(were interviewed 1.519 persons aged 18 and over, margin of error doesn’t exceed 0.03)

1. “Economic well-being” of Belarusians continued to go down during the second quarter:
– thus, the ratio of those whose financial standing improved over past three month to those whose standing worsened went down from 10.1% vs. 25.2% in March to 9.3% vs. 32.5% in June. Real incomes are decreasing as well after a brief last year’s increase: the average income per family member in June amounted to $ 288 (compare to $ 325 in December and $ 312 in March), that is why only 30% of respondents trust A. Lukashenko’s words that Belarusian ruble’s devaluation in 2014 will not exceed 10%, while 56% do not. Only 36.1% of respondents share his opinion that “power in Belarus prevented society from division into poor and rich people, protected and supported people who work hard”. 54.7% disagree with this;
– the number of Belarusians considering that country’s economy is in crisis increased once more: 54.6% of respondents shared this opinion and 34.5% shares the opposite one in March, today the ratio is 57.7% vs. 30%. Among the most important problems that our country and its citizens face right now 80% of respondents name price growth, almost 42% – impoverishment of people, 35.1% – decrease of industrial output, 25.2% – unemployment. Almost 60% of respondents consider that people in Belarus live worse than in Western countries; the opposite opinion is shared by 31.2% of respondents;
– despite all this the level of optimism for the future is paradoxically growing. In December 35.9% of respondents considered that “socio-economic situation in Belarus will worsen within the next few years”, in March this share amounted to 26.1%, in June – 28.7%. As for the number of optimists, their number increased respectively from 12.5% and 24% up to 28.6%. The number of respondents considering that “in general the state of things in our country is developing in the right direction” increased from 31.9% in December up to 40.2% in March and 42.3% in June. The number of respondents sharing the opposite opinion decreased respectively: 54.1% vs. 46.2% vs. 42.3%.
2. The attitude of Belarusians to the authorities has a double character as well:
– on the one hand a lot of respondents are disappointed with the actions of state power. While answering the question about the reasons why people in Belarus live worse than in Western countries a third of respondents said that “our people can work as hard as in Western countries; bad governmental administration is to blame” (only 16.6% pointed out the absence of raw material resources and only 9.1% agreed that “our people are in general less hard-working than Western people”). Almost 24% of respondents consider corruption as the most important issue of our society. 39.1% agree to A. Lukashenko’s declarations that “Belarusian powers are constantly and severely fighting against corruption”, while 48.4% disagreed with that. Almost 30% think that “A. Lukashenko will fight against corruption, but it is not likely that he will succeed, as corruption in Belarus is ineradicable”. Over 20% of respondents said that “A. Lukashenko won’t really fight against corruption, because he is interested in it in one or another way”. Thus it is not surprising that only 39.1% of respondents assessing the state built under A. Lukashenko said that “it is my state, it safeguards my interests”. 43.2% of respondents said “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 to the head of state continues to grow: in December 37.7% of respondents trusted him, in March the share amounted to 45.9% and in June – to 49.6%; the share of respondents not trusting him amounted respectively to 47.5% vs. 44.1% vs. 39%. Electoral rating of the President still amounts to 39.8% in an open question, while in a closed question it even grew up to 48.1%.
3. 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 “maintaining of current situation is more important” steadily decreases: in February 2006 this share amounted to 53.4%, in December 2010 – 49.7%, in June 2014 – 38.3%; at the same time grows the number of those who think that “changing of current situation is more important”: 37.8% vs. 41.2% vs. 52.1% respectively. In fact millions of Belarusians are interested in politics: 57.4% participate in elections, more than 30% attentively follow political news, and one third of Belarusians discuss political events with friends;
however, the number of those who consider themselves in opposition to the current power is not really high: in March this answer was chosen by 16.6% of respondents, in June – by 17.8%. About a half of respondents consider that elections are the most realistic variant of changes in Belarus. Almost 30% think that a republican referendum would be appropriate. Only 8% consider street protests suitable. The answers to the question “Should the parliamentary deputies support 50 000 of citizens that signed for “The People’s Referendum” and declare a referendum in Belarus?” were distributed as follows: 44.5% answered positively, 37.5% – negatively, and 18% didn’t answer at all. It should be noted that 31.7% of respondents think that such a referendum should be held before the end of 2014, more than 20% of respondents think that it would be better to couple it with the presidential elections in 2015 and 15% think that it would be better to conduct it after presidential elections;
as it was already noted the idea of a single candidate from opposition on presidential elections in 2015 is supported by many voters. Still only 18.3% of respondents trust oppositional parties, while 64.7% do not trust them; the overall rating of a dozen of oppositional leaders doesn’t exceed 20% (today V. Neklyaev has 6.2% of supporters, N. Statkevich – 3.2%, A. Milinkevich – 2%, A. Sannikov – 1.6%, A. Lebedko – 1.1%). 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’ actions are very far from the views of a “mass Belarusian”. Thus when most leaders and activists of opposition expressed negative opinion about the World Hockey Championship in Minsk, 32.1% of respondents said that they are “very proud of their country and team”, 38.9% said that they are “mostly proud” and only 26.2% of respondents “don’t feel proud at all”. Almost all of oppositional events are held under “white-red-white” flags and the coat of arms Pahonya. At the same time 55% of respondents expressed opinion that “current symbols, which remind the symbols of the BSSR, better suit the historical and cultural heritage of the Belarusian nation”, while only 31.7% of respondents preferred “pre-1995 symbols”. Only 7.2% of respondents consider ribbons of Saint George, that have become popular recently, as a “symbol of imperial aggressive politics of Russia”, while for 68.5% of respondents it is “a remembrance of the victory in the Great patriotic War, the colors of decorations from that war”.
