IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 3 (45), 2007




The authority is losing its supporters
Echo of the oil and gas conflict
Legs of the throne
“Castle” in the KGB
Father and son
Framework of protest activity
Indifference as a factor of stability
Great things are seen at a distance
From words to actions
For market, but the socialist one
Interest in private enterprise
From the history of economic patriotism
Geopolitical puzzle
Results of the opinion poll conducted in September of 2007


Viktor Gorbachev
Penal battalion of a “rich” state (or for whom the bell tolls…)


Prof. Yury Khodyko
Reading a good book
Vyacheslav Pozdnyak, Ph.D.
Pan-Europeanism for Belarus: another appeal to the beginnings


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention another issue of the “IISEPS News” analytical bulletin presenting the materials which reflect the most interesting findings of the IISEPS studies in the third quarter of 2007.
Events of the current year’s Belarusian summer refuted the opinion that the period of vacations, sanatoriums and tourism was intended only for treatment of the old “political” wounds, and in that respect was a political lull. As it has been already mentioned in the previous issue, consequences of the winter oil and gas conflict between Minsk and Moscow are to be continued in various spheres of social relations, and are going to force Belarusian authorities to look for any possibilities to improve the foreign as well as internal political situation that has become substantially worse. Attempts to revive relations with the West, as it is known, ended in a complete failure. At the same time confrontation with the East became stronger, too. It developed into another conflict in connection with an attempt of Belarusian authorities not to pay for the energy carriers received in the first half year in proper time. At that the loud anti-Russian campaign in official mass media at the beginning of the conflict was instantly stopped after the first payment and very few people ever heard about the following ones.
Against the background of expectations of negative conflict manifestations in the economy support of the authorities by their traditional electorate began to decrease noticeably. Support of some of the pensioners also reduced as a slight increase of their pensions in September had been “eaten” long before by inflation accumulated since the beginning of the year. Even among state officials “opportunistic” tendencies were evidently intensified forcing the authorities to conduct recurrent “purges”. Thus all this did not let the country’s authorities to enjoy summer vacations and fine weather.
As usual when the situation in the country worsened the authorities were habitually looking for external and internal enemies. In July, for instance, the governing body of the KGB, which by the way had been appointed not long before, was dismissed. Officially it was accused of “shielding” some business structures and of feeble struggle against opposition elements. Another “espionage scandal” occurred as well. This time some Belarusian officers were put on trial and were charged with espionage in favor – sure enough! – of Poland. Arrests and trials of young opponents of the regime continued; “activity on behalf of unregistered organizations” being their only guilt.
Regardless of the traditional character of everything that is going on, sensation of the authorities’ certain nervousness as well as of absence of any notions about the necessary measures and actions has appeared. Various initiatives emerge and disappear with the same speed. Due to the fact it is impossible either to estimate or to analyze them. For instance, panegyrics concerning “state ideology” disappeared, and in the same way a campaign on establishing a pro-governmental movement “Belaya Rus” died away. Of course, it is not yet agony of the regime, but… Such was the third quarter. Analysis of most aspects of what has happened in comparison with the past can be found on the pages of the bulletin in the “Monitoring of the Public Opinion” rubric.
This time our “Open Forum” has been given to Victor Gorbachev, a well-known political and public figure, one of the heads of the oppressed Belarusian business undertakings. The author, convinced in the importance and necessity of private enterprise as one of the main driving forces of modern economy development, explains problems of small and medium entrepreneurship in our country very emotionally and lucidly; uncovers the basic reasons for discontent of the whole class of Belarusian citizens; shows the ways to stir up their struggle for their rights.
On the “Bookshelf” a well-known politician, one of the “fathers” of the Belarusian national revival, Professor Yury Khodyko, presents a new book by young Belarusian philosopher Peter Rudkovsky. Supporting the author in general, the reviewer nevertheless frequently enters into a hard controversy with him on the question about Belarusian national ideology.
Another review, written by Vyacheslav Posdnyak, is devoted to the first edition of the famous book by one of the “founding fathers” of the European Union, Richard N. von Kudenhove-Kalergi.
As usual we are waiting for your comments and feedbacks!