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May 15 – May 21, 2023
The ruling elite

The Shifting Landscape: Lukashenka’s Position Weakens as the Ruling Class Adapts to Transformations

The situation has gotten better
The Shifting Landscape: Lukashenka’s Position Weakens as the Ruling Class Adapts to Transformations
Аляксандр Лукашэнка на святкаванні Дня перамогі ў Мінску 9 траўня 2023 года. Фота: president.gov.by

The loyalty of the ruling class towards Lukashenka remains intact, despite the weakening of the country’s first president’s position due to his health problems. The regime’s forces continue to exert significant influence on the economy, redistributing markets and filling the state budget through fines.

Amid discussions about the end of the Lukashenka era and his potential departure due to health issues, the ruling class is preparing for the transformation of the personalist regime.

The pro-regime “Belaya Rus’” party is increasingly solidifying its presence in the information space and taking measures to finance its activities through its members.

Lukashenka’s regime is adjusting ideological narratives in the realm of national identity to align more closely with the Russian perspective on Belarusian historical memory and national heroes.

Despite the growing shortage of healthcare personnel, political dismissals and detentions of doctors persist. The mass arrests of medical professionals at Navapolatsk hospital, where Viktar Babaryka was taken, continue.

The Department of Financial Investigations has conducted a visit to the offices of the “DekaPlus” group of companies.

A resident of Mahiliou has been brought to trial for tax evasion amounting to over BYN 2 million.

The government maintains an optimistic economic outlook, attributed to the functioning of the public sector and the low unemployment rate in the country. The National Bank supports the economy by injecting more funds into the public sector.

While the economy is still in a state of decline, the rate of decline is gradually diminishing. The government has managed to counter the negative effects of sanctions and regulate the unemployment rate through partial employment rather than mass layoffs. However, a major industrial enterprise is experiencing a decline in demand from EU and Ukrainian markets, resulting in the implementation of idle time for its workers.

The ruling class anticipates increasing investments in the public sector while maintaining its share in the economy with a focus on the Russian market.

Plans are underway to establish domestic car production in Belarus under its own brand.

The government is increasing budget allocations for agriculture and making adjustments to the state program “Agribusiness” for the period 2021-2025.

Certain social guarantees for public sector workers are being maintained by the state. Although the average cost of a ticket to a summer camp will be nearly 700 rubles, parents will only be required to pay 10% of that amount.

Thus, the ruling class is witnessing the activation of processes that create alternative centers of power, such as the “Belaya Rus’” party’s attempts to assume certain personnel functions.

 

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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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