So here we go again.
The regimes of Russia and Belarus tend to look more and more like twins, identical twins.
Political activists are arrested under a “hooligan” label? Been there, done that. The laws for demonstrations and associations are tightened? Same o’, same o’. Politicised trials for flash mobs in churches and teddy bears dropped out of planes? C’mon, tell me something new.
A Russian friend put it very nicely: She could have been very optimistic about all the protests and anger that rises in Russia, if she didn’t know the situation in Belarus so well.
The Belarusian and Russian leadership are acting as if there were no moral laws, no neighbouring countries, no international agreements and – no tomorrow. For this reason, domestic policy can lie solely in the hands of the elected heads of state and their clique. The majority, minority, the dissidents and well-wishing international organisations can be disregarded.
The Pussy Riot case showed it very clearly. For Putin not just a handful of opposition leaders, but any citizen with a critical and active political stand is a thorn, even if not an immediate threat to his power. And yes, he himself is not a pussy.
That’s exactly what happened in Belarus in the last decade. First the opposition politicians were silenced, now everyone should go into ostrich mode.
Here let’s not forget that a triplet twin is on the way. Kyiv gets less media attention but cultivates the same tendencies.
It is impressive enough to see modern leaders acting to the disadvantage of their country to conserve the status quo and consolidate their power.
And it works well.
There are stars and VIPs supporting Russian activists and unfortunate punks, EU regularly pulling in and out its ambassadors from Belarus, European leaders pronouncing threats to sports events in Ukraine. To no avail. Moscow, Minsk and Kyiv couldn’t care less.
With the bottom line here being general apathy and frustration in the societies.
The possibility for the united democracies of European Union to face the united autocracies of the Eurasian Union is getting higher.
Are you scared? Then act today.