Nataliia NECHAIEVA-YURIICHUK, PhD
Abstract. Contemporary events in Belarus forced us to analyze the role of protests in transforming authoritarian regimes into democratic in contemporary world. The author tries to overview the development of situation in two neighbouring states and to compare it.
Keywords: democracy, protests, Ukraine, Belarus
COVID-19 changed our life totally. Europe today is not the same as it was even a year ago. The problems which seemed important a year ago were connected mainly with economic, political, social and security issues. The last can be considered as the consequence of the previous ones. European Union which united a number of states and became the common space of them looked like the monolith (of course, with some internal problems which could be solved). It attracted new possible members as the common space with established democratic values, stable economy and institutionalized political processes and procedures. And some of the post-Soviet states not only wished to integrated to the European Union, but already have integrated to it (we mean Baltic states).
The movement toward united Europe has been started decades ago. But the states which belonged to the socialist space had no possibility to join it. Only further breakup of the socialist system radically changed the situation. To be honest, Soviet republics as the integral part of the USSR started their movement toward Europe in late 1980-s when first agreements between the European Community and the USSR were signed. They were mainly aimed at strengthening economic cooperation. In fact, Soviet Union was in the final stages of its existence, which was marked by economic collapse and political instability.
At the second half of 1980-s – beginning of 1990-s Soviet authoritarian system was politically untenable: attempt to reform led to the collapse of the USSR. 1991 entered into modern history as the year of great decay. The Soviet Union was ruined and the socialist system in Eastern and Central Europe disappeared. The inevitable appearance of new political actors led to changes in the architecture of international relations. The bipolar world has changed first to the unipolar, then – to a multipolar one. And nowadays it can be changed to at least three-pole one. Three states are pretending to the key role in world politics: the USA, China, and Russia. And there is no need to throw off the scales of the EU as the union of states. It also tries to play its own party in world politics. At the beginning of XXI-st century all of them are trying not only to keep “traditional” states in their sphere of influence, but also to get new ones.
After the collapse of the USSR such states as Ukraine and Belarus went their own political way. It looked differ but the consequences of Soviet heritage made themselves known at the beginning of this millennium.