Armed conflict has continued in southeast Ukraine (the Donbas region) since April 2014, as the Ukrainian government launched a military operation against the two republics (Donetsk and Lugansk) that announced their secession after the coup in Kyiv that led to the overthrow of the government of President Viktor Yanukovych.
For years, the Polish public debate has been censored in order to promote the message that “There is no alternative to Capitalism”. At the present moment, Belarus, one of such alternatives, is being destroyed. Belarus, as a state, does not pose any threats to its neighbours. So, this situation is taking place because of the economic model realised by President Lukashenka – it may potentially be interesting for other countries, so it is perceived as a “bad example”. It shows that the enterprises can be used as a communal property; that it is possible to carry out egalitarian policies providing all citizens with minimum social benefits. For 26 years, Belarus has been ruining the beliefs dominating the minds of young Europeans – that is why the Capital wants to destroy it.
This narrative is promoting the idea that some external forces continue to destroy various non-Capitalist “alternatives” to the Capitalist system. In addition, this message distorts the presentation of the socio-economic situation in Belarus presenting this country as a highly developed Communist-style welfare state, while the Capitalist/EU countries face challenges such as unemployment and homelessness. The statements that Belarusian authorities implement “egalitarian policies” do not have anything in common with the real socio-economic situation in the country. One of the main reasons for the current protests in Belarus is the dramatic reduction in the level of life of the population, which has been taking place during recent years. At the present moment, Belarus is one of the poorest countries in Europe – it has a lower GDP per capita than any EU member state. Other socio-economic indicators also prove that Belarus has a substantially lower level of life than any other EU member state – life expectancy (74 – one of the lowest in Europe), minimal salary – 124 EUR (lowest in Europe), unemployment benefit – from 9 to 18 euros per month (a “symbolic” payment); average salary – 440 EUR. In terms of the “symbolic cost of municipal services”, the Belarusian authorities recognize that the population pays 83% of the market price of these services. Today, the population pays market price for all services with the exception of hot water and heating as for 2020). In terms of “free education”, 54% of the students of the Belarusian universities pay for their studies. For years, the “unique” economic model of Alyaksandar Lukashenka has been based on direct Russian subsidies – when Russia reduced the volume of these subsidies, the Lukashenka’s economic model started to collapse very fast.