(were interviewed 1.515 persons aged 18 and over, margin of error doesn’t exceed 0.03)
1. Public opinion in Belarus comes full circle: fears of total destabilization, which emerged under the influence of events in Ukraine and “overshadowed” the reality for millions of Belarusians, gradually decrease. First of all we may notice it in their financial well-being:

– Thus, the number of those, whose financial standing improved, decreased from 13.7% in December down to 8.6% in March, while the number of those, whose financial standing worsened, increased from 31% up to 46.3% (the answer “didn’t change” decreased from 53.6% down to 44%). The number of those who consider that Belarusian economy is in crisis increased from 52.3% up to 67.5% over the past quarter. In June 2009 6% of Belarusians defined their financial standing as “poverty” (very low level of financial standing) and 27.6% – as “below the average”. Today these figures amount to 9.1% and 36.5% respectively. “Average level of financial standing” dropped from 59.8% down to 49.6% over the same period. Average income per family member (including salaries, pensions, social benefits and other incomes) continues to decrease: $ 288 in September 2014, $ 285 in December 2014, $ 211 in March 2015. Among the most important issues that our country faces today are: price hike – 84.1% (80% in December), production decline – 50.3% (35.1%), unemployment – 47.2% (25.2%) and impoverishment of people – 46.8% (41.9%); for comparison: international isolation of Belarus worries 11.1% of respondents, decline of national culture – 9.5%, threat of Belarus losing its independency – 5.7%.


– The worsening of financial position reinforces the anxiety about future. Thus, answering the question “According to you, how will your incomes change in comparison with prices in the near future?”, over 60% of respondents said that “incomes will lag behind prices” (and almost twice as few of them responded that “incomes will keep up with prices”). Despite power’s assurances, over 81% of Belarusians fear another devaluation of Belarusian ruble in the next few months (in September 2013 the number was 72%): 32.8% consider it a real threat and 48.4% – a possible threat. That is why 80% of respondents constantly or sometimes check how their incomes change expressed in dollars. There is nothing surprising in the fact that only 36.4% of respondents agreed with the recent President A. Lukashenko’s statement that “We have everything. Belarusians never lived as well as they do now. If people want to live normally and feed their children, their family – they have everything for it; they just need to get going.” 53.1% of respondents disagreed with this.

2. It is evident that economy defines Belarusians’ attitude towards the authority more and more:

– Thus, over the first quarter positive indices of trust to almost all state institutions had turned to negative ones: in December 41.4% of respondents trusted the government and 40.3% distrusted, in March these indices amount to 37% and 45.5% respectively; the level of trust to state mass media was 47.1% vs. 41.2%, today the ratio is 38.7% vs. 46.5%; state research centers – 46.6% vs. 39.2% in December, 36.2% vs. 42.1% in March. Assessing government’s actions for overcoming economic crisis, only 23.7% of respondents said that “government acts efficiently, but it is unable to resist external reasons of crisis (war in Ukraine, drop in oil prices and so on)”, while almost 40% answered that “government acts inefficiently, and references to external reasons is just an attempt to decline responsibility for the crisis”. As for successes of Belarusian economic model, only 32.4% said that “they are explained only by internal reasons; help from Russia is an important but not a decisive factor”. 35.4% of respondents think that “if there was no help from Russia, Belarusian economy wouldn’t have any success”. 27% of respondents consider that “Belarusian economy doesn’t have any success”. Although, as we’ve noted it before, political problems are not a priority for Belarusians today, 51% of respondents think that “there are people who were sentenced to prison for their political activity”; only 32% of respondents agree with the official version that “there are no political prisoners in Belarus, only people who were sentenced for crimes against Belarusian laws”. According to 36.9% of respondents “in general the state of things in our country is developing in the right direction”, while 45.8% share the opposite opinion (in December the ratio was 43.8% vs. 42.9%).


