Lukashenka walks on thin crackling ice.
Political observer Aliaksandr Klaskouski wrote on his Telegram channel about the phenomenon of prolonged mass protests in Belarus.
- The top of the regime, having relied on unprecedented violence in the first days after the elections, made a major mistake, - writes Aliaksandr Klaskouski. - Mass discontent began to mature long before the elections. In particular, many Belarusians did not like the way the authorities behaved in relation to the pandemic that fell on their heads. Also, this year, the economic well-being of citizens has sharply deteriorated.
On my own behalf, I would like to note that the fact that it was decided to detain and imprison dangerous opponents (Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Viktar Babaryka) turned against the regime at the start of the presidential campaign. As a result, the sympathies of the protest electorate focused on the figure of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
In all honesty, her registration as a presidential candidate was also a major mistake (moreover, a fatal failure) of the authorities. The gender stereotype probably played a role: this housewife can't compete with the "leader," we'll make a supposedly broad gesture, and then we will smash her!
It seems that one of the fatal mistakes of the regime was making the official result of 80% for Lukashenka.
However, the protest's main trigger was the unprecedented brutality that the security forces demonstrated during the suppression of street protests.
The authorities overslept the phenomenon of the Internet, social networks. Yes, in the end, they got their bearings at the top and began to jam both professional web resources and bloggers, administrators of telegram channels, local chats.
However, this struggle is strategically doomed to failure. You can't turn off the Internet at all. Blacklisted resources move to new platforms. Telegram is, by and large, indestructible. Social networks scoff at the leaks of telephone conversations of people with voices similar to the voices of "persons close to the emperor."
Moreover, these recordings discredit the top of the regime, regardless of whether they are truthful or a clever forgery. They were thrown in at a time when public confidence in the ruling elite, if I may say so, fell below the plinth. And the silence of the leaders only strengthens the conviction that they simply have nothing to cover it with.
Thus, the regime turned out to be unprepared for informational challenges during the period of an acute internal political crisis. It is hopelessly losing the battle for minds.
Yes, Lukashenka still has a lot of brute force at his disposal. But he has already irrevocably lost his popularity and, in many respects, his political instinct. This year he made a lot of mistakes, and they are probably not the last.
The inevitable deterioration of the economic situation, the alteration of the constitution, which will have to be somehow dragged through the referendum, the not very distant local elections (deadline - January 18, 2022) - all these are threats to the regime in the context of continuous political turbulence. And in general, a black swan can arrive unexpectedly. Lukashenka walks on thin crackling ice.