The approaching elections for the head of state, scheduled in neighboring Belarus for August 9, are increasingly making themselves felt with an increase in intensity political passions in this country. Perhaps, never in all the time Alexander Lukashenko was in power did the forthcoming expression of the will promise to be so “hot” and concealing potentially unpleasant surprises for him.
And it's not just the coronavirus pandemic, economic problems and gripping, such an impression, almost the whole world of protest moods. Today we can say with a great deal of confidence that Alexander Grigorievich himself had his best hand in creating an explosive situation in the country and building that clear dead end in which he found himself after many years of quite successful rule.
"There will be no Maidanov!" Are you sure?
If they say about the current ruler that he is a tyrant, despot, authoritarian and undemocratic leader - this is not so bad. For the countries of the "post-Soviet space", perhaps, it does not matter at all. The craving for a "strong hand", when life is not very politically free, is fully compensated by stability and satiety, is inherent in a much larger number of its inhabitants than anyone might think, especially in the West. If the head of state causes fear in someone, then you can rest assured that there will be many who feel respect for him. But if it has already begun to be compared with a cockroach, it’s really bad ... But it’s under the slogan “Stop the cockroach!” the Belarusian opposition holds its frighteningly crowded campaign rallies. Of course, indoor slippers in the hands of protesters are not automatic machines or even bottles with Molotov cocktails. Not deadly. But very disappointing. Moreover, as practice in Ukraine itself shows, demonstrators can quickly change harmless household items to much more dangerous items.
However, Alexander Grigoryevich is firmly convinced that there will be no "Maidan" in the state entrusted to him! "So pass it to all the" maydanutye "! - This, by the way, is the mandate that the president gave the leadership of the State Security Committee of the country, with whom he discussed possible prospects for the development of the situation. True, the reasons for this "dad" brought, to put it mildly, strange and not to say convincing. In his opinion, the events in Belarus will not go either according to the “Armenian” or the “Ukrainian” scenario, because it completely lacks “their Pashinyans and Zelensky”. At the same time, which is characteristic, Lukashenko did not fail to make a fair “curtsy” in the direction of the characters he named, specifying that they are “talented people,” and, most importantly, “patriots”. In relation to their own countries, of course.
A rather strange reference - if the current Prime Minister of Armenia can still be attributed to the protest leaders, then the one who is sitting in the chair of the President of Ukraine today did not have a direct relationship with the 2014 coup, which cleared his way up. Or did Lukashenko mean the ridiculous “opposition” of Zelensky Poroshenko, whose course (both on the destruction of his own country and on confrontation with Russia) the newly elected president now continues with the stubbornness of a diligent student seeking to surpass the teacher? And what is said does not correspond to the truth - from the environment of the Belarusian “creative class” at least one candidate has already advanced, delivering a “dad” a fair headache today. It's about Sergey Tikhanovsky, a popular blogger who shot and uploaded stories on his own YouTube channel “Country for Life”, so to speak, not too complimentary for the current government. He openly calls the rule of Lukashenko nothing more than a "dictatorship." In the fight against this, which at first glance did not have any significant political experience, the "president" behaved in such a way that the notorious actions of an elephant in a china shop in comparison can be called the top of grace and delicacy. At first, the CEC of Belarus refused to register Tikhanovsky as a presidential candidate, since there was no signature on the corresponding statement - the applicant for the post of head of state served 15 days in jail. And, by the way, for the action against integration with Russia. Then the wife of the blogger Svetlana went to the candidates. There was nothing to complain about - they registered. But Tikhanovsky himself was "closed" two weeks later, not according to an administrative article, but according to a criminal one, and according to the extremely bad 364th, which refers to "violence against employees of the internal affairs bodies."
The beginning of the end of the "era of the father"?
It is hard to say how the case brought against the blogger will end, but so far the only thing that Lukashenko got “on the way out” is the kilometer-long queues of people who want to sign under the nomination of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a candidate for the highest post in the country. The only thing that Alexander Grigoryevich could oppose to such a turn was the statement that “according to the constitution, the position of the president is registered for a man, not a woman.” A deep thought, however ... In truth, worrying about the “dad” should not be about the gender, as they say in the West, of the affiliation of their rivals, but about the fact that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the election process in the country was unprecedentedly tense. Minsk clearly expected that frightened and half-asleep citizens would not show any special activity besides those prescribed above. They will go and obediently vote on August 9, "as always." However, there it was. And Alexander Grigoryevich should blame this solely and exclusively on himself.
Cynically using the local opposition, trampling Russian flags and galloping against integration, as an “additional argument” in a tense dialogue with Moscow, he “let go of the reins”, but again something fails to “pick up” them. As you know, pushing back a genie released from a bottle is a task that is not feasible for every sorcerer. Lukashenka, judging by what is happening in the country, has almost completely lost his "magic power", forcing Belarusians to give him the reins of power for 26 years and most of them sincerely believed that there was no alternative to "dad". Moreover, the pandemic and the economic crisis caused by it threaten to knock out of the hands of the permanent president those main trump cards with which he has been playing the cards of his political opponents for decades - economic stability and a standard of living acceptable for most of the country's inhabitants.
