Diaspora successes in international politics, polarization in society is increasing
Political emigration supports the attention of Western capitals to the situation in Belarus, but polarization in society is growing due to repression and the regime’s refusal to dialogue with society. Civic activists in Belarus are reducing their activity due to the repressive actions of the Lukashenka regime.
The anti-sanctions agenda and criticism of the adopted restrictions against the Lukashenka regime is intensifying among political emigration. Apparently, fatigue is growing in the diaspora from confrontation with official Minsk without visible successes.
Political emigration is trying to maintain contacts and interaction of the EU with the Belarusian society. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and representatives of the Belarusian democratic forces are holding meetings with the EU leadership in Brussels at the Eastern Partnership summit. President of the European Council Charles Michel expressed support for the people of Belarus. The EU promises to deliver vaccines against COVID-19 to Belarusians despite the suspension of the participation of the official Minsk in the Eastern Partnership initiative. Polish President Andrzej Duda reacted to the verdict of six Belarusian political prisoners.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kalesnikova and Veranika Tsepkala received the Charlemagne Prize.
However, the influence of independent media on the domestic agenda continues to decline. The purges of the security forces and the emigration of activists weaken the remaining initiatives of the Civil Society in Belarus.
Against the backdrop of increased repression, criminal cases, dismissals, detentions, long terms for protest leaders and demonstrators, purges in the state apparatus and the public sector, as well as attacks by security forces on private business, tension and polarization in society are increasing.
Political organizations are trying to keep their sympathizers through online communication. “Our Party” conducts online courses for activists, as well as meetings with activists in the regions.
The diaspora organizes new initiatives on fundraising and raising funds to support civil society and political prisoners. A live auction was held in Vilnius in support of Belarusian political prisoners and their families: 35 works of art worth almost 12,000 euros were sold.
The initiatives continue to advance the strategy of the civil society on the behaviour of change advocates in the referendum.
Thus, in the event of increased persecution of dissidents in the public sector and private business, as well as against the background of low ratings of state institutions, the likelihood of protests with violent confrontation during the referendum increases.
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Situation in Belarus