Ukraine wasn’t so lucky to have its own Lukashenko. “This is exactly what caused dissatisfaction of some citizens and discords in society. I’m sure, if Ukraine had had its own Lukashenko, there would have been no those troubles that befell our sister nation”, told A. Rubinov on the 2nd of April during the opening of the 4th session of the 5th Congress of the upper house of the Belarusian parliament.
Grateful Belarusians respond to their leader with great support. Electoral rating of A. Lukashenko maintains over the 30% mark during two decades already. There were two exceptions, but they only prove the rule.
The head of state could not but get his dividends from the growth of positive moods in Belarusian society in March. As a result, a negative trend, outlined under the influence of real wages decrease in the end of the previous year, didn’t develop. Comparatively to December, electoral rating of A. Lukashenko gained 5 points (Table 1).


Certainly, Belarusian “batka” is still far from the level of support people give to Russian President V. Putin. According to Public Opinion Foundation electoral rating of the “national Russian leader” jumped from 46% to 66% since the 23rd of February until the 30th of March (+20 points). Further rating growth seems to be unlikely, and that was confirmed by a survey, conducted on the 6th of April – 65% (-1 point).
Exhaustion of electoral resources of Russian President under the circumstances of overmobilization of the society and electoral rating stagnation on the mark 66% clearly show the level of objectivity of state sociological services in Belarus: according to their information electoral rating of “batka” never goes below 75% even in absence of mobilization effect.
A. Lukashenko’s trust rating gained 8.2 points and exceeded distrust rating: 45.9% vs. 44.1% (Table 2). These are sad news for the supporters of “new majority” theory.


But everything’s not so hopeless. According to answers to the question “If you knew a person who could successfully compete with A. Lukashenko in the next presidential elections, would you vote for him or for A. Lukaskenko?”, this unknown candidate leaves no chance to the head of state. 53.2% of Belarusians are ready to vote for him, while only 34.5% are ready to vote for A. Lukashenko.
Similar convincing electoral victories of an unknown candidate were recorded earlier as well. In particular, in September 2003 the unknown candidate had even a bigger advance: 55.9% vs. 24.5%. The only thing is that only 13.2% of respondents could name such a candidate.
The question “Do you know such a person?” wasn’t asked in March 2014. Among the named politicians the second place was occupied by V. Neklyaev – 7.1% (rating question “If the elections of President of Belarus were held tomorrow, for whom would you vote?” was asked in an open form).
Following the trust rating of A. Lukashenko government’s trust rating increased as well, but only by 3.7 points (from 29.4% to 33.1%). Government in Belarus, as it is known, is purely technical and does not aspire to the role of a political subject. That is why the echo of political events in Russia and Ukraine had only a small effect on the government.
Polarization of society is a uniform condition of society mobilization. Sociologist Y. Levada noted in 1994: “The idea of social mobilization since long ago sees a heavy use in sociologic literature for defining such processes as concentration of mass attention on a narrow group of problems, utmost simplification of social confrontations up to the “our people/enemies” dichotomy, monopolization of power and informational influence and others”.
In this case simplification should be regarded as polarization. Let us see Table 3. In March 2014 the share of respondent trusting A. Lukashenko was 2.8-fold higher among the elder age group in comparison to the younger age group; the same share was 2.6-fold higher among Belarusians with primary education than among Belarusians with higher education. In March 2013, when trust rating was almost the same (Table 2), these ratios were lower: 2.3- and 2.5-fold accordingly.
Table 3. Level of trust to President A. Lukashenko depending on sex, age and education of respondents*,%
Socio-demographic characteristics
Attitude to A. Lukashenko
less than 29
60 +
Incomplete secondary
* Table is read horizontally
In the first place those were the pensioners who responded to Russian propaganda: in March 2013 70.3% of respondents in the oldest age group trusted A. Lukashenko, in March 2014 this figure equals to 82.3% (+12 points!).
After the failure of state enterprises’ modernization campaign (the word “modernization” was used 49 times in the Message-2013) A. Lukashenko decided to raise efficacy at the cost of repressions against managerial body. More and more often his inspectional trips over the country end up with orders “to initiate a criminal case and to sort out all questions”.
Modern Belarusian society en masse grew out of “Stalin’s overcoat” that is why this policy is approved by many Belarusians (Table 4). 45.9% of respondents agreed to the possibility of the efficacy growth of Belarusian enterprises by means of toughening performance discipline of managers of all levels; 43% of respondents disagreed.


Current values of A. Lukashenko’s ratings, provoked by the euphoria caused by Crimea joining Russia, won’t maintain for a long time. Nevertheless the Russian-Ukrainian crisis continues to deepen, according to last information, and it’s probable that this local crisis will become international. In these conditions we don’t dare to make even short-term forecasts.