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Lukashenka regime tries to control workers through access to information

In Belarus, there is an active information campaign to intimidate workers of state enterprises by ideologues of Lukashenka's regime. The main purpose of these actions is to limit their access to independent information.

At a number of enterprises, ideologists have developed videos aimed at forming a stereotype of an "ideal worker," who actively supports the official authorities and receives information only from official sources.

One of the videos filmed at the Gomel Casting and Normals Plant, a division of Gomselmash, inculcates the idea of an ideal worker who is said to be necessarily subscribed to state resources in the messenger Telegram. This demonstrates the unwillingness of the Lukashenko regime to allow alternative information and control the information field.

Screenshot from the ideology video
Screenshot from the ideological video of the Gomel enterprise

The second video, created by ideologues of Mazyr Oil Refinery, clearly threatens workers subscribed to independent sources of information. The video claims that reading "extremist" sources of information leads to terrorism and inevitable arrest. The arrests are shown daily on the propaganda channels of state TV. Such claims are aimed at limiting freedom of speech and access to independent information.

Screenshot from the environmental video of the Mozyr enterprise
Screenshot from the environmental video of the Mazyr enterprise

The creation of such videos emphasizes the instability of the situation in the country and the Lukashenko regime's concern about the availability of alternative sources of information. Mass protests and possible unification of workers could pose a serious threat to the official authorities, so the regime seeks to limit access to information in order to control public opinion.

Seminar of ideological workers of Gomel // photo
Seminar of ideological workers of Gomel // photo

The position of ideologists at Belarusian enterprises was introduced and combined with the position of the head of the personnel department almost 20 years ago. Its tasks include control over personnel activity, even outside the enterprise, and struggle against possible unionization of workers. These positions are usually filled by former law enforcers or local government officials. Activists of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB) act as their assistants in this direction, helping to control the labor collective and prevent unrest at work. After the 2020 protests, which affected dozens of enterprises, the position of deputy general director for security from the KGB was additionally introduced. Thus a full-fledged system of control and ideological subordination of workers was introduced in important enterprises.

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