to information on public finances and the activities of government agencies and banks. Banks can conceal some performance metrics, reducing confidence in the banking system.

The government continues to borrow domestically, which constitutes withdrawals from state-owned banks. Rouble bonds are placed below annual inflation, and funds are redirected to support the public sector, causing solvency problems for state-owned companies. Belagroservice received a deferral on restructured debts.

The Development Bank has doubled credit financing for the economy, enabling the public sector to continue to regulate unemployment.

In the first six months of this year, corruption convictions of officials increased by thirty per cent compared to the same period in 2021; the IC reported cases of corruption in several “top enterprises, including flagships.”

Criminal prosecution of influential businesses whose loyalty is under question continues as the security forces seize assets to compensate for declining budget revenue. The Department of Financial Investigations revealed non-payment of taxes by an online store in the amount of BYN23 million.

The purges in the state apparatus continue, extending to ideologists who failed to prevent the mass protests of 2020.

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The fall in GDP and economic indicators has affected wages, but deteriorating living standards have not led to open manifestations of discontent from the population. The government demonstrates economic optimism and promises an increase in salaries and pensions.

Employment is falling, but this has not led to an increase in the protest movement; the departure of workers abroad partially mitigates tensions. Labour emigration and remittances from abroad partially compensate for the decline in living standards.

Security forces persecute dissidents and try to undermine solidarity among supporters of change.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of leading Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries to the most topical and relevant issues, including on behind the scenes processes ongoing in Belarus, in Russian and English.
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