In June Alexander Lukashenko’s rating changed in opposite senses comparatively to March. Electoral rating gained 2.2 points, while trust rating lost 3.1 points (charts 1-2). These changes should be regarded as insignificant, so we can speak about a stabilization of public opinion on the actions of “the only politician” as the head of state on the first year of his fifth term. This stabilization does not contradict to the decrease in acuity of perception of the economic crisis by Belarusians, registered in March.

Changes of public opinion registered in the course of quarter surveys are, as a rule, media ripples, or ripples caused by current changes in economy. The big is seen from a distance. Table 3 results allow us to see this “big”. Over the last 10 years, public opinion drastically re-evaluated Lukashenko’s “pivots”.

In full compliance with the theory of the classical politologist Max Weber, there was a routinization of charisma of the “nation-wide-elected president”. From a politician, relying on people (rural people, pensioners and common people), he transformed into a politician, relying mainly on bureaucracy. A formal decrease of the importance of the military, the MIA and the KGB is probably related to their success in suppression of dissidence and public protests. As a result, their actions disappeared from the front pages of mass media.

It should be noted that table 3 reflects changes in public opinion, but not actual changes in Lukashenko’s actions as the head of state.

Table 3. Dynamics of answering the question “According to you, what does President Alexander Lukashenko mainly relies on?”, % (several answers are possible)

Variant of answer 08’06 06’16 Difference
Presidential hierarchy line 37.0 54.4 17.4
State officials 20.5 32.1 11.8
Directors of big enterprises 13.5 17.4 3.9
Businessmen 4.5 5.5 1.0
Specialists 9.9 9.2 –0.7
The military, the MIA, the KGB 48.6 47.1 –1.0
Cultural and scientific elite 8.3 4.4 –3.9
Rural people 30.2 11.5 –18.7
Pensioners 41.4 21.8 –19.4
Common people 34.2 8.2 –26.0

* The table is sorted by the last column

22 years ago Alexander Lukashenko emerged as an undeniable leader of the first presidential race due to the fact, among others, that he “without fearing conspiracies and attacks, was disclosing corruption among high-level officials” (this is a quote from the first official biography of Lukashenko). Today, however, only one of four Belarusians believes in his ability to achieve success in the fight against corruption (chart 4). The share of pessimistic evaluations amounts to almost three quarters.

In 2006 average value of Lukashenko’s electoral rating amounted to 55.6%. In the first half of 2016 it amounts to 28.4%. The decrease is almost double-fold. This is the global trend, “cleaned” from the influence of local events. There are no reasons for this trend to turn backwards today.