- Belarus has no restrictions in the country.
- Officially the number of infected in Belarus is 17,000 people.
- Nothing is being done to stop the coronavirus by Preisdent Alexander Lukashenko.
Coronavirus continues to be on the forefront of the news. The number of infected surpassed 3.5 million around the world. However, Belarus never acted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The borders are open, there is no social distancing, no stay at home orders or any precautionary measures, period. Because the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko knows it is his last year in power, does he simply not care?
Distributing reports are emerging on social media. Just the known numbers are over 17, 000 people infected in Belarus. The numbers do not reflect those not yet tested and the people who are carriers of the virus. Why has the World Health Organization not made any statements about the situation in Belarus or even taken notice?
There are also reports of higher numbers; the opposition claims that there are over 150,000 infected, not 17,000. Prior to coronavirus, the population of Belarus has been in decline. According to World Population Review statistics, the population of Belarus in 2019 was 9.4 million people.
Support for Lukashenko has significantly decreased due to his handling of, or lack there of, the coronavirus. Lukashenko has been in power since 1991. It is highly likely the election that was supposed to take place in August in Belarus will be postponed, since there is no way Lukashenko can win the election. Nevertheless, given how long Lukashenko has been in power, there is no such thing as a democratic election in Belarus.
Additionally, there are reports that Lukashenko will continue with the military parade planned for May 9. Even Russia postponed their parade due to COVID-19.
Many leaders around the world made sure to take the coronavirus test and publicly announce the results. Lukashenko never had a test, nor does he plan on taking one.
At the same time Lukashenko is claiming that his opponents are bought by the West to spread fear about the pandemic.
There are two possible scenarios regarding what is happening in Belarus:
1) Lukashenko made a deal with the Kremlin and he knows the time has come to leave his leadership post. Hence, he is giving Russia carte blanche to take over and annex Belarus. In this case, Russia can enter Belarus under the guise of saving the Russians who live there. The clause of “protecting” Russians on foreign soil is in the Russian constitution. Therefore, Vladimir Putin can claim negligence in the protection of Russian nationals in Belarus. Also, his actions may encourage the Belarus populous to seek aid from Russia– slam dunk for Putin and his agenda to restore the borders of the Soviet Union.
2) Lukashenko is a narcissist, who doesn’t believe in the virus and is just following a similar model to Sweden,even though Belarus doesn’t have the same level of health care and resources. Perhaps he genuinely does not care for the people and is just tired of politics.
The first scenario is highly likely, but at the same time Belarus has been giving mixed signals; On one side signing deals with Russia, yet on the other asking the West for aid and inviting western nationals to visit and experience Belarus.
Only time will tell what will happen in the country. It is a dangerous situation for the citizens as coronavirus continues to spread within the country.