Staunton, Mar. 5 – Many assume Belarusians, because of the geographic location of their country, are affected more by what is going on in neighboring countries than are Russians who are located further from such lands. That may be true, but increasing restrictions mean that last year, 72 percent of Belarusians did not travel abroad, although 82 percent wanted to.
That is one of the findings of a new survey of 1775 Belarusians, one quarter in Minsk and three quarters in the regions, that was conducted by Anton Rodnenkov and Mikhail Matskevich of the Center for New Ideas and highlights the cutting off of Belarusians from the world (belsat.eu/ru/news/05-03-2023-belarus-zhivet-kak-umirayut-regiony-i-chto-volnuet-belarusov).
Among their other key finds, the following are especially important:
· Because of the absence of work and medical facilities, rural areas are emptying out with all the regions showing a decline in population.
· Residents of Minsk and residents of the rest of the country are increasingly living in two worlds, almost in the way that in Russia, residents of Moscow and residents of the land beyond the ring road do.
· Trust in local officials is low and apparently declining.
· Prices are rising and the assortment of goods available for purchase are declining in both urban areas and rural ones.
· The possibility of a mobilization worries only those in Minsk and oblast centers. Elsewhere it is not a matter of major concern.