Soft Belarusianisation. The ideology of Belarus in the era of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

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Series Details No.253 (03.11.17)
Publication Date November 2017
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Over the past three years, a distinct change has become visible in the ideological discourse of the government of Belarus. To an increasing degree, the state ideology is focusing on strengthening national identity, emphasising the divergence of Belarus’s interests from those of Russia, and re-examining the historical narration in a direction which emphasises the distinctiveness of the history of Belarus from that of Russia.

Above all, the government has changed its attitude towards the Belarusian language and culture. A campaign promoting the Belarusian language is being carried out on a large scale – under the auspices of state ideologues. The government has also become involved in the promotion of vyshyvanki, traditional, embroidered Belarusian clothes and their ornamentation.

This allows us to talk about a process of ‘soft Belarusianisation’. Articles criticising Kremlin policy have begun to appear fairly regularly in the government media. Official representatives of the authorities, while not going so far as to promote the idea of friendship with the West, no longer refer to it using the rhetoric of the ‘enemy’, as was previously the case.

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