The other day, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko held a meeting with local journalists, at which he handed them the "true" data of opinion polls, indicating that his "popular support" has not gone away. True, for some reason, the stamp “top secret” was on the documents presented to the press, but that was not the point ... It is much more interesting what, in reality, is the opinion of Alexander Grigoryevich of the inhabitants of his own country and other countries.
Hand on heart, one cannot fail to admit that in recent years Lukashenko has come a long way in this regard, exhaustively fitting into the saying: from the great to the ridiculous - one step. You must admit that the metamorphosis from the “last dictator of Europe” to the “cockroach” indicates not only the loss of a considerable share of sympathies, but much more. Frankly authoritarian methods of governing the country worried Belarusians quite a bit, while in this country reigned silence, expanse and God's grace. Believe me, I judge firsthand. I happened to be there more than once and communicate with a variety of people.
Against the background of operating enterprises, sown fields, clean streets, amazing roads, an almost complete absence of crime (at least in comparison with many post-Soviet countries), some lack of freedom seemed a secondary affair. It was not without reason that they called Lukashenko “father’s” - the image of a simple and strong, albeit severe, peasant created by him worked perfectly, being backed up by real affairs. Today, Alexander Grigorievich managed to make a lot of ill-wishers in his homeland who did not support him due to various reasons and motives.
Those Belarusians whose worldview is described by the song line “we are waiting for changes, changes” have always reacted negatively to the president, who “cemented” the country tightly, albeit in a state of stability. Now, citizens who saw their future in the Union State with Russia are also opposed to it (and, believe me, there are a lot of such people in Belarus). And at the same time - simply all the inhabitants of the country today who are in distress due to a sharp economic fall caused in the local case not only and not so much by the crisis due to the pandemic, but how torn apart between Lukashenko and Moscow.
A significant negative role was also played by the more than peculiar behavior of the leader of the state during the coronavirus epidemic. Denial of the obvious, stubborn reluctance to adopt world experience, a categorical refusal to enter quarantine. Moreover, the “father’s” periodically broadcast statements, on which almost the whole world laughed! So no wonder to lose the last vestiges of respect. It is difficult to say how real the 3% support that the local opposition "draws" for Lukashenko today is real, but 76% of the approval in the "secret" official poll is hardly true. I fully admit that many Belarusians will vote for him again, but solely for reasons like these: “No matter how worse it becomes ...” You won’t go far in such a rating.
What do they think about Lukashenko in Russia, which from time to time from old times he continues to call “fraternal”, while claiming the status of “sole ally”? But what could the leader of a country expect for a long time connected with us by the most friendly ties, but for some time now, in terms of the number of anti-Russian statements, it has come close to the politicians of Ukraine and Georgia? It smells like a new attempt to sit on several chairs ... And many Russians speak in this way about the "insidious father". The Kremlin, of course, is trying to abide by the protocol, etiquette and elementary decency, but it’s obviously more difficult for Russian politicians to do this, especially after some particularly “savory” attacks from Minsk.
With Ukraine it’s a bit more complicated. There, the attitude to Lukashenko is twofold: on the one hand, he is friends with Russia or, in any case, he does not openly quarrel. So, not your own. On the other hand, where would it be “cold” without Belarusian fuel and supplies of many more other things, with the help of which at least to some extent it is possible to circumvent Russian sanctions? Therefore, at the level of official Kiev, the attitude towards the “father’s” is emphasized even and neighborly. True, at the same time, local nationalists are sleeping and see how to “make money” in Minsk, teaching Belarusians to “bring down dictators”.
For the West, Alexander Grigoryevich, who has recently spent a lot of efforts to get closer to him or at least create the appearance of such a rapprochement, will forever remain that very “last dictator”, the embodiment of authoritarianism, totalitarianism and a living challenge to the “democratic values” so earnestly declared there. Moreover, by his actions Lukashenko, this time having organized a real pre-election pogrom in the camp of his own opponents, does not get tired to demonstrate “civilized” that all their prejudices about him are pure truth. An important component for the United States is to use Belarus as another springboard to “contain” Russia, the next version of Ukraine’s Maidan.
The countries of the European Union are relatively calm about the Belarusian leader exactly as long as he ensures stability on some of their eastern borders and does not flood their borders with crowds of migrant workers, like Ukraine. The United States is quietly gritting its teeth against “Minsk’s rights and freedoms violation”, but it is forced to put up with Lukashenko, trying to use it as another source, as already noted, of a headache and problems for Russia. However, as soon as in the West they see the opportunity to change the “dad” to a more convenient character (or characters), to support the next “color revolution” directed against Alexander Grigoryevich, all possible forces and resources will be thrown into this matter. He is not aware of this fact; it seems that he is the only one. Or is he still aware? ..