Andrej Vardamatski: Maidan’s victory will detonate changes in CIS
9:21, — Politics
The events in Ukraine will make a serious impact on the whole post-soviet space.
One of the research areas of the Belarusian Analytical Workshop (BAW) in Warsaw, which was presented in Poland’s capital, had among others been the topic “The influence of the Ukrainian events on the future of the CIS and Belarus in particular”. In the opinion of the project head, sociology professor of Warsaw University Andrej Vardamatski, the development of the situation in the post-soviet area is directly dependent on the outcomes of Maidan.
“Ukraine’s events are yet a process far from concluding, while we should assume to see the results not soon enough. That is why now we can only speak of the immediate reaction of the majority of society to the process itself. The reaction is that people are afraid of the instability that they see in Ukraine, - the sociologist said in an interview to Deutsche Welle. – At the current stage I would singe out three points of public opinion’s attitude to the situation in Maidan based on the 2013 study carried out in Belarus, but I would point out that the public in other CIS states perceives and assesses the events in Maidan in roughly the same way”.
The sociologist points out that “the level of being kept informed of the events is very high – up to 90 percent know that something very serious is taking place in Ukraine”.
“As to approval or disapproval of the protesters’ actions – it is divided roughly evenly. This is a classic example of a division in the society and at the same time speaks of a high level of formed public opinion, since the number of those, who did not define their attitude, is nor high, - Vardamatski explained. – The third point is a negative reaction to the high level of instability of the situation in Ukraine”.
The sociologist believes that if Maidan wins, then “the heady scent of freedom will spread out very fast in society and may serve as a very strong detonator for changes, which is what the regimes in post-soviet states are seriously afraid of”.
“Of course, it all depends on the specific correlation of forces in Ukraine at a specific moment, and it is not yet clear how this will end. But if changes are possible there, they will serve to the changes in behavior in post-soviet area both for the people opposing the government and the elites that now do not have financial and capital opportunities for self-realization in their countries. The elites, including Russian, will see new perspectives of the restructuring of the political field and will want to reproduce the scenario for changes”, - the Belarusian sociologist emphasizes, who is now compelled to live and work in Warsaw.
He calls Maidan an energetic point of breaking through the existing situation.
To the question whether the whole society in Belarus and other CIS countries would want changes the sociologist responded: “Two types of public reaction to the Maidan situation should be distinguished – at the stage of the process, immediate, negative, which I already mentioned, but also the reaction at the stage of the result. With the former we see that the society worries about the events in Ukraine and experiences psychological rejection of the difficulties shows on TV – street battles, loses on both sides, sufferings. People do not want that, that is why there is such a distant alert attitude. But when the result will be seen, the reaction – the attitude, the assessment and the degree of the society’s readiness for changes will change. This is like with child delivery, which is a hard thing to watch, but the beautiful baby is then a joy to all”.