So, on the one hand, obviously, as many Belarusians want to change the government. On the other hand, the person ruling the country for 27 th year, is ready to stay to the end, and also the whole administrative power and resources of the state. The outcome of this conflict?
The protests turned into a carnival
According to independent media reports, at a rally of supporters of Lukashenka gathered (more precisely — the government gathered, had been brought from everywhere) from 10 to 30 thousand people (Lukashenko told about 50 thousand, the interior Ministry called the figure of 65 thousand). Requiring the same Lukashenka’s resignation and new elections just flooded the capital — were, according to various estimates, from 200 to 500 thousand.
That is, the second clearly won and quantitatively, and drive. The evening event flowed into the festivities, carnival. The euphoria is understandable. A few days ago for going out on the street with white-red-white flags with the slogan “go away!” the men in black were the screw and brutally beaten, and today the city is ours.
But if you look at the situation soberly, while the protesters have done. Not even all arrested released after the election, not to mention political prisoners, appeared before the 9th of August. Do not set aside the security forces with large epaulets, not punished those who committed atrocities, humiliated captured by demonstrators. Riot police from the streets cleaned, but maybe only for recuperation.
Commentators talking about the August revolution. But, according to Lenin, “the fundamental question of every revolution is the question of power in the state.” And it remains in the hands of Lukashenko.
Power remains in the same hands
“We offer new elections. I just said: soaking in the swamp — will not get out ever! We want to destroy, we want to relax. Who will conduct these elections? Who will go on these elections? Thugs and thieves!” — held that political information today Lukashenka against the background of government House in front of a crowd of gathered people.
He again frightened: “We propose NATO soldiers — black, inexperienced and blond (the state-run media in your version of these features was removed. — A. K.). We want to wear sandals and drive a whip. (…) I will never go to the scrapping of our state!”
In principle, the speech was a repetition of his election abstracts (only external threat is now supposedly in the West — this is pure Orwell). The Prince looked exhausted and often soaked forehead with his handkerchief. It is unlikely this nervous speech with irregular memoir in the 90-ies (“32 gangs in Minsk! A huge number of on the Brest highway!”) persuaded any of the advocates of change. But the bottom line is that the power he intends to keep to the last.
And the collection of this rally, even under the order, “the government has demonstrated the mobilization potential”, said in comments to Naviny.by the expert of the analytical center “Strategy” (Minsk, Belarus) Valery Karbalevich.
While there is no single center
In General, according to Karbalevich, “situation of balance of power.” According to him, the problem of the protests is that there is no single scenario, staff, management, there is no one who could offer a clear plan.
The idea is that at the meeting on 16 August, supporters of change could create a body to delegate to him the authority to dialogue with the authorities, the analyst believes. He emphasizes once again gather so many people will be difficult.
“Yes, made psychological effect. But what is the next step? No one takes the responsibility to propose a strategy” — said the source Naviny.by.
Indeed, while Svetlana Tikhanovski, which many consider to be the real winner of the past elections, and proposed to create a Coordination Council for transfer of authorities, but so far the idea has not received development.
A number of structures of the old opposition declared victory Tikhanovski, put the authorities ‘ harsh ultimatum (until the arrest of the head of the KGB Valery Vakulchyk, head of the state control Committee Ivan Tertile, officials of the interior Ministry and riot police, the Chairman of the CEC Lidia Yermoshina). But what’s next?
For a long time the traditional opposition suffered from an excess of leaders with a deficit of asset, but the asset now — half the country, if not more, but the leaders, so many years waiting for the political rise of the revolutionary situation, like I fell into a stupor.
In 1991, when still in the Soviet Belarus erupted into massive labor unrest, negotiations with the government led the Republican Committee. And the labor movement soon became a strong influence in terms of ideology powerful then the Belarusian popular front. Last Friday, the strike Committee of 23 members was established on the DOLE. Will the process continue? Published in these days the leaders of the labor movement will probably push the most subtle ways. Lukashenko is afraid of the proletarians of job loss.
A lot of show Monday, August 17, when the number of large enterprises was going to start a strike if the authorities fail to meet a number of requirements of workers, including new elections. The prospect of a national strike — a powerful lever of pressure on the government. But while these requirements are not consolidated in a single package and there are no organizational center.
As you can see, while neither team Tikhanovski, nor the old opposition or the labour movement, nor all of them together are unable to create a credible, workable structure on a national scale, which would coordinate the fight for a new election and would be subject to applying for a dialogue with the authorities.
Power, in turn, looks still quite cohesive. Yes, it began fermentation in state-run media. Against violence by a number of celebrities previously close to the government. Protests in Belarus supported by the Ambassador of Slovak Republic Igor leschenya. A bold statement makes a former culture Minister, now the Director of Kupala theatre Pavel Latushko. But it is “only erosion” and not a split of elites, says Karbalevich.
Whether Putin on a tank?
Meanwhile, Lukashenko twice in the last two days on the phone with Vladimir Putin. And said that “we agreed with him: at first our request will be provided full assistance for the security of the Republic of Belarus”. Although Lukashenko is talking about assistance in case of external threats (which he blows now), his critics are convinced that he is ready to call on Russian troops to protect their power. According to military commentator Alexander Alesina, Lukashenko maneuvers. This treatment, he “closed the wire on”, insured that Putin has not sent troops on his own initiative, suggested the expert comments for Naviny.by.
Karbalevich, for his part, said that the appeal to Lukashenko to the Kremlin is an attempt to put pressure on the psyche of their opponents in Belarus (want to provoke Putin on the tank?) and at the same time to motivate their supporters (don’t be shy, Moscow is behind us).
Will the Kremlin to send troops to Belarus in Lukashenko-critical situations, or with the victory of his opponents?
On the one hand, color revolution in Belarus is a “psychological blow to Putin” dangerous, from his point of view, for example the Russians. On the other hand, there are many factors restraining the Kremlin from invading, the analyst believes. In particular, “military support for Lukashenka means losing the Belarusian society”.
If the power to attach Belarus to Russia, then you can run into even tougher Western sanctions. The question arises how to feed the population, and other headaches. Besides, those who now demands the resignation of Lukashenko, do not raise the question about the geopolitical pivot of the country, says Karbalevich.
Alesin, in turn, emphasizes that Russia does not want to be an outcast. But in Putin’s entourage — different parties. And someone can push it, saying that Lukashenko has collapsed, can come to power Pro-Western forces, the time to act, says the expert.
Indeed, great instinct might work. Remember the annexation of Crimea. But Belarus is not the Crimea, and even the Crimean-Donbass adventure Moscow was severely burned.
Only Belarusian drama is coming to a climax
Anyway, the development of the protests in Belarus is according to their own logic, without regard to the geopolitical situation (no matter how hard Lukashenka to explain this to the actions of foreign puppeteers).
Day 16 August, when the streets of Minsk spilled sea advocating the change of government, many independent media called historic for Belarus. But how to dispose of the supporters of change is a unique and historic opportunity — an open question. Lukashenko’s position: over my dead body. Moreover, he promised: “If someone wants to give the country, even when I’m dead, I won’t let you!”
So the Belarusian drama, perhaps only approaching climax.