IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),

N 1 (75), 2015




Two views on economic crisis
Virtual support for a TV-hero
A return to the beginning of nineties is possible
Belarusians don’t believe in stability of ruble
Between satiety and independence
Dislike for the power doesn’t transform into a wish to protest
Integrate, but remember, who you are
Fraternal cold spell
Language and national identity

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in March-2015


On the importance of vigilance in sociological researches
Fifteen years in the lead of Russia
Crimea is ours: a year later
“We have lost Donbass”
Russia became one of world leaders


Yuri Drakokhrust, the Svetlana Naumova Award’s laureate


Dear readers!
In the latest issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” we offer to your attention materials reflecting the most interesting results of the Institute researches in the first quarter of 2015.
Our researches demonstrate that the fear of total destabilization, which emerged under the influence of the events in Ukraine and overshadowed the reality for millions of Belarusians, gradually disappears. First of all, it is noticeable in their financial well-being: the number of those, whose financial well-being had improved, significantly dropped, while the number of those, whose financial well-being worsened, increased. Also more people think that Belarusian economy is in crisis. The average per capita income (including salaries, pensions, social benefits and other incomes) continues to decrease. Among the most acute issues, which our country and its citizens face nowadays, are price hike, production decline, unemployment and impoverishment of people. Despite the affirma-tions of the power, over 80% of Belarusians fear another devaluation of Belarusian ruble in the next few months, and that is why they closely follow changes of their incomes expressed in dollars. President A. Lukashenko has recently stated: “We have everything. Belarusians never lived as well as they do now. If people want to live nor-mally and feed their children, their family – they have everything for it; they just need to get going”. There is noth-ing surprising in the fact that only 36.4% of respondents agreed with this statement, while 53.1% disagreed.
Once again it’s economy that defines Belarusians attitude to the state power: positive indices of trust to nearly all of state institutions turned into negative ones over the first quarter. While evaluating government’s actions to overcome economic crisis, only a quarter of respondents answered, that it “acts efficiently, but it is unable to re-sist external reasons of crisis (war in Ukraine, drop in oil prices and so on)”, while almost 40% think that “gov-ernment acts inefficiently, and the references to external reasons is just an attempt to decline responsibility for the crisis”. Although as we’ve noted it earlier, political problems are not among the most important priorities of Belarusians, 51% of them think that “there are people who were sentenced to prison for their political activity”. March survey results confirmed that economy is the most serious problem for the leadership of the country. Over 38% of respondents consider that an improvement of Belarusians’ lives is impossible under the current rule and its policy. A. Lukashenko’s rating continues to decrease significantly: in December 40% of respondents were ready to vote for him in presidential elections; today this share amounts to only 34.2%.
Belarusians’ readiness for changes is still “under the cover” of social and political life, although some of its signs may already be noticed. Thus, answering in absentia to the recent A. Lukashenko’s statement that Belarus is not ready for a drastic change of economy development model (“I’m ready to surprise you with any model. But are you ready to digest this model?”), over a half of respondents answered plain: “Yes, I’m ready for a change of economy development model of Belarus”, and only one third of them said “No, I’m not ready”. Over 40% of re-spondents consider that “our society needs serious reforms (structural and system changes)”, another 42% say that “our society needs gradual reforms which would preserve current system”. Almost three quarters of voters express their readiness to participate in presidential elections in November 2015. Answering the question “If A. Lukashenko will run as a candidate on presidential elections for the fifth time, and he will have an adversary from democratic opposition, who would you vote for?” 37% of respondents chose the answer “for A. Lukashenko”, 23.2% – “for the candidate of democratic opposition”, 21% – “for neither of them”. According to 40% of respondents, rather high level of support of A. Lukashenko in society is explained by the fact that “there is no one better”.
Isolationist sentiments still prevail in foreign-policy orientations of Belarusians. The share of “Euro-Belarusians” is almost unchanged in comparison with December 2014. However, when it comes to some geopo-litical problems or conflicts, majority of Belarusians prefer the let-alone principle (“it’s neither my headache nor my piece of cake!”). Ukrainian-Russian crisis remains one of the most important factors influencing these changes in foreign-policy orientations of Belarusians. It should be noted that sympathies of the majority of Belarusians are still with Russia. Evaluations of relations between Belarus and Ukraine were subject to significant changes after the dramatic events in Ukraine: over the last years the number of those, who considered these relations to be good, has decreased, while the number of those, who considered them unstable, has increased. Majority of respondents still evaluate positively A. Lukashenko’s position towards the crisis in Ukraine, however Belarusians don’t approve the prospect of doing something more serious than organization of peaceful negotiations.
As usual, those readers who are more interested in our figures than in our assessments can analyze the re-search results on their own. The results are presented as a plain count up according to the main socio-demographic characteristics.
In our “Open Forum” rubric we continue to present the most interesting results of the latest surveys of our col-leagues from neighboring countries. And in the “Bookshelf” rubric we tell you the story how the recent book of the well-known Belarusians political scientist Yuri Drakokhrust, which we had presented to our readers half a year ago, received Svetlana Naumova award.
As usual, your feedback and comments are welcome!