For purely economic, it would seem that the quarrel between Moscow and Minsk carefully prepared the ideological base. For several years the Belarusian authorities seem to tacitly encourage the spread of so-called identity Litvinsky directly aimed at the opposition of the “Russian world”. How well do they do it?
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, speaking yesterday on the TV channel Delfi.tv touched upon the recently intensified Russian-Belarusian relations. In his opinion, the supporters of independence from Russia and sovereignty of Belarus are going through a difficult stage and time to defend the sovereignty, Alexander Lukashenko “less”.
“People are trying to sculpt this story, in which the on served in the anti-Russian interpretation”
He reminded that Minsk did not recognize the reunification of Crimea with Russia, considering this step as “an element of autonomy,” and advised the Belarusians closer to “European thinking, the threads of cooperation and dialogue with the EU”.
Also, the previous writer Pavel Volkov noted in his column in the newspaper VIEW that Lukashenko began to ideologically draw the concept “Belarus is not Russia” back in 2014, fearing the Crimean events. “It’s hard to argue that 2014 was a turning point revitalizing the “old Lithuanians”, but not start,” wrote Volkov, adding that struggled consistently in the 90-ies with the “Banderitsa” Belarus Lukashenka at some point, in fact it was headed. In may of that year, the official youth organization “Belarusian Republican youth Union” has banned the use of St. George ribbons during the celebration of 9 May. In June in Vitebsk, unveiled a monument to the Lithuanian Prince Olgerd, who has successfully fought with Moscow. There was also the promise and the monument to the Lithuanian Prince Mindaugas. In July, the Day of independence, Lukashenko for the first time in history gave a speech in the Belarusian language.
The concept “Belarus is not Russia” is mainly based on the ideology of the so-called litvinstva. As noted last year, the website “Agitprop”, this once-marginal for gradually making its way to the tops of the Belarusian authorities. For example, the head of the radio and television of Belarus Gennady Davydko (responsible for propaganda) openly calls himself a Lithuanian.
Recall, the Lithuanians in Belarus consider themselves heirs of the Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), the very same on – European government, which was forced to coexist “with the wild and barbarous Russia.” The collapse is still on, according to this concept, deprived the Belarusians a European future, so we need to revive the ideology and identity on and turn Belarus to the West.
It’s not ideology, and property in the
Researcher, Center for socio-philosophical and anthropological studies at the Institute of philosophy of NAS of Belarus Piotr Petrovsky believes that the historical controversy can be used as a cover for business and economic contradictions between Moscow and Minsk.
“In Belarus, 70% of ownership – state. In Russia there are plenty of large private owners. In this regard, some owners, despite the will of the Kremlin, claim to property in Belarus. Belarus opposes this program that may conflict with the plans of Gazprom, Rosneft. These contradictions lead to the fact that we can’t understand each other. But ideology is a bargaining chip,” he believes.
Modern Belarusian elite bases its ideology in continuity with the Byelorussian SSR, so the idea of litvinstva implanted rather to feed the West, he said. “Litvinstvo is primarily Russophobic ideology, the ideology of the opposition of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Russian history. But there are certain groups financed by the West. Their actions are intended to separate the history of the Lithuanian Rus ‘ from Russian history and to use this mechanism in the current political environment to counter the Belarusian and the Russian people,” – said Petrovsky newspaper VIEW.
According to Petrovsky, the majority of Belarusians knows on – this is Lithuanian Rus, part of an all-Russian space, which was developed separately after the Mongol-Tatar invasion. “Livinstone is 10-15%, according to Western polls. And according to surveys “Eurasian monitor”, supporters of Eurasian integration remains more than 70% of Belarusians,” – said the expert.
The ideology of a bunch of misfits
“I’d seen on one of the failed development models of Russian statehood. This political education failed to gather around him other Russian lands, began the crises and contradictions. More successful were the Muscovy,” – said in turn the newspaper VIEW senior fellow at the Institute of philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus Alexei Jerman.
Ideology litvinstva, said Jerman, was used by collaborators during the Second world war. “But these views are so radical to the Belarusian society that to any widespread they have no chance. It is the views of marginalized groups. Although, of course, they are trying to sculpt this story, in which the on served in the anti-Russian interpretation,” acknowledged the analyst.
The historian assured that at the state level will not be a serious promotion of the historical event, such as the battle of Orsha in 1514, in which, as you know, fought the troops of the Moscow Principality and on. “The nationalist citizens organize some celebration, but there is going to a few dozen people. These concepts are promoted through social networks”, – summed up Jermont.
“History is filled with wars. But to conclude from this that Belarus and Russia were constantly in conflict at the time, and transmit it to the present – this is political manipulation, it is created with the aim to sow the seeds of hatred,” he said.
Russian political analyst Alexei Martynov called realistic scenario, in which Lukashenka will try to bring his quarrel with Moscow as the ideological basis and begin to build a parallel identity on the basis of memories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
“We have never heard of such theses from his mouth. But the discourse in Belarus sounds, is published in the relevant literature. Understanding the device mode, we can assume that this happens with the tacit consent of the authorities,” – said Martynov newspaper VIEW.
Lukashenko risks play too “crafty crest”
He noted that the detainees in December in Minsk the journalists were writing analytical materials, including on this issue. “In our information space directly unpopular to talk about these trends because we are very cautious about our integration relations. But this does not mean that it is not. In the expert community it has long been a cause for serious anxiety”, – he said.
Martynov also sure that the vast majority in the Belarusian society against such tendencies, which could come back to haunt Lukashenka in the next elections, “if he is willing to adhere to the lawful electoral procedures.” And if you are not ready, the consequences will also be hard.
Such allusions, such a methodology blackmail is strongly reminiscent of Russian-Ukrainian relations a decade ago, says Martynov, also began with such glances, some myths about “great Ukrainians”, and ended the coup.
“Lukashenko observed by a neighbor, as it happened. The fate of Yanukovych in the end, is unenviable. I’m not talking about the tragedy, which plunged the Ukrainian people at the hands of their leaders. How doesn’t understand that Lukashenka is a mystery. When Yanukovych was playing a game between Russia and the West, thought he was “cunning to the crest”. What happened in Ukraine could become a serious grafting for the same Lukashenko, but apparently it was not so””, – said Martynov.