And this, if you go beyond purely objective reasons, again, the "merit" of the same "father". Well, why did you need to start an “oil war” with Russia, to quickly and with minimal losses, stop which Minsk did not have enough intelligence, even against the background of extremely alarming omens? As a result, instead of victory, it was a forced idle time of the Belarusian oil refineries, which for many years were the main “breadwinners” of the state budget and the economy as a whole. However, apparently, Lukashenko did not draw any conclusions from the incident and, following the confrontation over oil, is preparing to launch the same “military operations” with Russia already on the gas “front”. To the words of the head of RAO Gazprom Alexey Miller that the supply of “blue fuel” to Minsk in 2021 will be possible only after paying off his existing debt of more than $ 165 million, the Belarusian Ministry of Energy responded quite unexpectedly. Namely, with an official statement that he does not have any debts to the Russian side!
In neighboring Ukraine (in the footsteps of which Lukashenko seems to have decided to go on economic issues), this situation is called "money for fish again." Obviously, Alexander Grigoryevich, despite Putin’s extremely concrete and tough refusal, will again try to “squeeze” gas discounts out of him, referring to “world prices” and the Germans who were killed in 1945. The anti-Russian rhetoric of the Belarusian leader, whom he, by the way, has already pushed away a considerable part of voters who saw the future of their country in the Union State, is not slowing down. Lukashenko then broadcasts about the "information pandemic", during which the "siblings" throw him, the poor fellow, "problems in the media," while rudely expelling Russian journalists from the country. That suddenly begins to explain to the "broad masses" that "sovereignty", it turns out, is necessary for Belarus so that its inhabitants "do not fight in Syria and Libya." By the way, in Syria they could have participated, at least symbolically - “allies” in the CSTO! Or at least not repeat idle gossip and not try to make a scarecrow out of Russia's fulfillment of allied obligations for its own inhabitants.
The current elections are unlikely to be the last for Lukashenka - let's be frank, there are no real forces in the country that can “overthrow” him. However, this is already a dead end, from which there is no further move. An extremely alarming signal for the "eternal president" should be the fact that this time not only "officially admitted" pseudo-competitors and crazy oppositionists - "zmagars", who are, in truth, political margins, are preparing to enter the election race with him. On the way, people are much more serious - like the ex-chairman of the board of Belgazprombank Viktor Babariko or Valery Tsepkalo, a former diplomat and a man who stood at the origins of the country's famous Park of High of technologies. This is for you, Alexander Grigoryevich, not bloggers. Although ... How unpleasant can the story be with the “opposition journalist” who was “persecuted” by the authorities, if the United States Embassy and some other organizations from the same country take it up, Lukashenko could pretty much be told by his old colleague, Leonid Kuchma. 99.9% of the inhabitants of Ukraine also never heard of Gongadze - until their name was turned into a “sacred symbol” of protest. As far as I know, 180 thousand were signed on the Country for Life blog - but that was before the author’s arrest and criminal proceedings were instituted against him. Alexander Grigoryevich today should have prayed day and night for the health of the Tikhanovsky spouses. To avoid, so to speak ...
The sad experience of Ukraine, which the strategy of "multi-vectoring" turned into a "state" ghost and made it a US colony, did not teach anything to the "father", although it all happened literally before his eyes. The West today beckons it with a kind of conditional “carrot”. On May 27, the Council of the European Union approved visa facilitation agreements with Belarus. US Charge d'Affaires in Minsk Jennifer Moore "with great joy" announced that the US ambassador, after a break of 12 years, "will arrive in the country this summer." "Old Man" is reaping dividends for the suddenly erupted Russophobia, however, quite thin. At the same time, he does not seem to be aware that in the blink of an eye, a whip might turn out to be in place, and under a velvet glove that seems to be making welcome gestures from the West, there will be a steel paw ready to grasp graspingly both himself and the whole country by the throat. The same European Union has already demanded to immediately release not only Tikhanovsky, but also the rest of the “prisoners of conscience”, whom local law enforcement officers grabbed a lot of during the election campaign in the usual way. The European Parliament on this issue quite specifically threatens with new sanctions against Minsk, calling the incident "an unacceptable wave of repression." Such and the long-awaited US ambassador will arrive with voluminous bags of cookies intended for the "Maidan", which, according to Lukashenko, he cannot be "on the farm". Alexander Grigoryevich stubbornly does not want to understand that having thrown off his portcards, he will also have to remove the cross - having sided with the enemies of Russia, he will only have to dutifully dance to their tune, “learning democracy”.
It’s well known that one can get out of a dead end - but only by turning in the opposite direction. Will Belarus succeed in doing this - with its “dad” or already without it?