My uncle Pasha, who is already well over 80, in the Russian Novozybkov, where almost every resident speaks fluently in three Slavic languages at once, in these troubled days came both close and rather distant relatives from Gomel.
From a conversation with my uncle on the phone, I realized that there are four or five of them at once, or even more. Everyone voted for the "dad", as they say: "He did it, let him take the rap." The audience is mostly elderly, they came not only to see, but also to buy something in the city, which still lives on a fair amount of "Chernobyl" feeding.
But this does not prevent Novozybkov, which is rightly called a Slavic crossroads, to remain very cheap. This is a real hinterland, albeit a regional center. Well, in the neighboring Belarusian regional center it is now quite calm, relatives assure that even at Gomselmash they do not get too much buzz. Behind the fences of the plant, at least, Uncle Pasha's relatives did not notice anything special.
But trading in Gomel has been difficult for several weeks now: even the markets work through the stump of a deck. Stores - even more so. But once, back in the Soviet Union, we more than once stayed with one of the "uncles" - in a cozy and unthinkably green Gomel from April to October.
This is if it happened to go to the rich markets there for food. Or go shopping in department stores with very good products from the Baltics and Poland - sometimes better than in the "Polish Fashion" in Moscow in the prestigious Southwest.
Their children grew up a long time ago and "branched off" in all directions, but most of them stay in Belarus with their families. It's no secret that for many years Belarusian citizenship has been a guarantee of stability for those who have it, albeit a modest one. Financial, social and, by and large, political. Unless, of course, you loudly campaigned against the local “father of the people”.
Anyone who, over the long years of Alexander Grigorievich's rule, managed to visit the "union" republic, be sure to compare it not only with Europe, but also with an exemplary collective farm. Here and widespread cleanliness, and always worked and everything like clockwork. And the offices are different, and trade, and museums with libraries, and cafe-restaurants, painfully reminiscent of old shtetl.
But after all, exemplary collective farms were no worse than "father's" in Soviet times, and even now one has only to look into Pavel Grudinin's farm in Vidnoye. It is difficult to say whether at least some of these guarantees remain for ordinary Belarusians today.
The winner of the election is not the first day repeating as a mantra: "work", but he himself constantly calls to Moscow, and then suddenly announced that he was ready to kneel. At BelAZ, they heeded and resumed work, at two more enterprises workers began negotiations with the management.
Relatives believe that others will soon change their minds. You can't play endlessly in the revolution. And then, God forbid, and the partisans will have to leave. "If only there was no war." Many of those for whom these are not empty words are still alive.
Lukashenka's team lost the information war long before the elections, although no one on the other side of the barricades preferred not to notice. The president of the country, which has always been almost Russia's only ally, has long turned the Russian press, even the official one, into almost one of his worst enemies.
Again, almost. It took very little to turn to face him. For a start - at least a little truth. But it is well known that the hardest thing to be honest is with yourself. Although it may not be too late to face the truth?
The people in Belarus have long been accustomed to the fact that any media is something "outside the brackets" or, if you like, even behind the TV screen. Most of the young have been wandering the networks for several years already, since they have always been in the country with them and everything was in order. And it was from the networks that the general public was literally bombarded with carefully sorted and structured information.
Now the turbid stream has grown not several times, but hundreds and thousands of times. TV was also connected, world-wide, of course, which many could withstand, for example, on a command from Moscow, but it seems they are not thirsty. Russia, it seems, like Gorchakov under Alexander II, "is not angry, but concentrated."
Although some kind of support for Lukashenka, more precisely, denials about the nationwide protest, if they do come, then, as a rule, from independent networkers. So, two Russian bloggers at once caught not just anyone, but the BBC itself, the world broadcaster, in an outright fraud.
Nowadays, even such frames may well turn out to be masterfully edited.
Dmitry Borisenko from the BBC staff immediately appreciated the true scale of the nationwide protest:
“I never thought that I would say thank you to the BBC for showing the footage showing the worthlessness of the protest in Minsk. I have said many times that all the pictures from the protests in Belarus are just well-chosen angles and plots. These are PR technologies. "
A Petersburger, but in spirit, it seems, is a real Leningrader, Borisenko was simply glad. The channel's commercials can hardly count more than a few hundred participants, and it is perfectly clear that because of the demonstration, it was not even necessary to block the street. And here is how blogger Vadim Rodchenko from Belgorod, who filmed crowds of thousands from a drone, commented on the BBS's puncture:
“… In Minsk on Pushkinskaya. And these people shout that "the whole Minsk has left"? Citizens, I have been filming mass actions with a drone for 10 years now. For the city of Minsk with two million inhabitants, this is nothing at all. Five thousand, and it will not be typed. "
And what's ahead ...
