December survey results demonstrate that pro-Russian aspirations and desires of integration with Russia in Belarusian society became somewhat more reserved. At the same time pro-European moods slightly increased. Change of attitude to Russia is probably explained by a certain re-thinking of Russian policy in Ukraine.
During half a year evaluations of “Crimeaisours” were changing slowly, but steadily: the number of adherents of Russian version was slightly decreasing, while advocates of the opposite version were becoming slightly more numerous (graph 1).
General attitude to Russia in relation to events in Ukraine also changed in this direction over the last quarter (graph 2).
Changes in attitude to Europe were directed oppositely: the number of those, whose attitude to Europe became better, increased, while the number of those, who changed their attitude to a worse one, decreased (graph 3).
All things considered it was the Ukrainian factor that somewhat shifted the balance of geopolitical preferences (graphs 4-6).
There even was an insignificant increase of the share of supporters of integration with Russia in answers to the question of graph  4. But there was a much more significant jump of the share of opponents of integration with the RF, and it had reached a maximum value over many years of IISEPS monitoring.
Pro-European moods grew somewhat more notably, at the same time there was a slight decrease of Eurointegration opponents.
Summary result is reflected in the answers to the dichotomous “either/or” question: a relative majority is for integration with Russia as in previous surveys, but the gap between geopolitical opponents became smaller.
Another indicator of change in attitude to Russia is the dynamics of attitude to the creation of Eurasian Economic Union. Over two years this number was subject to undulations, but during the last half of a year we could observe a down-wave: the number of supporters of the union slightly decreased, while the number of their opponents increased (graph 7).
In our opinion, there are several reasons for the change of attitude to Russian policy in Ukraine. The first one is the attitude to the policy as is. There is no prosperity in the Crimea since the annexation, and table 1 data reflects it. As for the events in Donbass, blood, violence and a stream of refugees (including those who seek refuge in Belarus) make a not so attractive picture.
IISEPS surveys in March, June and September demonstrated that Belarusians’ were less sympathetic to Kiev than to pro-Russian separatists in the conflict in the East of Ukraine. However, December survey showed that the gap between supporters and opponents of Novorossiya’s independence amounted to less than 10 percentage points (graph 8).
The second factor which influenced re-evaluation of Russian policy in Ukraine is the danger of escalation of the conflict to Belarus. Our previous materials demonstrated that Belarusians are dead set against a military entanglement of their country in this conflict. Evaluations of President’s initiative to send Belarusian peacemakers to Ukraine confirmed this in December survey (graph 9).
Many Belarusians fear that their country will be entangled in conflicts not only as a peacemaker. While the number of supporters of Belarus’ membership in Eurasian Economic Union is more than twice as high as the number of its opponents (44.4% vs. 18.1%, see graph  7), respondents were divided roughly into two halves evaluating Belarusian participation in the military union CSTO (graph 10).
It is clear, that 43% of respondents who consider that a military union with Russia is fraught with Belarus’ participation in military schemes of the ally are quite a lot. And this alertness, as may be supposed, is defined in no small measure by Russian actions in Ukraine.
And finally the third factor influencing the evaluation is the psychological projection of Russian policy in Ukraine on Belarus. It may be seen in the dynamics of answering the question on reaction to a hypothetical armed Russian invasion in Belarus (graph 11).
There is a notable decrease of the share of those who are ready to greet a Russian invasion. This factor testifies a certain cold snap in relation to Russia. Still, the share of those, who are ready to accept this situation without any objections, increased much more notably. However, acceptance isn’t approval.
At the same time there were almost no changes in the figures concerning a hypothetical NATO intervention in Belarus (graph 12).
Change of attitude to Russia and its actions in Ukraine didn’t really influence evaluations of official Minsk policy towards Ukraine. There was a slight increase of those, who strongly blame this policy: approximately 3 percentage points (graph 13).
It is difficult to assert if a certain cold snap in relation to Russia is a start of a new trend or just another fluctuation. This cold snap, documented in the survey, was mainly motivated by security considerations. However, it is quite probable, that there will be a bigger influence of the financial crisis, which broke out in Russia to the full measure right in December, during the survey conduction. Russian crisis itself and its “echo” in Belarus will probably contribute to a further decline of pro-Russian moods.