Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Bleak future for Belarus seen if Europe follows US and ends backing for opposition

"Non-vagrants" march in Babruysk Belarus, March 12 2017 (Image: video capture)
“Non-vagrants” march in Babruysk Belarus, March 12 2017 (Image: video capture)
Bleak future for Belarus seen if Europe follows US and ends backing for opposition
Edited by: A. N.

US President Donald Trump has proposed cutting all assistance to the democratic opposition in Belarus, a move that if copied by European countries which currently provide far more aid, could make the future of Belarus ever bleaker, according to a Russian analyst.

Denis Lavnikevich argues on the Rosbalt news agency today that such a cutoff in assistance would lead to the end of many opposition groups without strengthening the authoritarian regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka given that the population is prepared to rise against him as it did earlier this year.

He cites the observation of Alyona Anisim, one of two independent deputies in the Belarusian parliament, that the opposition “over the course of many years has taken principled positions by directing all its efforts and rhetoric at criticism of the powers that be.” But with few exceptions, the latter have been unwilling to engage in “sincere” negotiations.

Yury Zyankovich, a Belarusian opposition figure now living in the emigration, notes that

“the opposition has lost its authority” over the population, a situation that would only worsen if outside funding and support is cut off. That makes mass protests more likely and the result of them “will be not even an invasion by Russian tanks,” but something “much worse.”

In that event, the emigre activist says, the Belarusian state will simply collapse because “the authorities won’t be able to hold power … and the opposition will not be able to take over” because its organizations will have collapsed.

“In reality,” the Rosbalt commentator adds, “the mass protests of the spring of 2017 in Belarus were largely spontaneous. The local opposition had to play “catch up” and then tried” to exploit the popular anger. But if the opposition disintegrates, as it might without outside support, there would be no one to channel popular anger.

Lavnikevich adds: “a sharp reduction of foreign financing [would] force the Belarusian opposition to begin its own reformation. Today the opposition is studying the problems of people and seeking sensitive social issues for their further politicization.” But soon Belarus may be a place where an angry but unorganized people confronts a frightened and shaky regime.


Edited by: A. N.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Premium journalism from across Europe.
    • Tailored to your needs, translated into English.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts