IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 2 (72), 2014




Pork price vs. Russian propaganda
The consolidating potential of uniqueness
Electoral stability and trust increase
Honest, but weak and not well-informed
Voting, following, discussing
Symbols of Belarusians
Geopolitical trends
Is propaganda almighty?
As good as in the West
If tomorrow war breaks out…

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in June-2014


Russia, the country of unsatisfied leftism
Social demand for the superpower status restoration
The CEC and exit-polls: together, not instead
V. Putin vs. S. Bandera
Lieutenant’s salvation cost Obama much


Dear readers!

In another issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” we offer to your attention materials reflecting the most interesting results of the Institute researches in the second quarter of 2014.
Our surveys show that in the second quarter of this year “economic well-being” of Belarusians continued to decrease. Thus, the ratio of those whose financial standing improved over the last three months to those, whose financial standing went downhill, notably decreased. Real incomes of citizens also continued to decrease after a small increase of the previous year: average income per a family member, which in December amounted to $ 325, in June equaled to $ 288. Only 36.1% of respondents agreed with President’s statement that “power in Belarus prevented society from division into poor and rich people, protected and supported people who work hard”, while 54.7% of respondents disagreed. The number of Belarusians considering that Belarusian economy is in crisis increased once again. Despite this, the level of optimism for the future paradoxically increases.
Belarusians’ attitude to the state power also shows its ambivalent character. On the one hand, a lot of re-spondents express dissatisfaction with actions of the state power. For example, a third of respondents, answering why people in Belarus live worse than people in the West, said that “our people can work as hard as in Western countries; bad governmental administration is to blame”. Almost each fourth of respondents considers corruption as the most important issue in Belarusian society. As for A. Lukashenko’s statement that “Belarusian powers are constantly and severely fighting against corruption”, 40% of respondents agreed with it and 48.4% of them disagreed. It’s not surprising that less than 40% of respondents, answering the question on the state built under A. Lukashenko’s rule, said “it is my state, it safeguards my interests”; more than 43% chose the variant “it is only partially my state, it doesn’t safeguard my interests enough” and 12% answered that “it is not my state, it does not safeguard my interests and I do not trust it”. On the other hand, the level of trust of the head of state continues to grow, and his electoral rating still amounts to almost 40%.
The readiness for changes among Belarusians is quite high, as we have noted it already more than once, but this readiness consists mainly of expectations, and not of intentions. Thus the number of those for whom “main-taining of current situation is more important” steadily decreases: from 53.4% in February 2006 down to 38.3% in June 2014. But the number of those who consider themselves in opposition to the current power is still quite low. Half of respondents think that elections are the most realistic variant of changes in Belarus; almost 30% of re-spondents think that a national referendum is more realistic, and only 8% of respondents prefer street protests. Although, as it was noted earlier, the idea of a single candidate from opposition was supported by many voters, the level of trust to oppositional parties is still low, and the combined electoral rating of a dozen of oppositional leaders doesn’t exceed 20%. The reasons for the fact that opposition is not regarded as a potential source of changes lay not only in the pressure on it or in the power’s repressions against it, but also in the fact that its’ ac-tions are very far from the views of a “mass Belarusian”.
In foreign policy orientations of Belarusians the tendency to a “cold snap” in relation to Europe continues. However, this “cold snap” is not accompanied by a “thaw” in relation to Russia. The number of those who consider “a union of independent states, connected by close political and economical relations” as the most preferable variant of integration of Belarus and Russia decreased notably. As it was noted before, the main reason for the “reverse” in foreign and home policy is the influence of the events in Ukraine. Thus, considering the further course of events in Ukraine, Euromaidan and president V. Yanukovich’s overthrow were assessed positively by less than one fourth of respondents and negatively by almost two thirds of respondents. The annexation of Crimea by Russia was called “an imperialistic usurpation and occupation” by slightly more than a fourth of respondents, while more than 60% of them consider it as “a restitution of Russian lands and reestablishment of historical justice”. Events which happened in the East of Ukraine, more specifically in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, were evaluated as “a rebellion, organized by Russia” by less than a fourth part of respondents, while two thirds think that it was “a people’s protest against the non-legitimate power”. 36.4% of respondents consider that it is possible but unlikely that Russia will annex Belarus wholly or partially; 26.3% consider it likely and 4.4% say that it is inevitable. At the same time the results of the survey do not testify that Belarusians are ready to follow either their official leader or his opponents in the case of a treat to the territorial integrity of their country. The hypothesis that propaganda is almighty and Belarusians’ evaluations of the crisis in Ukraine are due only to it is true but only partially: the survey showed that initial mindsets of people are not less important than informational influence. So Russian TV is influential, but not almighty.
As usual, those readers who are more interested in our figures than in our assessments can analyze the re-search results on their own. The results are presented according to the main socio-demographic characteristics.
In our “Open Forum” rubric we present the most interesting results of work of our colleagues from neighboring countries, publishing the most interesting results of their late surveys (with a special focus on dramatic event in Ukraine).
As usual, your feedback and comments are welcome!