Sunday 23 September 2018 | 15:22

Uladzimir Matskevich: Antibelarusian mood in Russia is a part of a trend, it will continue to grow

28.12.2016  |  Politics   |  Piotr Kuchta,  EuroBelarus
Uladzimir Matskevich: Antibelarusian mood in Russia is a part of a trend, it will continue to grow

So far the information attacks at Belarus may not be a thought out campaign, but they correspond to the "general policy of the Kremlin."

Right after the visit of Lukashenka in Russia a wave of harsh criticism appeared: Minsk was accused of connivance of possible Maidan, Belarus was called "less than a state" and Leanid Rashotnikau, the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), made a comment that the Belarusian language was created by a decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) in 1926 in Moscow. This incident has even caused a statement of protest from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - previously unimaginable action of the Belarusian diplomacy towards the nearest and the main ally.

Uladzimir Matskevich, philosopher and methodologist, noted in his interview with the "EuroBelarus" information service:

- Each nation consists of very different people. But some kind of national narratives are a real fact. That is, there are immutable provisions, which are not a subject to any criticism and which are not consciously comprehended.

Russian narrative regarding the Belarusians and Ukrainians began to emerge somewhere in the 17th century, at the time of the war campaigns with Moscow and the subsequent wars between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Muscovy. One of the fundamental properties of the Russian narrative is as follows: in the west there is a hostile Poland, where the Russian people are suffering under the Polish yoke.

When the Soviet Union broke up, the Russians were not prepared to see the Ukrainians and the Belarusians as independent nations. That’s why the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians is still a mysterious phenomenon for them.

This stereotype is such a basic property of the Russians that it can be traced at all times, including the most peaceful periods. As soon as there is a worsening, everything that can be a casus belli, a cause for a war, is made loud and public.

Therefore, I think that the statement of Rashotnikau in the current situation annoys Belarus a lot and becomes a cause for diplomatic reactions. Rashotnikau is not a journalist and not just an individual, he  is the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which, as we already know, developed the Crimea and Donbass scenarios as well as, I am sure, some other geopolitical adventures. Therefore Rashotnikau’s attacks are absolutely offensive for us.

- Is all of this a thought out policy of the Kremlin or an accidental expression of mood of the Russian society?

- There is no direct evidence or any grounds to say that it was a thought out Kremlin's scenario. However, I can’t imagine such thing to happen without the previous agreement with the Kremlin.

- How did Minsk take the blow?

- We can only make guesses about what is happening at the diplomatic level. Surikau , the Russian Ambassador to Belarus, condemned the activities of the arrested "Regnum" employees and the statement made by Rashotnikau. This can mean only one thing: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus gave a sharp response, thus Moscow was forced to make some, say, apologetic moves.

- Why did Minsk recognize these attacks?

- The Belarusian regime is now struggling to seize the mood of the Belarusian society, which is dominated by moods of national revival, identity, etc. The state wants to fill it with its own content and meaning. The authorities found themselves in a difficult situation after the Russian aggression against Ukraine: they have to say the exact opposite of what they were saying previously. Hence, the analysts' opinions about "inconsistent belarusization" appeared. However, the head of the state and the officials can’t avoid having national values in the discourse and narrative ​​.

- So far no improvement of the relations is expected as Russia has not yet reached agreement on placing its airbase in Belarus, and oil and gas disputes are not resolved.

- I believe such mood in Russia will grow so far as Belarus develops and gets stronger. But I also hope that there are sober-minded people in Russia and there will be disputes and discussions between them and the advocates of the "Russian World". I hope for the victory of common sense in these debates. But, I'm sure that unfortunately it will not happen in a long while.

- But we have zapadnorusisty, adherents of the Northwestern Krai idea to help this discourse.

- Zapadnorusisty were never prominent here.

Most of the organized zapadnorusisty in Belarus survive thanks to grants from Russia.

The majority of their texts now are a tedious read, a set of the same historical or pseudo-historical non-tenable facts. This movement still exists only because the Belarusian authorities turn a blind eye on it.

EuroBelarus’ reference:

Zapadnorusizm is a historical and ideological, scientific, socio-political, ethnic and religious and cultural movement, which arose in the Northwestern region (Krai) of the Russian Empire and which is based on the postulate that Belarus is an ethnic group of all-Russian people. Zapadnorusizm is analogues to the concept of “Little Russia” identity in the south-western provinces of the Russian Empire.