– March survey results confirmed that economy is the biggest problem for the leadership of the country. Over 38% of respondents think that a significant improvement of Belarusian people’s lives is impossible under the current rule and its policy. Trust rating and electoral rating of A. Lukashenko continue to decrease significantly. Shares of those who trust him were as follows: 53.5% in September, 49.9% in December, 48.8% in March (the opposite answer: 33.3%, 35.6%, 39.7% accordingly). In September 45.2% of respondents were ready to vote for him on presidential elections, in December – 40%, today – 34.2%.

3. Belarusians’ readiness for changes is still “under the cover” of social and political life, although certain signs of it are noticeable:

– Thus, answering 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?”), 51.5% of respondents answered directly: “Yes, I’m ready for a change of economy development model of Belarus”; only 33% answered “No, I’m not ready for a change of economy development model of Belarus”. Almost 40% consider that “our society needs serious reforms (structural and system changes)”; over 42% think that “our society needs gradual reforms which would preserve current system”; only 14.4% of respondents think that “our society needs protection against forces which try to change current order”. 32.6% of respondents consider that “maintaining current position is more important”, while 56.5% think that changing it is more important (the ratio in June 2014 was 38.3% vs. 52.1%).


– 37.3% of respondents define themselves as supporters of current power, 25.4% are opponents, and 36.7% answered that they never thought about it and they don’t care. Answering the question “If there is a protest against the worsening of financial standing in your city (region), are you ready to take part in it?” 15.4% of respondents gave a positive answer, while 72.6% gave a negative one (in March 2014 the ratio was 22.9% vs. 68.3%). As we’ve repeatedly noted it even amid the decrease of trust to the power Belarusians don’t really trust political opposition as well: today only 18.8% of respondents trust oppositional political parties, while 57.4% don’t.


– Belarusians’ readiness for changes is especially noteworthy in relation to the presidential elections which are going to be held this year. Today almost three quarters of voters express readiness to participate in these elections (35.8% – “yes, of course”, 37.6% – “rather yes”, 16.3% – “rather no”, 6 – “of course, no”). 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”. Answering the question which oppositional candidate would be preferable, 44.5% answered “an experienced, well-known politician”, 22.3% – “a new person, a little-known politician”, 16.4% – “probably a female politician”. Electoral rating (according to an open question) of V. Neklyaev today amounts to 7.6% (3.5% in December), N. Statkevich – 4.5% (2.7%), A. Milinkevich – 1.6% (2.8%), A. Lebedko – 2.9% (0.8%), S. Kalyakin – 1.6% (0.7%). According to a closed question A. Lukashenko’s rating equals to 36.9%, while V. Neklyaev’s – 9.4%. Some oppositional leaders suggested “Nikolay Statkevich as a candidate; he was a candidate in 2010 and serves in a penitentiary today”. 16.6% of respondents are positive towards it, 44.2% are negative, while 19.5% are “positive, but he won’t be registered according to the law anyway”. Answering the question “If during the election campaign of 2015 you will be asked to support a democratic candidate from the “People’s Referendum” and to help gather signatures for him, will you agree?” 22.4% of respondents answered “yes” and 60% of respondents answered “no”. 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”; 34.9% think that “he will manage to make our lives better in future”, 19.6% explain it by “his personal and business qualities”, and 17.8% – by “his real successes and achievements” (several answers were possible).

