• The Belarusian authorities are raising another wave of attention to historical memory.

  • Lukashenka does not offer society a bright future, there is none, there are only threats on the horizon.

    He calls to preserve what is.

  • Now, in the eyes of the world, Belarus is a cruel tyranny with a failing economy and dubious sovereignty.

  • And this is where the historical past should become a psychological support.

    Because there are simply no other narratives.

The Belarusian authorities are raising another wave of attention to historical memory.

On February 1, the seventh meeting of the Republican Council on Historical Policy under the Presidential Administration was held.

It was headed by the head of the Administration Igor Sergeenko.

It was held on the basis of the National Academy of Sciences.

Seven meetings per year.

Last year 2022 was declared the year of historical memory.

It was emphasized that in the state media "historical memory ran through the red thread", which allowed "to consistently form our citizens' interest in the given events of the national history".

That is, a noisy political propaganda campaign has been launched around this topic.

From the outside, it all looks strange, like a surreal bureaucratic burden, as if these people live in some parallel world of their own.

Why are the authorities sure that if they tell the population the "truth" about the historical past, first of all, about the "Great Patriotic War", then the people will love Lukashenka?

However, from another point of view, such attention to history has a certain political logic.

The fact is that, in addition to terror and fear-mongering, society needs to be offered some kind of ideology, at least its surrogate.

And there is nothing to offer.

The authorities have no future narrative.

From the word "at all".

Russian pro-government political scientist Fyodor Lukyanov, evaluating the meaning of state propaganda, wrote: "It turns out that the "image of the future" of Belarusians is reduced to the image of an unchanging president who vows never to hand over power to "despicable people".

In general, if you listen carefully to what Lukashenka says to his officials, his message is quite simple.

He claims that the situation in the country is fragile, everything is uncertain, independence is under threat, we can be swept away, trampled, strangled by external and internal enemies, so we need to unite, rally, strengthen discipline in order to survive.

That is, the issue of survival is on the agenda, not development.

This is the "achievement" that the country came to as a result of the 29-year rule of one person.

Lukashenka does not offer society a bright future, there is none, there are only threats on the horizon.

For the last year, he has been constantly scaring the people with war.

Lukashenko calls to preserve what is.

Because if he himself is not there, it will get worse.

Instead of positive motivation, negative motivation is offered.

That is, Lukashenka himself, perhaps without realizing it, is scaring the people with the future, everything is scary there.

And how to live without hope, what will calm the heart?

It is necessary to fill the ideological void with something, to create some positive content, everything cannot be reduced to fighting enemies.

And here the psychological support should be the historical past: the victory in the war against fascism, the genocide of the Belarusian people, Soviet narratives, a common historical destiny with Russia.

The past must replace the future.

That is, it is suggested to go into the future, turning your head back.

And move backwards and forwards.

Do you remember how it all started?

At the beginning of his rule, Lukashenka rejected the path of democratic transformation of the communist system followed by other socialist countries, and proposed an alternative project.

It was named "Belarusian model of development".

This project was based on the illusion that it is possible to ensure development without democratic transformation by preserving the main elements of the Soviet past.

State propagandists presented Belarus as the "economic tiger of Eastern Europe."

All left-wing and anti-Western forces in the post-Soviet space, in the region of Eastern Europe, were oriented towards this project in one way or another.

A myth was created that Lukashenka built a society without the rich.

He himself was a great enthusiast of his model, which contributed to the appearance of a messianic complex in him.

Here's what he said then:

Sometimes, by fate, by the situation, Belarus was singled out for a probably great role as the spiritual leader of the Eastern European civilization

" (2003);


All the people envy us, even in distant Tajikistan they pray for Belarus"



Belarusian development model is approved in the USA today, and many are adopting it"


And where did it all go?

The crisis started with the economy.

Since 2010, the economic growth rate has been about 1% per year.

Translated into an understandable language, growth stopped, a long period of stagnation began.

Collective farm "10 years without harvest".

The protest explosion of 2020 destroyed the myth about the happy Belarusian people who live and do not get tired of their "people's president".

This whole ideological bubble burst.

Now, in the eyes of the world, Belarus is a cruel tyranny with a falling economy, with dubious sovereignty, with a dictator who has been holding on to the seat of power for 29 years with "blue fingers".

This is a country from which people are fleeing en masse.

The country, which has become a destabilizer of regional security, creates various threats to its neighbors - military, migration, humanitarian.

Therefore, all that remains is to be proud of the past, to try to switch society to a historical agenda.

And to what extent it works, gives an effect, such a question does not even arise.

Because there are simply no other options.

The opinions expressed in the blogs represent the views of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editors.

  • Valer Karbalevich

    He was born in 1955.

    Graduated from the history faculty of BSU, candidate of historical sciences, associate professor.

    Radio Svaboda political commentator.