Lukashenka’s crackdown will not intimidate Belarusians now, Kalyakin says

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Analysis & Opinion, Belarus

Alyaksandr Lukashenka may crack down on protesters later this month in a bloody fashion just as he did in December 2010, Sergey Kalyakin says; but neither that prospect nor the numerous arrests this week is intimidating Belarusians. Indeed, it may be having exactly the opposite effect.

The leader of the Just World Party says that the prospects for such a crackdown given the passions that Lukashenka has stirred in the population mean that it is absolutely essential that the organizers of demonstrations planned for next week weed out any provocateurs whose violence the regime may use to justify the use of force.

Kalyakin points out that “the task of peaceful actions is not the seizure of state power but exerting pressure on the powers that be and demonstrating to people who are calling for change that they are very numerous. In our case,” he says, a few relatively small demonstrations were enough to force Lukashenka to back down on the vagrants tax.

Now, the demonstrations are growing in size but they are also becoming more diffuse with various slogans being advanced. That makes their impact harder to assess, but it is clear, Kalyakin says, that people are now protesting against not just the decree but against the kind of life they have been forced into.

Belarusians have been “driven into a dead end; they do not know how to live in the future,” he says. The opposition is trying to exploit this, but many going into the streets now are doing so spontaneously rather than as a result of any organizational work. And it is now clear that “today, the people are more decisive than the leaders of the opposition.”

Another Belarusian opposition leader, Gennady Fedynich, the head of the Independent Radio-Electronics Industry Labor Union, says that “Belarusians are ready to defend their right for a worthy life” and are not intimidated but rather further enraged by what he calls Lukashenka’s clumsy response.

“One can say,” he says, “that the senseless actions of the authorities have ever more infuriated Belarusians” and that after the March 15 arrests, “even those people who were far from politics are ready to go to the square.” “Many Belarusians are convinced that the authorities must not be forgiven for what they have down with young people after March 15.”

In that respect, Fedynich says, “the powers suffered a defeat” on that date, one that has been magnified by video clips now widely circulating showing just how the authorities flaunted their police powers. But in many parts of the country, people have only become angrier as a result.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • RedSquareMaidan

    Rise up Belarussians, stand for dignity, stand for your future. Send the cancer back to Moskovy.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Let’s hope this will end without bloodshed. But if Lukashenko can’t retain control the dwarf will send in his little green men. God knows what will happen then.

      • Njordheim

        Mentally Ill Galician Ukrap said something evil again…. what a savage!!

        • MichaelA

          little green men are evil and will die screaming for their mothers

          • Njordheim

            Old man are like children. You seem to be very old.

      • MichaelA

        little green men will be shot down
        like they were in donbass

    • Njordheim

      Stupid “Red Square” still dreaming … NO, DUMMY only you dumb Ukraps do the stupid thing like tire burning… yes only VIOLENT AND STUPID UKRAPS!!

      • MichaelA

        but it worked didnt it

        • Njordheim

          Ask 30,000+ dead Ukrap how well it worked for them and their families!

  • Dirk Smith
  • zorbatheturk

    Dictators love moustaches.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Pedo Vladito Putolini doesn’t have one, but he definitely IS a dictator.

      • zorbatheturk

        The exception that proves the rule.

  • Yoshua

    Belarus now needs oligarch rule and the end of social welfare for the people ?

  • Njordheim

    PORKY THE LIAR!! According to official UN figures, the total number of casualties in the war in East Ukraine amounts to 32,856, or 10,056 killed and 22,800 wounded. Meanwhile, German intelligence estimated in only 2015 that dozens of thousands of Ukrainian troops had been killed, the total number of civilian and military casualties in the conflict reaching up to 50,000.

    Khrolenko mentions Ukraine’s Apostrof’s report that “the Ukrainian army has lost more than 300 tanks, more than half of armored fighting vehicles, as well as 50% of artillery systems.”

    After the Battle of Ilovaysk, Khrolenko recalls, Ukrainian President Poroshenko himself spoke of “60-65% of military equipment on the front lines in the conflict zone destroyed.”

    • MichaelA

      Sorry but you know the truth – russia got beaten up in the donbass and had to give up.
      russian boys are too soft

      • Njordheim

        LOL!! You Ukrap Animals are angry but have no talent and no brain:

  • MichaelA

    belarusians are even tougher than russians or ukrainians
    lukashenka will not intimidate them this way
    neither will putin