Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Truly Provocative Poll – Moscow Reportedly Commissions Survey of Belarusians about Union with Russia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 4 – Belsat, the independent Belarusian news agency based in Poland, says that a Minsk resident has told its journalists on conditions of anonymity that “a month ago, a Russian sociological center commissioned Belarusian research agencies to conduct several polls” (

            One of the polls, the station’s source said, was to be among young people and the second, “a larger one, among people of all ages, in all cities and in some villages” of Belarus. The focus of the poll, he continued, was how Belarusians would react to a possible union of their country with the Russian Federation.

            There has been no independent confirmation of these polls as yet.  But even the suggestion that Moscow is ordering up such surveys may indicate that officials in the Russian capital want to know what they will be up against if they make a move toward an Ancshluss of Belarus – or even suggest that it is querying on this as a provocation.

            There are, of course, at least two other possibilities. On the one hand, some: Belarusians opposed to such a union and to the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka may have put out this story in order to mobilize people against what this certainly looks like, another step by Moscow against Minsk.

            Or on the other, this idea real or otherwise may have emanated from the Lukashenka regime itself, either to provide it with ammunition for talks with Moscow or to ferret out additional information about the attitudes of the Belarusian people toward a possible union in more detail. 

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