Due to the stress caused by the virus pandemic and the unrealized help of the government, the Belarusians managed to recover from the apparent “helplessness syndrome”. Civil society at all levels has become more active. How Belarusians stopped being shy and “fired” Lukashenko, how they was able to raise more than a million euros in two days and why Lukashenko is seen as “toxic” to the Kremlin, comments Valery Matskevich, Belarusian politician, public figure and a member of the Coordinating Council.
This publication is part of the 4 video commentary series “What’s going on in Belarus? Observations from the insider.”, in which, at the invitation of the Centre for East European Policy Studies (CEEPS), for publication on Tvnet.lv and Rus.tvnet.lv, Belarusian politician, public figure and a member of the Coordinating Council Valery Matskevich tells about the current situation in Belarus.
Valery Matskevich explains that the virus pandemic has played a big role in the activity of the Belarusian society. As the public health system failed this test, neither technically nor materially, the Belarusians, including the elderly, who had previously treated Lukashnek rather favorably, rebelled against the existing regime. “Officially, 750 people died from the Corona virus, but in fact ten times or more. Every family faces this misfortune. Someone fell ill, barely survived. In the office, acquaintances died. And during the pre-election campaign, when unexpectedly new prominent figures took to the political stage, despite the regime’s repression of the presidential candidates, we managed to reach an agreement on strategy and tactics, ” explains Matskevich.
People in Belarus realized that change could be possible, recalls Matskevich: “It was at this moment that the civil society became more active, charities and spontaneously established funds were united in the fight against the pandemic. Assistance was provided to victims, doctors, businessmen assisted grandmothers by delivering various product packages. Huge sums of money were raised in a very short time. In two days, one of the funds raised, it seems, more than a million euros. And that’s when the power not only lost the public’s trust, but the people began to evoke feelings of contempt, because it did not recognize the obvious, “explains Matskevich.
“In essence, a certain consolidated decision on the election of the new president was made in the public consciousness even before the elections. Following this criminal negligence, the alleged social contract between the authorities and society was unilaterally terminated. Mr Lukashenko was, in essence, fired. The election simply had to implement this dismissal. Lukashenko, as a man with values determined by a low level of morality and morality, with his approach to solving tasks, absolutely stopped conforming to the average statistical Belarusian notion of what a president should be. The Belarusians simply got tired of being shy, ” Matskevich explains the change in mood in Belarusian society, pointing out that when the peace protests took place from 9 to 12 August, the Belarusians were finally introduced to the true face of tyranny and Lukashenko’s real personality.
“Lukashnek’s position was temporarily strengthened by Putin’s alternative scenario. However, he decided to support his protégé. Not so that Lukashenko stays at the helm, but so that the inevitable change of power does not take place according to the scenario of democratic forces, ” Matskevich points out, stressing that Putin does not want to allow a change of power in Belarus in a natural way.
In Mackevich’s vision, by saving Lukashenko, Putin seems to be saving himself from similar scenarios. What is happening in Belarus could be a field of social experimentation or a political laboratory for Putin. ” Putin, as we say in Belarus, has connected Lukashenko to a ventilator. He offered Lukashenko a lenient departure option with security guarantees, “says Matskevich.
“The only thing Putin didn’t calculate was that the degree of inclusiveness of the Belarusian protest is such that even pro-Russian Belarusian citizens have begun to treat Vladimir Putin’s personality very negatively,” Matskevich said.
Find out more about the events in Belarus in the first video (in Russian with Latvian subtitles) commentary prepared by Valery Matskevich.