IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 3 (41), 2006




View of USA and Russia from Belarus
Economic viewpoints of population are getting rose-colored
Feeling of economic well-being among population improves
“What will the future bring?..”
Structure of foreign policy priorities of Belarusians
Our reply to Gazprom
Who needs this country?
Opinion of the population about entrepreneurship
What does population think about its expenses
Indicators of international comparisons
Some results of the opinion poll conducted in June

Are you going the right path, comrades?
Pillars of the power
Each one has its own power
Case of Kozulin
Are the Belarusians tolerant?
Belarusians in the information flow
Ghost of referendum
Neither Belarus nor a foreign state
Do those who are full want into Europe?
Russia vs. V. Putin
Some results of the opinion poll conducted in August

Entering Europe via civil society
(about Round table in Gomel)


Sergey Kalyakin, First Secretary of the Central Committee, Party of Communists Belarusian
What Will Be the Future of Belarus?



Mikhas Iljinsky, Ph.D.
Petr Kravchenko. Belarus at the Crossroads, or Truth about Agreement in Belovezhskaya Puscha. Reminiscences by Diplomat and Politician.


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention the next issue of analytical bulletin presenting the materials which reflect the most important findings of the IISEPS studies in the third quarter of 2006. Our analytical bulletin opens its second decade with an important change. The IISEPS News is now a mass medium (periodical) registered in Lithuania: the appropriate ISSN’s (different for printed and electronic version of the Russian and English issues) are given on the first page. On the one hand, this means that activity of the Institute is moving more and more outside Belarus due to constant pressure from the Belarusian authorities. On the other hand, legal status of a Lithuanian periodical edition will let the Belarusian mass media and all the citizens distribute our data and analytics without a fear of being jeopardized by the repressive legislation of their own country.
Social and political as well as economic processes occurred in this period in Belarus under the influence of two major factors: relative stabilization inside the country and aggravation of foreign policy state both in the East and in the West. Bright illustration of this is the average wages reaching nearly $ 300 in the end of the third quarter and at the same time aggressive anti-Western speech of A. Lukashenko at the Forum of Non-alignment Movement in Havana as well as possible break in “all relations” with Russia which was aired at the press conference in September.
Influence of these factors shows up in the analysis of very different changes in public opinion of Belarusians – from drop-down of A. Milinkevich’s rating (at the end of summer 20.4% of respondents said they voted for him in March but only 11.6% said they would vote for him at the next presidential election) and considerable improvement in people’s feeling of economic well-being (the number of those who are most of all concerned about impoverishment of population has decreased nearly twofold over the past two years) to strengthening of ideological and political image of enemy which is the USA and the NATO as well as strengthening of Belarusian nationalism (which manifested in a more cautious attitude to integration with Russia and to V. Putin, in offences against Gazprom, etc.)
This very analysis also shows that constantly increasing willingness of the authorities to establish total control over the society doesn’t bring to the necessary result which is support of the political course on the part of the majority and fear and apathy on the part of the minority. At the end of August nearly a half of respondents without any hesitation said that President A. Lukashenko relies first of all on the military men, Interior Ministry and KGB (pensioners – traditional social support of the president – took the second place, given only 41.7%). Also, the number of those respondents who think that the sentence to the former presidential candidate Prof. A. Kozulin is unjust is greater than the number of those who think in the opposite. The majority of respondents see the true nature of the sentence in political grounds rather than in definition of the court. Analysis of the latest trends revealed that the Belarusians are more and more absorbed by powerful information flows going both from inside and from outside of the country. Despite titanic efforts of the authorities, these flows inevitably change the picture of the world of the millions approximating it to that of other nations.
Many of these problems were discussed by Prof. O. Manaev’s group at the third round table discussion held in Gomel in early July (the first one was held in Brest in December and the second – in Vitebsk in May). It’s summary is also presented in the current issue.
As usual, we present sociological data, i.e. the so-called count-up tables, in the light of basic socio-demographic characteristics as well as the trends of change in Belarusian public opinion to those of our readers who prefer pure figures to analytics and look for independent analysis.
This time our “Open Forum” is given to one of the most competent and experience democratic leader S. Kalyakin, Chairman of the Party of Communists Belarusian, who shares his thoughts about geo-political prospects of Belarus. In our opinion, the new wave of repressions which hit the party over the past months speaks about its strong potential.
Unfortunately, we have to open a new heading in our bulletin – “State vs. Independent Research” as the flow of materials pertaining to this unequal struggle doesn’t cease over the past two years and will probably not in the near future as well. Today we are publishing here the document signed by Prosecutor General and pursuing the “case of IISEPS” as well as the decision of the Supreme Court pursuing the “case of Belarusian Think Tanks.”
On the “Bookshelf,” Belarusian expert on international issues presents a new book “Belarus at the Crossroads” recently published by a noted politician and diplomat P. Kravchenko, first Minister of Foreign Affairs of independent Belarus. We believe that a great number of facts, many of them unknown before, as well as author’s assessments and analysis, at times very emotional and impartial, won’t leave a reader indifferent.
We hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. All comments and requests are as usual welcome!