«

»

BULLETINS “IISEPS NEWS” № 3

IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 3 (73), 2014

Content:

Preface

MONITORING OF PUBLIC OPINION IN BELARUS:

September-2014
September anomalies
Gender-based viewpoint on economical preferences
“Atta boy! That’s how a president should be!”
All people are equal in the face of repressions. But some people are more equal than others
Fearing civil war
A true patriot must support authority
Who understands people like you?
Ukrainian compass for geopolitical poles of Belarus
Donbass and the bones of a Belarusian soldier
A jab to the West, a jab to the East

Attitude to separatism in Belarus: “doves” and “hawks”
TV-propaganda and life

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in September-2014

OPEN FORUM:

Despite the forecasts of most experts
Who should pay for “Crimea is ours!”
Ukraine is not Belarus
Russia is liked in Vietnam, but disliked in Poland

BOOKSHELF:

Vadim Dubnov, a publicist
“A Book on the Big Context”

Preface:

Dear readers!
In this issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” we offer to your attention materials reflecting the most in-teresting results of the Institute researches in the third quarter of 2014.
Our research shows that unstable character of “economic well-being” of Belarusians, registered in June, is still present in the third quarter of the year. Thus, the ratio of those whose financial standing improved over the last three months to those whose financial standing went downhill increased. The number of Belarusians considering that country’s economy is in crisis went downhill as well. However, real incomes of population “froze” on the same level. Almost 5% of respondents attributed themselves to a group of population which barely make both ends meet and don’t have enough money for buying food; more than a quarter of respondents have enough money for food, but have difficulties buying clothes. It isn’t surprising that most of all Belarusians fear poverty and health loss. Belarusians’ tendency to work overboard is an eloquent indicator of their financial position: almost in each fourth family one of its members works overboard at present, and each third respondents thinks that “in order to make a successful career it is better to leave for another country”.
Belarusians’ attitude to state power demonstrates double character as well. On the one hand many of respondents are quite skeptical in their evaluations of state power’s activities. Thus, people more often pin their hopes for economical development of Belarus on foreign capital than on the President. 37% of respondents do not feel protected by law. On the other hand people still wait for the power to solve these issues. Level of trust to the head of state and his electoral rating continue to grow. Almost a half of those, who want changes in the country, think that these changes are possible under A. Lukashenko’s rule.
In general Belarusians’ readiness for changes shouldn’t be underestimated, but it is less and less connected to the “titular” opposition. Thus, only 14.1% of respondents trust oppositional parties, while 63.3% don’t; only 21.1% suppose that Belarusian opposition understands issues and cares of people like them, while almost 60% share the opposite opinion. Answering the question if a candidate from the democratic forces can win on the presidential elections in 2015, 52% of respondents answered “no”.
In foreign policy orientations of Belarusians there is a tendency of distancing from Europe and of a more suspicious relation to Russia. Comparatively to December, the share of “Euro-Belarusians” decreased by 10%, while the number of people opposing to eurointegration of Belarus increased by 15%; second quarter running the share of the latter exceeds 50%, which wasn’t observed for the last five years. On the basic cultural and psychological level absolute majority of Belarusians still consider themselves closer to Russians than to Europeans. But the more concrete topics are in the geopolitical process, the more cautious is the attitude of Belarusians. Thus, the number of adherents of Belarus entering NATO decreases significantly. “If NATO countries tried to change the politics of Belarus with the help of armed forces”, more than one fourth of respondents would “resist up in arms”. The same number of respondents would “resist up in arms”, “if Russia tried to annex Belarus or its part with the help of armed forces”.
Events in Ukraine continue to significantly influence Belarusians, changing their attitude, up to an opposite one, to both internal and external policies. Thus, evaluating the annexation of Crimea by Russia, 27.2% of respondents called it “an imperialistic usurpation and occupation”, while almost 60% of respondents think that it is “a restitution of Russian lands and reestablishment of historical justice”. More than a half of respondents agree with the definition of Ukrainian powers, installed after V. Yanukovich, as “fascists”, and only one third disagrees with this. Almost one fourth of respondents changed their attitude to Russia to a worse one after the events in Ukraine, and almost a half of respondents changed their attitude to the EU to the worse as well. But, as in the case of geopolitical choice, specific topics of the Ukrainian-Russian crisis are evaluated more cautiously. Thus, only 15.2% of Belarusians agreed that Belarus should permit Russia “to bring their troops through the Belarusian territory if Russia takes the decision to bring troops into Ukraine”, while three fourths of respondents are unambiguously against it. Almost 77% of respondents have a negative attitude to participation of Belarusian citizens in combat actions on either side. President A. Lukashenko’s position in this question enjoys understanding and support of majority of Belarusians, his rating grows. The main reason for this is an aspiration to avoid similar conflicts in Belarus by all means.
As usual, those readers who are more interested in our figures than in our assessments can analyze the research results on their own. The results are presented according to the main socio-demographic characteristics.
In our “Open Forum” rubric we present the most interesting results of work of our colleagues from neighboring countries, publishing the most interesting results of their late surveys. And in the “Bookshelf” rubric well-known Russian publicist Vadim Dubnov presents a new book of our colleague Yuri Drakokhrust “Seven years of famine”, which analyzes the most important processes and events of modern history of Belarus.
As usual, your feedback and comments are welcome!
IISEPS Board