Posted: 22.12.2021 16:00:00

Figures and facts

On the eve of the Republican referendum, a large-scale sociological survey Belarus. Opinion on the Future was conducted. Its results indicate that our society has changed a lot over the past year. One of the key research questions concerned the level of trust in the authorities. According to the results of the sociological survey, 72.3 percent of citizens trust the President as a whole. This is almost 6 percent more than a year ago. At the same time, the level of support for the Head of State is high in all age groups.

Photo by Aleksey Bibikov

This sociological poll was initially of a closed nature and was intended for the country’s leadership. However, the President instructed to publish the received data. The results of the research Belarus. Opinion on the Future, conducted by the Analytical Centre EcooM and the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, were presented at the National Press Centre.

Focus on an economically active population

An important aspect: the basis of this study (its general population) was the economically employed population, that is, people who are established and with a steady income. The sample was multistage, organised by region of residence and type of settlement, with control of quotas by sex and age. The study covered all regions of the country, Minsk, 52 districts (including nine Minsk’s districts), almost 350 organisations and enterprises of various spheres and forms of ownership. This means that all the requirements for representativeness were strictly observed.
The Head of the EcooM Analytical Centre, Sergei Musiyenko, also drew attention to the high interest of citizens in questioning,
“The majority positively perceived the interest of sociologists in their position and assessments. Moreover, the survey was perceived as an opportunity to convey their views on current processes, problems of concern to people and the future of the country. Citizens often expressed their wishes for more frequent conduct of such social studies.”

On the issue of trust

You can see the specific research results in the infographics, but here are the main points.
“In general, 72.3 percent of respondents trust the President,” noted Sergei Musiyenko. “This is 5.8 percent more than a year ago during our previous survey when it was 66.5 percent. In my opinion, this is both a good indicator of work and a reflection of what has been done this year. We also saw a very high growth of trust in the army and law enforcement agencies.”
The First Vice-Rector of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor Svetlana Vinokurova believes that the figures given also speak of the unity of our society, 
 “The high level of trust, expressed in such a percentage ratio, indicates that our people, together with the state authorities and law enforcement agencies, strive to maintain stability, the existing stable vector of development at these high speeds. 

We see what is happening with the ratings of the heads of state in neighbouring countries, which quite often change their leaders, while they are not yet a model of positive movement in the field of the economy, social guarantees, and so on. 
 The President is the guarantor of the Constitution, the guarantor of the policy pursued by our state.” Ms. Vinokurova drew attention to the high level of support for the Head of State in all age groups. In the regional context, Aleksandr Lukashenko enjoys the greatest support (78.6 percent and more) in the Gomel, Vitebsk and Mogilev regions.
Attention is drawn to the high appraisal by society of such an institution as the Belarusian People’s Congress. The level of trust in it in all age groups turned out to be one of the highest: 62.2 percent.
Natalya Eismont, Press Secretary of the President:
A large and very important study was carried out within the framework of the sociological survey published today [December 16th]. It is neither the first nor the last. Similar polls of various sizes and content appear in the media. Some are not for public view as this survey was initially. An analysis of trends that occur in our society was designed for the leadership of the country. But the President decided to publish it for the general public.
What interested us in the first place was, of course, the answers to the most pressing questions of today, e.g., to the question about the readiness of our society for a constitutional referendum, about the attitude towards the topic of refugees, etc. If we continue talking about the substantive part, we see (the Head of State has already spoken about this) that in 2021 Belarusian society has changed, fortunately, for the better. I think that we can say today that our people have realised what they have, and also realised what they could lose.
The facts are on the table. The numbers have been published. Everyone has the opportunity to watch, analyse and draw their own conclusions.

Strategic step

The majority of citizens associate the image of the future of Belarus with the renewal of the Constitution. About 60 percent of the respondents recognise the need for such a step even before the start of public discussion of the draft Basic Law. Moreover, more than two thirds are ready to take part in the referendum and come to the polling stations. According to experts, this suggests that there is a demand in society for improving the political system.
At the same time, almost 70 percent of citizens consider it necessary to preserve basic social guarantees, “This is what is the hallmark of our state policy. Its social orientation is supported by the population. The people do not consider it necessary to liberalise, introduce market relations or competition on a large scale, which bring to the fore completely different values in society,” explains Ms. Vinokurova.
“The preservation of social guarantees is our achievement and our future.”


On matters of concern

The survey made it possible to identify the hierarchy of problems that worry people. These include an attempt to strangle Belarus by sanctions by the collective West. The overwhelming majority of citizens — over 70 percent — have a negative attitude towards such policies.
At the same time, sociologists note another tendency. In comparison with a similar previous survey, people have become more relaxed about the sanctions packages, seeing the protection of the state from any possible negative consequences of the sanctions. 
 In addition, more and more citizens perceive sanctions as an instrument of ‘anger’ of the people against the President of the country: the number of those who chose this answer increased from 7.4 to 19.1 percent.

Belarus. Opinion on the Future sociological poll was conducted by the EcooM Analytical Centre and the Sociology Institute of the NAS of Belarus on the order of BelTA from November 15th to December 4th, 2021, interviewing 10,217 respondents.

By Yevgeny Kononovich, Maksim Osipov, Dmitry Umpirovich
BelTA infographics