IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 2 (60), 2011




What are girls made of?
What economy do Belarusians need?

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in May 2011

Shock and Awe
“Neither was he right, nor i, nor the government”
Plague of inspectors
The president of “minority”
And again about the split
Your turn, “strongmen”!
Who will reply for the country?
Returning according to our geopolitical circuits

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in June 2011


Yury Zisser, founder and owner of TUT.BY website
“Internet adds to the diversity of forms and structure of social life”

IISEPS Gallery: 15 years “Open Forum” Speakers


IISEPS Library: 15 years “Bookshelf”


Dear readers!


We can say we have a holiday. We would like to introduce you a 60th anniversary issue of our analytic bulletin “IISEPS News”, in which we present the materials reflecting the most challenging results of the Institute’s activity in the second quarter of 2011. As we wrote five years ago in the Preface to the 40th issue, “it is hard to believe that in the severe political climate of Belarus despite ‘bitter cold and ardent heat’ every quarter throughout this rugged decade, without any interruptions or delays, our readers (among whom there are friends and foes, Belarusians and foreigners, experienced experts and people far from politics and academia) have enjoyed a publication of no precedent in the country”. In 2006, our publication had to register as a mass media of the Republic of Lithuania and we expressed a hope that “probably, by the 50th issue of the Bulletin the situation will have changed, and we will be able to communicate with you in libraries and conference-halls, and not only via mail and the Internet”. Unfortunately, this hope (just like many other) has not come true yet. However, we believe that it will happen some day!
In this period, the sweepingly swelling financial economic crisis in Belarus was in the focus of IISEPS. Worsening of Belarusians’ “economic health” after the Presidential elections of 19 December 2010 recorded in March can be described today as a real collapse. Thus, the number of respondents, who pointed out that their financial standing had worsened for the last three months, grew from 26.9% up to 73.4%. Herewith, people blame primarily the president and the government for it, but not the global crisis or black marketeers. Consequently, the bad expectations of the future are surging: while in March 23% believed that the socio-economic situation in Belarus would worsen in the near future, today there are 55.5% of them. Eventually, the number of those who think that “the situation in the country in general is developing in the wrong direction” increased from 40% to 61.8% for only three months, and the share of the answer “in the right direction”, on the opposite, decreased from 45.3% to 26.1%, reaching close the lowest level of spring 2003 over the history of IISEPS monitoring.
The economic collapse eventually affects Belarusians’ “political health”, i.e. their relationships with the authorities. While three months ago those, who thought that “the victory of A. Lukashenko at the Presidential elections favored the unity of the Belarusian society” outnumbered the supporters of “the widening of the split” (40.9% vs. 38.7%), today this ratio has reversed: 31.5% vs. 44.9%. More than 76% of respondents now think that the president A. Lukashenko mainly relies on “military men, the Ministry of the Interior, the KGB, the presidential “vertical” and the state officials”, while only 57.1% believe he is relying “on common people, villagers and pensioners”. No wonder, that for the first time in many years the number of those distrusting the president surpassed the number of the trusting: 53.8% vs. 35.7% (some half a year ago it was 34.1% vs. 55%), and the number of those ready to vote for him again at the presidential elections fell below 30% and made up 29.3% (53% in December 2010, 42.9% in March 2011), thus proving our latest forecast.
However, the June poll has not yet registered the growth of the protest potential or even “perspectives for the Belarusian revolution”, which the opposition leaders and some experts began to talk about again after a short timeout. So, there are 25.8% of those, who consider themselves “in opposition to the acting authorities” (60.3% said “no”), the participants of public actions aimed at expressing views (such as rallies, demonstrations, strikes, etc.) totaled only 7.6%, and 21.6% expressed their willingness to participate in such actions. Meanwhile, the repressive measures of the government against their opponents arouse more and more dissent and anger in the society: tough sentences on the participants of “mass disorders on 19 December 2010” are assessed by almost 40% of respondents as unfair, another 20.2% think “some of them were fair, while other were unfair”.
As usual, for those readers who are interested in our data more than in comments, we offer an opportunity to analyze the results of our surveys on their own by way of counting forward separately for each major socio-demographic group.
Our “Open Forum” introduces Yuri Zisser, owner and director of TUT.BY website, who, being the Belarusian leading expert, shares his opinion about the role of the Internet in the social development. We think that in the context of “the social web revolution”, on which some people pin their hopes today, while others try their best to prevent it, this expert opinion will be of interest for many readers.
With a view to the anniversary of this edition we offer our readers an extraordinary retrospection: “IISEPS Gallery”, a list of all public figures and experts who have appeared at our “Open Forum”, as well as “IISEPS Library”, which is a list of all the books, which have been presented on our “Bookshelf” for 15 years. What names, what books! These lists as such are the evidence for the fact that a free, profound and brilliant idea lives in Belarus despite “bitter cold and ardent heat”.
As usual, we are looking forward to your feedback!