4. As for the foreign policy orientations of Belarusians the tendency to a “cold snap” in the relation to Europe, observed in March, is maintained:
– if a referendum on joining the European Union was held today, 27.4% of respondents would vote “for” it and 50.8% would vote “against” (in December the ratio was 35.9% vs. 34.6%, in March 30.2% vs. 44.3%). However the cold snap in relation to Europe is not accompanied by a warming in relation to Russia: on a referendum on integration of Belarus and Russia 24.8% of respondents would vote “for” it and 54.8% of respondents would vote “against” it (in December the ratio was 23.9% vs. 51.4%, in March – 29.3% vs. 47.7%). If there was an obligation to choose between integration with Russia and unification with the EU, 46.9% of respondents would choose the first variants and 33.1% – the second (in December it was 36.6% vs. 44.6%, in March 51.5% vs. 32.9%). There is a significant decrease in the number of those who think that the most appropriate variant of integration of Belarus and Russia would be “creation of a union of independent states, connected by close political and economical relations”. In June 2012 53.7% were “for” it, while today only 43.5% of respondents support this variant. The number of those who think that “Belarus and Russia should become a single state with one president, government, army, currency, etc.” decreased from 13% down to 9.8%. The attitude to the Eurasian Economic Union, recently signed by the presidents of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan became more defined: in September 2013 37.6% of respondents were positive about it, 37.4% were indifferent and 13.8% were negative; today the ratio is 49.8% vs. 15.1% vs. 29.6%;
– 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, Euromaydan and President V. Yanukovich’s overthrow were assessed positively by 23.2% and negatively by 63.2% of respondents. The annexation of Crimea by Russia was called “an imperialistic usurpation and occupation” by 26.9% of respondents, while 62.2% 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 23.2% of respondents, while 65.5% think that it was “a people’s protest against the non-legitimate power”. 30.1% of respondents share the opinion that the participants of the armed protests in the East of Ukraine are “terrorists”, while 54.1% do not. 50.9% of respondents assess the post-Yanukovich power as “fascists”, 28.8% don’t think so. 12% of respondents have a positive attitude towards the new President of Ukraine, elected on the 25th of May, 2014, 36% feel indifferent about him, and 21.1% of respondents are negative about him. 15% of respondents don’t consider him as a legitimate president at all. In general, according to 46.1% of respondents, Russia has a positive influence on Ukraine, while 30.5% of respondents asses this influence as negative (23.3% didn’t know how to answer this question);
– evaluating the possibility that “Russia may annex the territory of Belarus, wholly or partially”, 30% of respondents said that it is possible, but unlikely, 26.3% consider this prospect quite likely and 4.4% think that it’s inevitable. Low level of fears of the possible threat from Russia is probably explained by the fact that the majority of Belarusians don’t see in Belarus the main reason which was used for the annexation of Crimea and further actions in the South-East of Ukraine: only 4.8% of respondents agree that rights of Russian-speaking population are infringed, while 93.2% disagree with that. At the same time results of the survey show that in case of a threat to territorial integrity Belarusians aren’t really ready to follow neither the official leader, nor his opponents. If it happened, 14.2% of respondents would be ready “to resist up in arms”, 47.7% of respondents would “try to adapt to a new situation”, and 16.5% of respondents would even “greet these changes”. Answering the question “Do our country and our people have enemies?” only 12.8% of respondents said that “our country is surrounded by enemies”, while 30% think that “our most dangerous enemies are hidden insiders”;
– some people say that propaganda is almighty, and its influence is the direct reason for the evaluations of the crisis in Ukraine. This is true, but only in part. People that regularly watch Russian TV are much more supportive of the Russian position in the conflict, than all respondents in general. But even the majority of those who don’t watch Russian TV at all consider the annexation of Crimea lawful. It is evident, that people’s preferences are as important as the informational influence. Those who don’t trust Russian TV and consider it biased, but still watch it from time to time are not less, but more likely to evaluate the Crimea annexation negatively than those who don’t watch Russian channels at all. So Russian TV is influential, but not almighty.