Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya: ‘We want another country’
Experts – on the prospects for the development of events in Belarus
The “People’s ultimatum to Alexander Lukashenko” announced by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is both a risky and extremely necessary step for an opposition politician. Experts interviewed by the Russian service of the Voice of America are inclined to this conclusion..
It should be reminded that, as regional media reported on October 13, presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya gave the regime 13 days to fulfill “three mandatory requirements”: “1. Lukashenka must announce his resignation. 2. Street violence must stop completely. 3. All political prisoners must be released “.
Otherwise, a general strike should begin in the country from October 26.
Yaroslav Romanchuk: “Tikhanovskaya put her reputation on the line”
Head of the Mises Research Center Yaroslav Romanchuk in a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America, he noted that Lukashenka is attacking again today with the support of Moscow. In his opinion, in the conditions of total control over the vertical of power and power structures, it is all the more important for the Belarusian society to consolidate around Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as a national leader..
“This is actually a very serious test for her,” he said. – Tikhanovskaya put her reputation on the line. And if nothing happens in 13 days, there is no rise in protests, we can assume that Lukashenka won this round of struggle. This is undoubtedly a risky move. “.
At this stage, the confrontation has entered a decisive phase, believes Yaroslav Romanchuk: “It has been going on for more than 70 days. For any society, this is a lot, this is a test of strength. It’s hard to say what will happen next. Of course, people are tired. And they should see some kind of exit strategy from the confrontation. If no radical changes take place before October 25, then there will be a strike. If it is not there, the protest will begin to deflate “.
The main thing that Lukashenka wants is to split the protest, the head of the Mises Research Center is convinced: “He doesn’t talk to Tikhanovskaya and the members of the Coordination Council, but talks to Babarika, who is dependent on the president. Thus, he is trying to show that he communicates with his opponents for the sake of stability in Belarus. And the tightening is aimed at another category of people who have “radicalized”. He shows that he will go to the end here. So these are different parts of the same scenario and all for the sake of preserving power, ”summed up Yaroslav Romanchuk.
At the same time, he has not yet noticed panic in Lukashenka’s actions. It seems to him that panic will come when Lukashenka discovers a split in the camp of the security forces or an Italian strike of officials.
Leonid Gozman: “This is an all-in game”
Russian opposition politician Leonid Gozman I agree that this is a risky move on the part of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. In his opinion, this is a game of all-in.
“Of course, Tikhanovskaya is in a very difficult position,” he added in a commentary to the Voice of America. – The members of the Coordination Council are in prison, like her husband. She is in Lithuania and has to take risks. However, this step is not only very risky, but also correct, from my point of view. “.
Because it is necessary to go beyond the circle along which events are developing, explained Leonid Gozman: “There are endless marches -“ March of pensioners ”,“ March of doctors ”,“ March of pride ”… It all goes in a circle and it is necessary to somehow change the status. quo. In addition, no matter how courageous and heroic Belarusians are, a certain fatigue in the ranks of the protesters is inevitable. And Tikhanovskaya, with her ultimatum, gives a new impetus to everything that happens “.
Moreover, it gives impetus to both the protesters and the authorities, the politician says: “The authorities will also prepare for this day. And she will be stupid to prepare, like everything she does. Accordingly, the authorities will themselves, by their actions, agitate for the continuation of the protest. And Lukashenka will work for the protest. He just doesn’t have good moves “.
Of course, Lukashenka is not going to fulfill the requirements of the ultimatum, Leonid Gozman stressed. As it seems to him, Tikhanovskaya herself probably understands this: “So the struggle is entering a decisive phase. Yes, the protesters have not yet been able to overthrow Lukashenka by peaceful means. But the president cannot rule the country either. Governing a country requires a certain level of consent from the subjects. In Belarus, Lukashenka is quite rightly considered a usurper and a bandit who deceived him and seized the presidential palace. In such a situation, it is impossible to govern the country “.
In the end, Putin may come to understand a simple thing that it is easier to change Lukashenka for someone else, concluded Leonid Gozman.