Socioeconomic Factors And the Belarusian Protests

How a Class-based Societal Analysis Is Guiding Belarus’s Repression of Dissent

9 November 2021

As the first part of the analysis focused on the socioeconomic factors that made the August 2020 Belarusian protests possible in the first place, this second part will tackle how those same factors structured last year’s demonstrations, and how they underpin the design of the authorities’ ‘normalisation’ (or rather, repressive) strategy.

Indeed, the Belarusian socioeconomic factors structured the geographical and chronological characteristics of the demonstrations.

Right after the publication of the official electoral results, protests erupted across the whole country. Most of them were assembled in Minsk, yet it should be noted that more than a fifth of the entire Belarusian population lives in the capital. The distribution of the protests is also coherent with the regional distribution of dissent previously analysed, and it is also coherent with the distribution of the population.

The only apparent exception is an underrepresentation of the Minsk region. Yet, this divergence could be explained by the fact that most of the population of the region concentrates around the capital city and might have found it more convenient and politically impactful to directly join the demonstrations in Minsk.

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German Carboni

A researcher interested in Post-Soviet affairs and energy policies. He holds degrees from the College of Europe, Jagiellonian University and the University of Padova. He is a regular contributor for outlets such as New Eastern Europe and Osservatorio Russia.

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