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“Sounds like the beginning of the Arab spring”: where is Belarusian protest

«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протестFor a few weeks on the background of the presidential election campaign in Belarus protests. The day before they took the radical character: came to direct clashes with the police. Each new step of the authorities is pushing yet peaceful street to more radicalization. Which will lead the Belarusian protest, understood “Газета.Ru”.

Belarus covered the protest. The presidential campaign is becoming less competitive, forcing dissatisfied with the current state of Affairs for citizens to go outside.

At the finish line in the presidential race, there are only five candidates, although initially the applications for participation in the elections was filed by 55 people. The less the acting head of state Alexander Lukashenko remained rivals, the more it appeared on the streets unhappy.

Protest activity has become visible at the stage of collecting signatures. The first major actions began after the arrest of one of the key candidates of the ex-head of the Board of Belgazprombank Viktor Babariko.

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«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

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As noted in conversation with “Газетой.Ru” the Deputy Dean of the faculty of world economy and world politics HSE Andrew Suzdaltsev, Babariko, according to some of sociology, was the absolute leader of the presidential race.

“But here we must admit that the situation of sociology is complicated. Various studies show between 3% and 28% for Lukashenko. While state politicians have claimed that the level of support reaches the target of 90% and hardly exceeds 100%. There is a war of sociology”, — said the expert.

The last step of authorities made by the CEC — suspension from racing many popular candidates, including Babariko, not only brought people to the streets, but also brought to clashes with the police.

Still the protest was peaceful. The brutality of recent events has determined the actions of the police. According to experts, law enforcement officers acted “inappropriately”, “provocative proactive”. “People were beaten up mercilessly. All this provoked a harsh response from the population,” — says Suzdaltsev.

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«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus…

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus Victor Babariko in the center of Minsk, July 14, 2020

Sergei Grits/AP

Belarus has its own record. The restless still the elections were held in 2010. Then the results of the voting day was the arrest of about 800 people, seven of whom were presidential candidates. But now back to 13 July, before the clashes with the police the number of detainees has reached 700 people. After the events of July 14 were detained 250 people.

Protest in Belarusian

While the current protests are not the biggest in the Belarusian history. In the second half of the 1990s, the protests of the Belarusian opposition was more widespread, and more aggressive than now. Large-scale action took place in the beginning of that decade, when the collapsing Soviet Union, and Belarus is experiencing serious problems with the economy. Then, the protesters even blocked the railway between Moscow and Minsk did not go train.

However, to underestimate the scale of what is happening in the neighboring country is not worth it. “The level of intensity of the current events, perhaps, are in the top 3 of the protest stories in the last 30 years,” believes Belarusian political scientist Dmitry Bolkunets.

In a conversation with “Газетой.Ru” the expert points out, what is important is not the scale, and the unique traits that the Belarusian protest movement gains for the first time. And the first distinguishing feature of today’s events — their geographical extent.

The shares are held not only in Minsk. Them in one way or another cover all regions of the country.

Even at the stage of collecting signatures for registration of presidential candidates in a long line of protesters gathered simultaneously in 30 cities of the Republic.

But outside the country too. For the first time in the history of the country are large-scale protests abroad. Almost every weekend of the Belarusian Diaspora gathered to show their dissatisfaction with what is happening at home events. For example, two weeks ago, protests were held simultaneously in 50 cities around the world, attended by about 30 States.

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«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus…

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus Victor Babariko in the center of Minsk, July 14, 2020

Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

The number of participants ranged from ten to several thousand people. The largest was in Warsaw, where they held a mass procession. Protests were also held in Prague, London and other major European cities.

As noted by Dmitry Bolkunets, that the Belarusian Diaspora abroad for the first time took to the streets with massive protests, is a phenomenon. “This will have consequences for the outcome of a political campaign, which takes place in Belarus. It is foreign protests will be the benchmark for politicians in European countries to assess the situation in Belarus on the adoption of sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko,” — said the expert.

The second distinguishing feature of recent events — the unexpected form that is becoming popular discontent.

To some extent we can talk about the continuation of traditions established in early 2010-ies. Then the citizens silently went outside, clapped his hands and blocked the road, motorists maintained their honking. Something similar on a smaller scale can be seen now.

The last protest action was not a mass, but, according to Andrei Suzdaltsev, it has very interesting specifics, purely Belarusian citizens meet in one particular place, but scattered throughout the city. Group, as the streams flowed through the streets almost all night. Security forces were forced to rush all over the city and disperse them, although for what is unclear: protesters blockaded the streets, not happy with the unrest, stood on the sidewalks.

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«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus…

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus Victor Babariko in the center of Minsk, July 14, 2020

Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

There is a perspective and other forms of protest. On 7 July, the General Prosecutor’s office of Belarus warned citizens about the inadmissibility of participation in the warning strike, scheduled for August 3. None of the journalists, politicians or trade unionists nothing about this action was not reported.

As suggested by Dmitry Bolkunets, the Prosecutor General’s office or have any specific information or bodies have the opposition, which decided to advertise, no one knows the event. The idea of a strike has already found a response in some social networks. And it is important that the 2.5-hour strike legislation allowed citizens with impunity will not come to work to Express their discontent.

In search of a leader

The third distinctive feature of the protest — its spontaneous.

