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.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.