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Saturday, July 30, 2005

 

Lukashenka losing ground?

From Kommersant:

It's not completely clear what is driving Lukashenko to make threatening statements and simultaneously shy from each puff from without. Nevertheless, there are two possible conclusions to be made. The first is that the soil on which Lukashenko has stood firmly for so many years is gradually eroding. It would be a great exaggeration to say it's washing out from under his feet, but to all appearances, the process has started in Belarus, and the Belarussian political space, so tightly sealed off from the outside world, has become unsealed, and this makes Lukashenko very uneasy. The second conclusion is that in the struggle for his regime's survival, the Belarussian leader has apparently decided to gamble on internal reserves rather than outside forces, counting on most of Belarussian society to rally round him. The means aren't new, but they have repeatedly proven their reliability. As is well known, there is no better way to unite the nation than to declare that the homeland is in danger, that it's surrounded by enemies and ill-wishers. And there is only one person capable of delivering the blow, but he needs help to do this – nationwide help. Lukashenko is not afraid to make shrill pronouncements against the West, because in relations with the West, he has nothing to lose. He's already lost everything there was to lose. As for Ayatskov, he's the best figure for showing his toughness and high principles. After all, the Russian ambassador isn't the Russian president.

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