Authorities initiate soft “Belarusianisation” policy
While meeting with students from the Belarusian State University, the President’s Assistant for Economic Affairs, Kyril Rudy, said that a recent poll held by the National Academy of Sciences revealed that Belarusians consider the loss of the Belarusian language to be among the country’s main threats.
In recent years, the Belarusian leadership has sought to draw Belarusian society’s attention to national identity issues in order to reduce threats to national security amid the Kremlin’s aggressive foreign policy and recent developments in Ukraine. The Belarusian government will continue to implement a cautious and soft “Belarusianisation” policy in order to narrow the value split in the society and to consolidate it around the ideas of independence and Belarusian national identity.
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.