Belarusians’ views on the political crisis - Nov 2021

Results of a public opinion poll conducted between 1 and 10 November 2021.

Other resource Updated 25 January 2022 Published 20 January 2022 1 minute READ

Chatham House surveyed a total of 767 respondents between 1 and 10 November 2021. Our survey sample corresponds to the general structure of Belarus’s urban population and is adjusted by gender, age, education level and the size of respondents’ place of residence.

Summary

  • After Aliaksandr Lukashenka, the most well-known political figures in Belarus are the protest leaders: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Viktar Babaryka, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Valery Tsapkala, Marya Kalesnikava and Pavel Latushka.
  • Lukashenka and Babaryka have the highest popularity ratings among Belarus’s urban population. At the same time, Lukashenka has a high negative rating: half of the city residents surveyed say that they would never vote for him. Babaryka has one of the lowest negative ratings in the country.
  • The popularity ratings of pro-government politicians are low, and their negative ratings remain extremely high, although the latter have decreased slightly in comparison with July 2021. The popularity ratings of protest leaders are significantly higher than those of politicians who support the current government.
  • Trust in state and independent organizations is polarized along political lines. Thus, respondents classed as hardcore protesters do not trust state structures and do trust independent ones, while Lukashenka’s supporters hold the opposite positions.
  • Belarusians’ geopolitical orientations remain stable. The most widely preferred option for a geopolitical union is simultaneous integration with the EU and Russia.
  • Belarusians have become increasingly negative about the possibility that Russian airbases could be established on Belarusian territory (48 per cent in November 2021, compared to 39 per cent in July 2021).
  • Belarusians are now feeling more strongly that the situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened: in November, more than half were beginning to respond that Belarus is unable to cope with the spread of coronavirus.
  • Sanctions against Lukashenka and those around him are supported more widely than sanctions against state enterprises.
  • Belarusians feel there is acute social tension in their country: almost everyone surveyed states that social tension exists, while one in every five respondents considers the situation catastrophic. A perception that there is social tension is closely related to many factors, with the strongest of all being a sense of a lack of personal safety.
  • Only one-third of Belarusians are prepared to call the state built under Lukashenka their own. Most of the survey respondents do not trust this state to some degree, and do not believe that the state protects the interests of Belarusian citizens.

Download a presentation of the survey’s main findings

Belarusians’ views on the political crisis (PDF)

Взгляды белорусов на политический кризис (PDF)