Authorities respond heavily even to internet activity

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April 22, 2016 18:17

Authorities demonstrate their willingness to stop any unauthorized political activity among young people before the elections. Authorities’ response demonstrates a poor set of counteraction tools: instead using soft ‘information’ means, they resort to harsh power measures.

On August 30th, several youth activists, moderators in several groups in the Russian social network VKontakte were detained in Belarus. Unofficial reports say all in all, about 5 persons were detained.

Detention of youth activists at their homes by police means that the authorities are considering forceful physical resistance as the main tool, and discard the softer counter-propaganda information campaign against their opponents. In the summer of 2011 the government used both methods, and achieved its goals, killing off a youth protests’ wave.

It should be anticipated that before the end of the election campaign, the authorities will severely persecute for any political activity. In the media strict censorship will be enacted and speeches of some candidates calling for an elections boycott will not be broadcasted.

Such traditional behavior demonstrates both, the lack of state propaganda specialists and the general stiffness of the governmental system where decisions made by the country’s management do not receive adequate informational and ideological support. The most striking example occurred in July, when the so-called “teddy bears drop” was ignored by the confused state media.

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According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.

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