While Belarus and Belarusians are ahead - like a fog. The Belarusian president himself, one way or another, but at the moment officially legally elected, if not for the fourth or fifth time, but even for the thirty-fifth time, also avoids specifics. Someone thinks that he scares someone with calls to Moscow, but why is no one afraid?
Lukashenko demonstrates confidence that he will indeed receive from Moscow "comprehensive assistance to ensure the security of the Republic of Belarus." At the first request! However, didn't he confuse Belarus with Crimea? And didn't you squander all Russian patience?
It is hardly a secret for him that a denser alliance with Russia within the framework of the Union State in Belarus is by no means 100 percent. And not even 80, who, I do not exclude this, could vote for him. Previously, it was necessary to integrate - now they would sit with a Russian guarantor in a decorative presidential chair.
However, this already does not seem like a joke. Of course, they would not sit together, but in turns. And the Union State would still be better off, no matter in what form. And people are calmer, although Russia has been frightening them for too long. But hundreds of officials from the "union" apparatus will do less harm than good.
So far, the situation with other integration structures is a little better. By the way, they have much more experience in self-rescue. Let's start with the CSTO, which the Belarusian leader decided to refer to. The CSTO forces, in fact, should intervene only in the event of direct aggression, but is this really important now?
The generals will definitely not want to dissolve this office, although they are rarely asked. But there are too many common interests of all its participants, even with the damaged “Belarusian a tank". And the parallels with Crimea, where Russians were really expected, and even more so with Syria on the Belarusian occasion, are completely inappropriate.
Crimea (this is for the forgetful) then really waited for a completely different occupation, because in the Donbass the blooming Natsiks had already killed "ours", and Odessa did not happen out of the blue. And by the time the Russians arrived, Syria was completely burning in the war. It makes no sense for Russia to save the regime if it is really rotten, but the economy, which worked so smoothly, largely at the expense of Russia, would be worth saving.
But not with tanks. What is called - do not make an enemy out of a Belarusian. That is why there are good chances to keep afloat not only the CSTO, but also the EAEU, which, in fact, is still not far from the expanded version of the Customs Union.
Under the sanctions, which now can only be expected both in relation to Belarus, even if the "father" is moved, and to the address of Russia. But what about without her? This is where the Customs Union comes in handy - a bypass path that will help you remember both the Belarusian shrimp and the Belarusian sea.
By the way, Moscow would not forget about our Kaliningrad enclave, which these “friends of Belarusians” from Poland and Lithuania are literally eager to drive into a blockade, in the bustle with the supreme power of a neighbor.
Remember, six or seven years ago we told Ukrainians about the alternative to the EU - the EAEU. They did not understand. Hopefully, the Belarusians will be more understanding. It is in Moscow that we understand that the flight from the EAEU to the EU is a complete absurdity. Given the current dependence of Minsk on Moscow. And the Gomel relatives understand this perfectly well, I know.
After leaving the EAEU, the economy of Belarus will last no more than a month. The oppositionists are now giving Lukashenka the same amount. But the border with Russia will not be closed for him, but for those who instead of him or after, access to the Russian market may be blocked immediately. And they can ask for debts too. Nobody even in the West and even in fake the news will not give a hint about anti-Russian or pro-Western slogans. Everyone is tired of only personally the former chairman of the former leading collective farm.
But Moscow, without belching and hiccups, swallowed the changes in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, and they did not drop out of the EAEU. So it would be with Minsk if something happens. It will come in handy in any scenario. It's still worth learning from mistakes with Kiev. How to return the Belarusians, and not the official Republic of Belarus, into the Russian embrace is another task. For political strategists who have been working with the CSTO and the Union State for many years, this is hardly solvable.
There is, however, some hope that there are still bright minds in the structures of the EAEU, because they kept Armenia from escaping with the oppositionist in the prime minister's chair.