E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 7, 2005 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Display of Puissance by Authorities: Reality or “Dizzy with Success”?

Person of the month:
Yuri Sivakov: Dismissed for Failure or for Personal Opinion?

Document of the month:
“Bill on Financing US Foreign Political Activity”: “Feasible Aid to Democratic Forces” or “Interference into Home Affairs”?

Organization of the month:
“TV Center – Belarus”: Expansion of Informational Field or Political Support from Kremlin?


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention the next issue of Infofocus bulletin. The second summer month became the time of festivities, all characterized in the famous saying “Life has become better, life is merrier.” Large-scale festivities to celebrate Independence Day, Slav Fair and similar in nature presidential trips into regions were united under the slogan “Bread and circuses but not revolutions.” All these celebrations were to show that the power is strong, aware of its puissance and isn’t afraid of opponents. Since the display of puissance by authorities is our “Topic of the Month”, we decided to find out how true their victory reports and optimistic plans are, what stands behind the unity of people and the president demonstrated on July3 and why the authorities seek for such actions. You will find here the opinions of S. Kostyan, Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Commission for International Affairs and CIS, and A. Milinkevich, Coordinator for the Fund of Support to Local Development.
This time the “Person of Month” is Y. Sivakov dismissed from the position of Sports and Tourism Minister. He is a kind of unique personality among the current Belarusian nomenclature. Before the position of Sports Minister, he headed the Interior Ministry and served Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration. Publicly calling himself “the king’s servant”, he gave no comment after all the dismissals, never criticized the authorities and their course and was finally given another high position. This time, Y. Sivakov commented his dismissal as a “blow below the belt.” In addition, he stated – either seriously or jokingly – that he was going to work Head of a collective farm in the Mogilev region. What is the cause of Y. Sivakov’s removal? Will he be appointed to a new high position? Will he show his face in the big politics? Will this influence the moods of the nomenclature taking into account that the ex-minister Sivakov is on the EU “black list” of the Belarusian officials banned entrance into the EU? We offer you the viewpoints of V. Parfenovich, ex-Deputy of the House of Representatives and three times Olympic champion, and V. Chikin, Editor-in-Chief of the weekly 7 Days.
In the column “Document of Month”, we present the ‘Bill on financing US foreign political activity’ approved in the American Congress. Under the bill, $24 million has been allocated to “promote democratization as well as the development of political parties and independent mass media” in Belarus. How will implementation of the bill influence the activity of the Belarusian opposition and civic society? Are they ready to use these funds efficiently? What is the role of foreign support by democratic forces in achieving changes in this country? A. Krasutsky, Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Commission for International Affairs and CIS, and political scientist A. Fedorov give their comments of the current situation.
Our column “Organization of Month” is given to the joint Russia-Belarus project – TV channel “TVC-Bel”. Its founders are Russian TV company TVC and Belarusian company Vavilen LLC. As it goes from the articles of the new joint company, its basic objective is “Russia-Belarus mutual integration.” The Board of the TVC Channel has already announced that $500 million will be invested into formation of the new channel within the first six months. It will be broadcast to the central part of Russia, Ural and Siberia. Noteworthy, the decision to form the channel was taken right after the large-scale and utterly complimentary interview by Belarus President A. Lukashenko to TVC President O. Poptsov on the TVC Channel. Why would O. Poptsov famous with his democratic views need to obtain such an interview? What does his appearance mean as regards the moods within Russian media and political elite? What country – Russia or Belarus – needs the new media project to a greater extent and how will it influence A. Lukashenko’s image at the Russian political field? We should like to present you the opinions of L. Mindlin, electronic mass media expert, and Y. Prokopov, political correspondent on the Belarusian TV.
We do hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. All feedbacks are mostly welcome!

IISEPS executive board

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