4. As for foreign-policy orientations of Belarusians, isolationist sentiments still prevail:

– In comparison with December the share of “Euro-Belarusians” remains almost unchanged. On a hypothetic referendum on joining the European Union 24.6% of respondents would vote “for” and 45% would vote “against” (in December the share was 28.8% vs. 49.8%). On a referendum about integration of Belarus and Russia 26.3% of respondents would vote “for” and 48.9% of respondents would vote “against” (in December it was 23.9% vs. 58.4%). In the answers to the “either… or”-question in December 44.9% of respondents were for integration with Russia and 34.2% for joining the EU, today the ratio is 46.5% vs. 30.8%. However, when it comes to some geopolitical problems or conflicts, majority of Belarusians prefer the let-alone principle (“it’s neither my headache nor my piece of cake!”). Thus, answering the question on how Belarus should act in the conflict between the EU-countries and Russia, who “introduced a ban on import of foods from the EU countries, which earlier introduced sanctions against Russia as an answer to its policy in Ukraine”, only 17% of respondents answered that Belarus “should also introduce a ban, because Russia is our ally and Belarus should support it”. About 6% of respondents think that “Belarus should join the EU sanctions against Russia”. Almost 65% think that “Belarus should not associate itself with the ban; this is a conflict between the EU and Russia, it doesn’t concern Belarus”. Evaluating Russia’s ban on importing foods from Belarus, which was introduced because of “low quality of Belarusian foods and re-export from the EU”, only 10.2% of respondents think that Belarusian side is to blame in this situation, 35.1% think that it is Russia that should be blamed, and almost 43% think that “both sides are equally to blame”. Evaluating the reasons of factual devaluation of Belarusian ruble by 30% in December-January, only 24.6% of respondents said that it happened “because of people actively buying foreign currency”. 37.4% of respondents think that it happened “because of a faulty policy of Belarusian government and the National Bank” and almost 45% consider that the reason is “in the weakening of Russian ruble”.


– 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. For example, 58.5% of respondents evaluated the annexation of Crimea by Russia as “a restitution of Russian lands and reestablishment of historical justice” (in December this share amounted to 56.8%); the share of those who think that it was “an imperialistic usurpation and occupation” amounts to 22% (31.6% in December). 42% of respondents support the independence of Novorossiya and consider that “its people have a right for self-determination” (49.5% in December); 25.5% (22.1% in December) of respondents support territorial integrity of Ukraine, while 15.9% consider that “there is no Novorossiya, there is just a Russian aggression against Ukraine” (18.4% in December). Attitude towards the EU after the Ukrainian events became worse for 35.6% of respondents and better for 7.9%, for 49.7% it remained unchanged (in December the figures were 44.6%, 10.1%, 41.6% respectively). Attitude towards Russia after the Ukrainian events became worse for 21.5% of respondents and better for 22%, for 52.2% it remained unchanged (in December the figures were 31.8%, 20.4%, 44.8% respectively). As it was mentioned earlier, despite the gradual decrease of pro-Russian orientations, by reason of historical and cultural experience Russia is still ahead of the EU: 66.6% of Belarusians still think that Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians are three branches of the same nation (August 2006 – 65.7%, December 2009 – 66.5%), while 27.1% of respondents think that they are different nations (28.3%, 30.6%). Answering the question “If Russia tried to annex Belarus or its part with the help of armed forces, what would you do?”, 18.7% of respondents said that they would “resist up in arms”, 47.1% would “try to adapt to a new situation”, and 15% would “greet these changes” (in September 2014 the figures were as follows: 25.9%, 39.7%, 13.3%). However, evaluations of relations between Belarus and Ukraine were subject to significant changes after the dramatic events in Ukraine: in December 2009 53% of respondents considered these relations to be good and 34.8% – unstable, in March 2015 the first index dropped down to 31.3%, and the second one jumped up to 50.2%.


– Majority of respondents evaluate “unambiguously/rather positively” A. Lukashenko’s position towards the crisis in Ukraine: in December the number was 58.7%, today it is 65.3%. Assessing his role in February negotiations between the heads of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France in Minsk, which resulted in an agreement on conflict settlement, 20.4% of respondents consider that “A. Lukashenko played an important role as a peacemaker”, 47.7% think that “A. Lukashenko’s role was small, but useful”, 28% think that “A. Lukashenko had no role at all, Belarus simply provided place for the negotiations”. But Belarusians do not approve the prospect of doing something more serious than organization of peaceful negotiations: A. Lukashenko’s suggestion of bringing Belarusian peacekeeping forces under the flag of the UN in order to observe the truce in Donbass was evaluated positively only by 18.2% of respondents, 26.7% remained indifferent, and 44.8% are negative about it.