25 January 2021, Monday, 10:25
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Stanislau Bahdankevich: I Believe These Are Dictatorship’s Last Breaths

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Stanislau Bahdankevich: I Believe These Are Dictatorship’s Last Breaths
MIKALAI LATYSHONAK, NATALLIA EISMANT

The interception of telephone conversations showed that the usurper had no personnel reserve left.

Recently, leaks of telephone conversations have been published on the internet, in which the voices of representatives of the usurper's inner circle are recognized. They portray Lukashenka's managers and assistants in a bad light: they are afraid even of the displeased glance of the “boss”.

Recently, the former sports director of the Ice Hockey Federation Uladzimir Berazhkou said: “How in the 27th year of his reign could he allow such a situation? How could he bet everything on the security forces? How could he surround himself with such a weak intellectual elite? I don’t remember Lukashenka having such a weak environment.”

“Of course, they are far from being the best candidates for leadership positions”.

Former chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus Uladzimir Hancharyk, who spoke with Lukashenka in the 90s, noted in a comment to udf.by that the reasons for weak personnel in high-ranking positions are obvious.

“Of course, they are far from being the best candidates for leadership positions. The main thing now is loyalty to Lukashenka, and qualifications, experience, knowledge, professionalism come second. I remember our acquaintance with Lukashenka in the first days of his presidency. We had a conversation, and I asked him: why are there such people around you? He replied: I understand that, I am in search. And Lukashenka named a candidate for one of the posts. This did not characterize him in the best way. Since then, the trend has continued,” said Hancharyk.

It only got worse.

“I didn’t like some of the nominees in the Mahiliou region (I will not give names), who, in general, did not show themselves at the level of deputy prime ministers, but became prime ministers,” Hancharyk said.

But in the first stage of Lukashenka’s presidency there happened high-ranking officials who were able to publicly express their point of view.

“I remember, after sharp criticism of Lukashenka, one of the deputy prime ministers stood up and said: if my work does not satisfy you, I can resign. Then Lukashenka took a break, went to think, and when he returned, he said: work,” Hancharyk said.

Why are there no such officials now?

“Because they are not nominated for leadership positions anymore. The system requires: do not show initiative, listen to the command - and you will be in demand. And the fact that there is no development in the country is a secondary matter for the regime. This is what we have come to,” Hancharyk said.

“There are not personalities, but dummies in power now”

Former chairman of the National Bank Stanislau Bahdankevich, who also spoke with Lukashenka in the 90s, noted that he does not see a big difference between the level of the dictator's entourage in the past and today.

“Well, maybe now he is surrounded by sycophants to a slightly greater extent. Unless at the very early stage, when I was still working as the head of the National Bank, when the Lukashenka regime had not yet settled down, officials at meetings could express their point of view. Now, of course, there is no such thing: everyone looks into his mouth and agrees, ” Bahdankevich said.

He spoke of an incident that surprised him recently.

“I was watching the fragments of Lavrov's meeting with the head and the foreign minister of Belarus. Lukashenka says: we need to intensify our relations with the Russian Federation. And Makei writes it down! There are no longer personalities in power, but dummies,” Bahdankevich said.

The former chairman of the National Bank cannot take such behavior of officials as the norm, although one could get used to it for a long time.

“Lukashenka does not take any independent person into his team. These are figures who defend not the interests of the country, but their feudal lord. Now it has come to the point that the country is firing and they are punishing people who are not just against Lukashenka, but simply advocate for the observance of the law. But I think these are the last breaths of the dictatorship,” Bahdankevich said.

Prime Minister Raman Halouchanka, Head of the Presidential Administration Ihar Siarheyenka, Chairperson of the Upper House of Parliament Natallia Kachanava - does the former head of the National Bank consider them to be strong managers?

“I can't say anything about Halouchanka: he hasn't shown himself yet. Others are extremely weak leaders. Yes, they are devotees, but by their devotion they may harm their feudal lord. There should be a critical understanding of the ongoing processes, and not just assent,” Bahdankevich believes.

However, in his opinion, the loyalty of Lukashenka's officials has “certain limits.”

“If our officials felt that Putin did not support Lukashenka, they would quickly turn away from him,” Bahdankevich believes.