Uladzimir Matskevich: The regime can no longer control the situation in the country

Aliaksei Yurych, EuroBelarus Information Service

The authorities are unable to prolong the social contract with the people: there is no way out of the social crisis.

On March 25, or Freedom Day, the Belarusan regime repeated a seven-year-old scenario: over a thousand residents, including passers-by, were arrested in the capital; pensioners and people barely of age were also counted as “militants”. Violent beatings have become the norm for the Belarusan authorities. And the number police in modern “spacesuits” and armed with the latest European weapons surpassed the number of protesters perhaps several times.

Did the the display of power scare people? And most importantly: what is next?

Uladzimir Matskevich, philosopher and methodologist answered the questions of the EuroBelarus Information Service:

— Freedom Day became the logical completion of all actions of the Belarusan regime aimed at preventing any kind of protest.

The Minsk city executive committee disrupted the plans for Freedom Day, violating the lawful procedure for holding mass actions: the response to the application was not given five days prior the start of the rally, but the night before. The applicants had neither time nor opportunity to notify people of the change in location and starting time of the protest; The applicants reasonably withdrew the application because they could not ensure compliance with the requirements of the city executive committee. Accordingly, the committee announced all the protests that could be held on March 25 in Minsk, illegal.

The number of riot police was unprecedented and it many times exceeded the number of people who decided to come to the action despite the lack of authorization.

The media stirred up the atmosphere of fear, adjusting actual events to a virtual reality (the detection of fake “militants”, replicas of weapons instead of weapons), to the image that has been already created.

And then we saw a staged performance.

— What was the cause for such an inadequate display of power?

— The authorities are unable to prolong the social contract with the people: there is no way out of the social crisis. Thus, it is of utmost importance for the authorities to make the connection of social protest with political demands impossible. Therefore, all the political activists were eliminated: some were put in jail, others isolated, some simply “disappeared” or were found in hospital. And all actions of the people are declared illegal.

The authorities seem to be in an extremely complex and contradictory situation: they do not see any way out of the economic and social crisis, except for receiving new loans that will be spent not on the development of the country and the economy, but on maintaining the minimum level of the social contract. At the same time, the reluctance to make political concessions and reforms makes the regime a hostage to its own actions.

— Why did the Belarusan law enforcement agencies decide to simply repeat the 2010 scenario?

— In light of the recent events, it is reasonable to qualify the Belarusan regime not as a political one, but as an organized criminal group that usurped all branches of power and accumulated such a military bloc in the country that is probably big enough to reflect foreign aggression, but which is completely surplus for the domestic consumption.

— The authorities did not eliminate the root of social protests — the economic crisis, and it did not even set such a goal. Moreover, it set people against the state even more. What is the possible scenario for future events?

— It is impossible to say how the situation will develop, because there is not a single political force left in the country that can suggest a way out of the crisis today. Speculations about reforms will no longer satisfy people, same as the abstract arguments of Lukashenko about the correctly chosen policy.

It is a stalemate. It is necessary to create a real political force that is adequate to the current situation. But it is hampered not only by the authorities, but by the remnants of the defeated opposition unable to act in the current situation as well. These are main obstacles to the formation of a new political force.

What should be done to get rid of these obstacles? Elimination of the current political system is the priority. And to create a force able to bring down the regime, it is necessary to conduct a series of very tough, serious reforms in the opposition structures and civil society and to connect them with all the apolitical forces that still have sufficient authority in the Belarusan society.

We are facing the need to create a powerful opposition in the country.