Ryhor Astapenia
Belarus Initiative Director, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House
What kind of belarus do belarusians want?
The second report of the “Belarus Narratives”.
Photo: Murashka A
  • Today there are two political projects competing for the future of Belarus – Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s project and the democratic movement’s project. Both have built a large support base, but they contradict the views of the majority of Belarusians to a certain extent.

  • Most Belarusians want a ‘more normal country’ in terms of political order, where they will feel protected from arbitrary abuses of power. In the economic sphere, Belarusians are inclined to favor the expansion of the private sector but do not seem ready for a fully liberalized economy.

  • Belarusians are not inclined towards significant changes in identity politics. In foreign policy, most Belarusians desire friendly relations with both the West and Russia, but neither Lukashenka nor the democratic movement is able to offer this.

  • A third Belarusian political project, which could theoretically unite the majority of Belarusians, would be a country that democratizes but where the government does not become dysfunctional, implements market transformation without painful reforms, allows the existence of various identity projects, and has friendly relations with both the West and Russia in its foreign policy.

Read the report:

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