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Author: Pavel Usau

Post-Lukashism. Prospects for change in Belarus after regime collapse

The events of 2020 and the conviction that the fall of the Lukashenka regime is inevitable have prompted a number of businessmen to actively participate in the political processes in Belarus. This can serve as a basis for the assertion that in the event of the destruction or destabilization of the authoritarian regime, business groups will play an extremely important role in shaping a new way of life.

At the moment, it is obvious that the prospects for political change in Belarus are postponed indefinitely. At the same time, the probability of a rapid transition from authoritarianism to democracy is still uncertain. The protracted war in Ukraine and the systemic stability of Putin’s regime in Russia will contribute to the internal stabilization and consolidation of the authoritarian system of government in Belarus. This process will also be facilitated by relentless repression and political purges, which will suppress any dangerous activities in society, as well as increase the atmosphere of fear and terror. To date, there are no acute systemic internal threats and challenges to Alyaksandr Lukashenka's regime.

February 7, 2024 - Pavel Usau

Neo-totalitarianism as a new political reality in Belarus

The large shift that has taken place within Belarusian society has illustrated both a high demand for change and the loss of broad support for Alyaksandr Lukashenka. This has led the ruling elite to realise that the regime can no longer operate in the same conditions it had pre-2020. Serious restructuring was thus necessary to ensure that the regime maintains its overall control of the state and counters any form of anti-system civic activity.

The political system in Belarus has undergone a series of changes since Alyaksandr Lukashenka came to power in 1994. Over this period of 28 years it has evolved from a hybrid regime, which included elements of façade democracy, to a neo-totalitarian one. This transformation was possible because of changes that had taken place within society and the state, and which in the end allowed for the formation of new authoritarian institutions, practices and methods.

December 7, 2022 - Pavel Usau

The price of power

For the last 25 years the Belarusian society has been living under an authoritarian regime led by Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Even though the Belarusian leader is no longer perceived as the “last dictator in Europe”, he is the post-Soviet leader who has held onto power the longest.

Many of the post-Soviet countries, especially in Eastern Europe, experienced revolutionary moments after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some saw them more than once: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. Almost all of these states have tried to implement the difficult, and at times dramatic, process of establishing democracy and getting closer to the European Union and other western structures. In Belarus a fossilised conservative system, which impedes its political and economic development, has been preserved, maintaining the republic in Russia’s sphere and under its influence.

April 6, 2020 - Pavel Usau

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