“There are no political technologies, the influence of the West is not felt, nobody knows about it. This is truly a people’s protest”, — stressed the Andrei Suzdaltsev.

In the Belarusian protest can be seen as the features of popular unrest in Armenia in spring 2018, and the initial stage of the Kiev “Maidan” winter 2013/14.

The latter was born in the discontent of the population socio-economic problems and then a protest could pick up the nationalists.

Here, according to the expert, there is a danger. While stocks are not anti-Russian character. The anger of the people aimed at a very specific person — Alexander Lukashenko. But if the hard confrontation of civil society with law enforcement agencies continues, sooner or later the agenda of the saddle and Belarusian nationalists trying to make wrap, the movement against Russia.

“But such a step will only ensure the safety of Lukashenko — says Suzdaltsev. Because he forms his campaign on the contradictions of the West and East; blames Russia, at the same time trying to enlist her support.”

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«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus…

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus Victor Babariko in the center of Minsk, July 14, 2020

Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Meanwhile, some leaders of the protest, however. At the same time on the lower level, the organization still exists: people meet each other, koordiniruyutsya agree. “All this, frankly, reminiscent of the beginning of the Arab spring. But there is no opposition,” — says Suzdaltsev.

And at this stage this is a serious problem of the protest movement.

“The fact that the protest has no legitimate leader, and he is needed in this situation. In fact, Lukashenko, need someone to change

— explained “Газете.Ru” political analyst Kirill Averyanov-Minsky. — And now participate in elections only statisticians, sparring partners and spoilers”.

We are talking about allowed Andrei Dmitriev, Anna Konopacki and Sergey Characene. According to the expert, they are in close contact with the Belarusian authorities and do not enjoy a great reputation in the protest movement.

Also among the candidates Svetlana Tikhanovski, wife, blogger Sergei Tikhanovski, who is now in jail. “She’s a good woman, but what is called “very simple”. She wasn’t planning ever to engage in political activity and poorly imagines that it is. It can hardly be the leader of the protests, which will shift Lukashenko. It is possible even that she simply withdraws during the time that is left” — describes her figure Averyanov-Minsk.

The role of the leader of the protest yourself now trying to take Sergei Tsepkalo — another former candidate for President, which the CEC did not allow, zabrakovat more than half of the collected signatures.

On Wednesday, he issued a video message in which he called on Belarusians to “go out and show their disagreement with how stolen our voices.”

“The authorities have not asked how the people live. She is so far away. This distancing from the interests of our people finds expression in such vile ways. And these vile methods resorted to power in order to discredit their competitors and then to withdraw from the election campaign,” said Tsepkalo.

Declarations his appeal was not limited to, the politician also gave the protesters some advice on protest activities. Thus Tsepkalo is the last remaining free from the three candidates who were considered serious contenders Lukashenko risks.

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«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест
«Похоже на начало арабской весны»: куда ведет белорусский протест

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus…

During the unsanctioned rally in support of former candidate presidents of Belarus Victor Babariko in the center of Minsk, July 14, 2020

Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

According to Suzdaltsev, as soon as the organization of protests will emerge, the government will try again to run him over, imprison all involved.

“Now Lukashenka is only one lever of influence and power. So it will depend on which way the result will take security forces”,

— said the expert. To make a clear prognosis are not succeed, although, according to popular Belarusian Telegram-channel NEXTA, the security forces are already beginning to put on the table boss a letter of resignation.

***

What the future holds for the protest movement Belarus, — to predict difficult. Dmitry Bolkunets predicts that the shares may be resumed even in the autumn because all the evidence suggests that at this time, to cover large-scale economic crisis, “Citizens are still often determine their attitude to a situation by the presence of food in the fridge and money in your pocket.”

The peak of the protests, according to the expert, will have on 9-10 August, “when Alexander Lukashenko declared himself the winner and will report the results in a 97%”. As noted Bolkunets, that “this figure is currently being discussed at the summit of the Belarusian authorities, although they are absolutely not true.”

“Why 97%? Because Lukashenko is confident that the Belarusians will say nothing and eat the persimmon. Will be a bunch of people, make some noise, but in the end accept. He is very offended by the slogan “Sasha 3%” and wants to show that in fact 3% is marginal opposition and “maydanutye”, which, as he put it, “the space jump, run”.

We can say one thing: on the voting Alexander Lukashenko will not have any serious competitors, and the prospects for regime change in the current protest movement experts do not review.

In many respects, as noted by Kirill Averyanov-Minsky, due to the fact that the protesters do not have the necessary in this situation, foreign policy and financial support from outside.

Help from Russia should not wait. The Kremlin in the person of press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov has said that Russia does not interfere in the situation around the presidential elections in Belarus, and the protests in the Republic is an internal matter of Minsk.

And although experts have no doubt that by the end of the campaign against the Belarusian leadership will be introduced sanctions, Lukashenko is actually comfortable for the West figure. “There he is now perceived not as a bloody dictator, but as a guarantor of the sovereignty of Belarus, — says Averyanov-Minsk. — Therefore, invest politically and financially in support of alternative candidates, especially because they are not very serious, the West not with his hands. To invest in the protests too.”

“Therefore, in a situation where there is no leader and no political support from the outside, protests in Belarus are doomed” — concludes the expert.

Source:

www.gazeta.ru

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