Other news section «Politics»

Statement of the BNP in connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the Belarus
Statement of the BNP in connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the Belarus
The Belarusan National Platform of the EaP CSF issued a statement in connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the Belarusan media and the detention of journalists.
Statement of the Belarusan EaP CSF National Platform on solidarity with the civil society of Armenia
Statement of the Belarusan EaP CSF National Platform on solidarity with the civil society of Armenia
The Belarusan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum issued a statement on solidarity with the civil society of Armenia.
"Vilnius Consultations": Key points and recommendations on the future of EU Eastern Partnership
"Vilnius Consultations": Key points and recommendations on the future of EU Eastern Partnership
On September 11, the inaugural „Vilnius Consultations“ conference was organized by Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis and Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
From farewell to a new Eastern policy and towards a new development
From farewell to a new Eastern policy and towards a new development
Poland and Germany were both initiators and drivers of a New Eastern policy linked to the Eastern neighborhood and Russia/Soviet Union.
Uladzimir Matskevich: The sooner the "Union State" is denounced, the better for Belarus
Uladzimir Matskevich: The sooner the "Union State" is denounced, the better for Belarus
Not only does the "Union State" undermine the establishment of civilized relations with Europe, but it hinders the possibility of normal relations between Belarus and Russia.
Uladzimir Matskevich: The regime can no longer control the situation in the country
Uladzimir Matskevich: The regime can no longer control the situation in the country
The authorities are unable to prolong the social contract with the people: there is no way out of the social crisis.
Press release in connection with the dialogue in the format of the EU-Belarus Coordination Group
Press release in connection with the dialogue in the format of the EU-Belarus Coordination Group
Belarusan National Platform of the EaP CSF welcomes the dialogue process in the format of the EU-Belarus Coordination Group, the third round of which was held in Minsk on 3-4 April 2017.
Statement of the BNP in connection with the events of March 25-26, 2017 in Minsk and other Belarusan
Statement of the BNP in connection with the events of March 25-26, 2017 in Minsk and other Belarusan
Belarusan National Platform of the EaP CSF issued a statement in connection with the events of March 25-26, 2017 in Minsk and other Belarusan cities.
Statement by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on mass repressions in Belarus
Statement by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on mass repressions in Belarus
The EaP CSF Steering Committee issued a statement on repressions against civil society activists and journalists in Belarus, in view of the demonstrations planned on 25 March 2017.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Belarus-Ukraine relations need to be re-established
Uladzimir Matskevich: Belarus-Ukraine relations need to be re-established
"Case of Zhadan" demonstrated that Belarus does not actually have a clear policy - neither domestic nor foreign.
Belarus
Belarus's Lukashenko alleges “fifth column” plot as unrest continues
Belarusan President Lukashenko said on Tuesday a “fifth column” was plotting to overthrow him with the help of foreign-backed fighters, days before a planned street protest in Minsk against a new tax.
In Belarus, a rising fear: Will we be the next Ukraine?
In Belarus, a rising fear: Will we be the next Ukraine?
The relationship between Russia and Belarus has never been an easy one.
Andrei Yahorau: European window of opportunity is slowly closing, relations take form of fatigue
Andrei Yahorau: European window of opportunity is slowly closing, relations take form of fatigue
The Belarusian regime is not able to pursue a truly multi-vector policy, and the EU cannot decide what it needs in the region on the whole and from Belarus in particular.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Today Belarus is in a very difficult situation
Uladzimir Matskevich: Today Belarus is in a very difficult situation
But even under the circumstances the authorities have various ways out.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Lukashenka does not disrupt Russian plans to annex Belarus
Uladzimir Matskevich: Lukashenka does not disrupt Russian plans to annex Belarus
But Lukashenka is afraid for his fate and position - he needs Belarus to be sovereign to fully exercise his power.
Andrei Yeliseyeu: Russia is taking drastic unconstructive steps  
Andrei Yeliseyeu: Russia is taking drastic unconstructive steps  
There should be no actual passport control for the Belarusians arriving in Russia within the framework of the existing Belarusian-Russian agreements.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Visa-free regime is not a political concession to the West
Uladzimir Matskevich: Visa-free regime is not a political concession to the West
It is a process of normalization of Belarus-EU relations. Belarus just fulfils its international commitments.
Andrei Yahorau: Belarusian regime is self-improving, the only threat so far is the economy crisis
Andrei Yahorau: Belarusian regime is self-improving, the only threat so far is the economy crisis
Political analyst emphasizes that Belarus is the first modern authoritarianism in the European space, a phenomenon not yet studied by anyone.
Andrei Parotnikau: Russia will return to the issue of an air base in Belarus
Andrei Parotnikau: Russia will return to the issue of an air base in Belarus
However the military base is only image-building for the Kremlin and has no practical use.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Antibelarusian mood in Russia is a part of a trend, it will continue to grow
Uladzimir Matskevich: Antibelarusian mood in Russia is a part of a trend, it will continue to grow
So far the information attacks at Belarus may not be a thought out campaign, but they correspond to the "general policy of the Kremlin."
Gintautas Mažeikis: The relation of political field and arena in the framework of information war

In his report, philosopher Gintautas Mažeikis discusses several concepts that have been a part of the European social and philosophical thought for quite a time.

"Vilnius Consultations": Key points and recommendations on the future of EU Eastern Partnership

On September 11, the inaugural „Vilnius Consultations“ conference was organized by Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis and Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Belarus's Lukashenko alleges “fifth column” plot as unrest continues

Belarusan President Lukashenko said on Tuesday a “fifth column” was plotting to overthrow him with the help of foreign-backed fighters, days before a planned street protest in Minsk against a new tax.

The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations

What results has the campaign "Agenda 50" given, what helps to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the regions?