Belarusian authorities are afraid of the events in Ukraine and try to conceal them.
Official media in Belarus are trying to give as less attention as possible to the events in Ukraine. Government’s information agency BelTA did not, for example, report that president Viktor Yanukovych offered one of the opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk the position of prime minister. In the news of the pro-government agency most often quoted is the position of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine, that is why Belarusians can learn that “among the participants of the protests there are lots of criminals” or that “armed battle squads of opposition attack police”.
Other state-controlled media report on the events in Ukraine in the same vein. TV makes Kiev a secondary topic, and the information from there is given at the end of information pieces, Gazeta Wyborcza reports.
However, the effort that is put into concealing the nature of the Ukrainian uprising from the public opinion proves that the authorities realize Maydan’s significance and are afraid of it. Minsk makes conclusions of the events in Ukraine.
“During mass protests the path from a law abiding citizen to a criminal is extremely short. It all starts with small steps: first a person wants to express his/her opinion where he/she is not supposed to. Then comes out in the streets, “accidentally blocking the traffic. Sets a tent in the city center and makes a bonfire to warm up. And then bows down for a stone to throw it into those, who impede their protesting… Thus we start dealing not with “a radical protester”, but a regular criminal… In order to prevent that, law enforcement agencies should act with maximum brutality”, - Saturday’s issue of Lukashenka administration’s Soviet Belorussia newspaper reads.
Earlier Aliaksandr Lukashenka called the events in Ukraine a tragedy and nightmare. He also claimed that Belarus, like Russia, supported president Viktor Yanukovych.
At the same time in independent Belarusian media Maydan has been the number one topic since the very beginning. Most editorial offices sent their reporters to Kiev. In addition to that opposition party leaders visited Maydan and expressed solidarity.
- Maydan’s victory would mean that Ukraine goes to Europe, which would intensify pro-European tendencies in Belarus. At the same time, its defeat would mean getting closer to Moscow, and for us – the strengthening of Kremlin’s pressure. That is why we support Maydan, - one of BPF party leaders Ryhor Kastusiou said.