"Doctors' Case" has a ground for opening.
News about possible insult of the Belarusian ruler has been shaking the information space for several days.
Leader of the European Belarus campaign Zmitser Bandarenka commented Charter97.org on the situation.
- Why did the news create such an uproar? What do you think actually happened?
- I was 19 years old when Leonid Brezhnev died. In was in 1982, at that moment I was living under Brezhnev reign.
Lukashenka is in power even for more years than Brezhnev was. And more and more people live under his control. Essentially, the change of the ruler raises some concern among the population. It's first.
Second, Brezhnev did not raise so much hatred and agression among the population, which now we observe under Lukashenka. He has done too much evil to people and brought too many problems to almost every family.
That's why people hoped that Lukashenka was really suffering from decease and expected for some changes to happen in the Republic of Belarus.
- Was it a fib or anything else? What was it for?
- I can't say that it was a fib. More likely that we observe such kind of opinion survey in action. Sometimes we can hear from western and Ukrainian politicians that Lukashenka is allegedly popular in Belarus.
The story with the "insult" showed that it's wrong, and the overall majority of people were ready to feel joy because of his health problems. And it's the main thing. This is what people who try to sort out the situation in Belarus should pay attention to. It has become the most vivd indicator of people's attitude towards the dictator.
- More than a day passed between the first commentary of Eismont and video with Lukashenka on BT TV channel. Why did people not see the "live dictator" for so long?
- Common sense guides us to suppose that Lukashenka has health problems. The recent "doctors' case" was likely initiated because of someone's discontent of his treatment. And his paranoic way of thinking made him punish those who were allegedly to blame for such poor treatment. According to him, people wearing white robes are all to blame. That's why the case was so scandalous, and one more time it proves that Lukashenka has real health problems.
The second moment to mention is that people often see a person who tells nonsense on TV. It's clear that he is far from problems ordinary people face. He does not understand what happens in the country. He is interested in raising vegetables and watch Dasha and Vika playing (Dasha Domracheva and Victoria Azarenko).
Belarusians realize he has health problems, as well as citizens of the USSR knew about health problems of Brezhnev. It was clear no matter how hard propagandists tried to prove that the leader was writing books. Lukashenka does not even try to write. No one will believe it.
No public appearances prove these health problems.
- You said the reaction of people was the key point. How could you comment on it?
- It's a piece of hope for a relief and changes. The government does not care about people at all, and people feel no sympathy to the so-called "ruler" and his inner circle.
But people want their problems to be solved without their involvement.
There is a competitiveness between nations, like one between people at work and everyday life. We see how Ukrainians want to be the masters of their own lives, the way they participate in political events, express their opinion.
We can see how democratic mechanisms operate in the Baltic States and Poland where the shift of power and elite occurs from time to time. It happens because at one time those people showed their courage and made efforts to make that mechanism work, to become the part of the European family and such a safety mechanism as NATO.
Ukrainians also try to follow this path. Belarusians still leave to chance.
Of course, I do not mean everyone; there are lots of active people who proved their indifference.
But the vast majority, unfortunately, still lies up. Perhaps, because they spent too much time under Brezhnev and Lukashenka.
- What do you think could happen if the worst scenario had been true?
- I think Lukashenka is the sum of Brezhnev and Yanukovich. It was obvious that Yanukovich was just blowing out his cheeks. The man with such an intellectual level cannot be a real leader of the country. Later it turned out that his elder son was in charge in the country.
The similar situation is observed in Belarus. I keep saying that Lukashenka does not deal with a real management. His older son Victor plays one of the key roles in power, as well as a number of still reliable law enforcement officers.
The time of Lukashenka has gone. Belarusians, the Kremlin, and the inner circle of the dictator can see it. All the same, events will thrive. At least because neighboring countries suffer no stagnation.
In 2019-2020 Ukraine will hold elections; and elections always cause drastic changes there. Russia, Ukraine and Belarus suffer from several kinds of crisis, which can lead to changes in political elite.
The main crisis is a demographic one. Other countries of the former USSR do not have such a problem. Entire regions became deserted. Essentially, if there are no people to work, there is no possibility to pay pensions. These processes play out badly in Russia: we can see how Russians protest against the retirement age increase.
Ukraine takes the more dynamic situation; Belarusians will no longer be able to sit still, at least because changes affect the entire region.
Another moment is the technological revolution which is taking place in different spheres. In the energy sphere it means liquid gas and shale revolution which can allow to avoid pipes in 10-20 years. At the same time, IT-revolution changes the world every year.
In this regard, such a lagging regime like Lukashenka's is subject to fading away. And the result depends on Belarusians. If they hope for an "Uncle", then another dictator may take the place of Lukashenka. And if they show a good deal of determination, we will become a normal country in the centre of Europe, such as Slovakia, Estonia, or Lithuania.
- What should the opposition pay attention to not to miss the chance?
- In my opinion, the Belarusian opposition deserves a great respect amid constant repressions against it.
But there is a gap in the Belarusian society between its active layer - the opposition - and the major part of the population. And no one but people can solve the problem.
Perhaps, tough cases are needed to shake Belarusians and make them responsible for the fate of their country and family. So they could live without external help needed to survive. So they could avoid Ponzi schemes in the form of consumer credits subject to repayment.
It's an open question. It is to be decided here and now.
Once during the Perestroika no one expected such activity of Belarusians. First mass protests actions, first strikes were carried out in Belarus. There is a piece of hope that they can show it once again now.