Preparing for the 2012 Elections. Mogilev
The state of the ideological work in labor collectives of the city and measures to improve it were discussed during a regular meeting of the Mogilev City Council.
The Deputy Cchairman of the Executive Committee Igor Shardyko, said that a strategically verified system of ideological work was organized in Mogilev. Among other things, the Vice-Mayor expressed hope, “we can work out the 2012 elections in a proper manner" (at the same time he made a reservation that opposition is planning surprises).
Head of the Ideological Department of the Eexecutive Committee Alla Galushko reported that there were over 500 ideological workers in the city. In their work they use various means: traditional (lectures and seminars) and new (internet forums, etc.). Currently, the city has over 400 information and propaganda groups.
It is worth to mention that such preparations by the local authorities to the “minor” elections (i.e. Parliamentary elections in Belarus) well in advance could be explained by the reduced level of confidence of the administration in its authority. During the aforementioned meeting, the Chairman of the Mogilev City Council Stanislav Borodavko noted that “in many respects, our ideology is based on the material well-being of the citizens”, therefore he called for careful compliance with the wage growth plans. Note that the official makes this declaration when real salaries of employees of the leading regional enterprises are decreasing. Compared with salaries paid on the eve of the Presidential elections, current pay in Mogilev decreased by 300-400 thousand rubles. For instance, reduction of wages was reported by the following companies: Mogilev Heating Systems, Mogilevliftmash, Mogilev Plant Strommashina, etc.
Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.
The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.
Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.
For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.
Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.
The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.