Political Compass on Lukashenkophilia

Stunning age differential on Russian view of events in Belarus, according to VCIOM poll.

33% of 60+ y/o’s believe Lukashenko’s 80% result was fully authentic, vs. just 3% of 18-24% y/o’s.

All 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60+
Fully trust results reflect the will of the electorate 22% 3% 20% 17% 21% 33%
There may have been individual cases of fraud, but didn’t change results as a whole 29% 26% 13% 26% 37% 36%
Results of Belarus elections can’t be trusted 27% 47% 40% 32% 21% 13%
Hard to say 22% 24% 27% 25% 21% 18%

General background note: The past couple of years have seen an awning divide in chronological terms. While Putin was actually marginally more popular amongst young people during the 2000s – the Communists were still powerful amongst older people – today, the pattern has reversed, with boomers and silents constituting the bulk of Putin’s support while trickling away amongst millennials and zoomers. This was already perceptible by the 2018 elections, and was very strongly on display during the 2020 Constitutional referendum (see my post on Moscow polls; since confirmed for the country as a whole by a Levada poll, which shows 77% of 55+ y/o’s voting YES while only 33% of 18-24 y/o’s did so).

Back to the poll. The factually correct answer is, of course, “Results of Belarus elections can’t be trusted” regardless of your feelings towards Lukashenko, in the same water that the statement “water is wet” is true. That said, I don’t think Russians are very familiar with the intricacies of Belorussian politics, or the statistics of electoral fraud, so I suspect this poll is mostly just an extension of people’s outlooks on Russian politics, with pro-Putinists also liking Lukashenko and consequently believing his 80% election results reflect the genuine voice of Belorussians, and vice versa. (No matter that Putin and Lukashenko have fraught relations themselves).

All Fair Russia LDPR KPRF United Russia Unofficial parties Don’t vote
Fully trust results reflect the will of the electorate 22% 19% 17% 28% 36% 12% 10%
There may have been individual cases of fraud, but didn’t change results as a whole 29% 30% 31% 30% 32% 26% 24%
Results of Belarus elections can’t be trusted 27% 31% 38% 23% 9% 44% 39%
Hard to say 22% 20% 14% 18% 23% 18% 27%

Unsurprisingly, members of United Russia – who, as above, are now the party of the boomers – are the most trusting of the validity of the Belorussian results at 36%, with the Communists not far behind at 28%.

The party as a whole, being the party of power, has remained neutral, as is the Russian official position. Though its more nationalist wings, e.g. Konstantin Zatulin – who has lobbied for Russian right of return laws – have come out against Lukashenko.

This is not surprising, as the Communists also tilt older, and sovoks tend to like the paternalistic model offered by “Bat’ka” (“Father”) Lukashenko. The Russian Communist elites have come out strongly for Lukashenko, with 28% trusting the result. However, distrust of the results is more than twice higher than for United Russia voters. I suspect this is a function of the KPRF being the most viable opposition party in Russia, hence many anti-Putinists finding a home there independent of their precise views on the USSR/Communism.

In contrast, the nationalist LDPR not only tilts younger, but it has more of a neo-Tsarist as opposed to neo-Soviet vision of Russia’s interests. Consequently, only 17% of them fully trust the Belorussian results, while 38% completely distrust them (vs. 9% for United Russia voters and 23% for KPRF voters). Lukashenko has repeatedly backstabbed that, hence its negative attitude towards him, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s strong anti-Lukashenko remarks (which I posted about).

RT’s Bryan MacDonald reports that the minor party Fair Russia (moderate socialist) has backed the protests. In the poll, their voters are likewise more anti-Lukashenko than either UR or KPRF, though less so than LDPR.

Members of the non-official opposition parties, which also tilt young and are mostly liberal, are unsurprisingly the most anti-Lukashenko. Though obviously not because they are peeved at Lukashenko’s anti-Russian policies (like the nationalists), but because they genuinely believe in Free Belarus, couldn’t care less if it leads to Belarus leaving Russia’s orbit (such as it is), and hope that Russia likewise sees a revolution against Putin.

So, in summary:

  • Commies, like Zyuganov, support Lukashenko’s relict BSSR – hence, pro-Lukashenko and anti-zmagarist (zmagarism being Belarusian nationalism, which is implicitly anti-Russian).
  • Libs support zmagarists (Жыве Беларусь / Long Live Belarus) – hence, anti-Lukashenko and pro-zmagarist..
  • Nationalists, such as Zhirinovsky and Zatulin, support the Minsk Governorate/Belorussian Federal District – hence, anti-Lukashenko, but also anti-zmagarist.

As for the ruling kremlins… well, it’s complicated. You also need to remember that they are constrained by diplomatic conventions. Officially, they support Lukashenko, but without enthusiasm. They presumably expect the protests to knock him down a notch or three, and would welcome that – at least so long as it doesn’t result in Lukashenko being outright toppled. They are obviously anti-zmagarist, but are willing to put out feelers to those parts of the Belorussian opposition which are not dominated by zmagarists, to cover their bases should they do come to power. But considering that his most oft quoted philosopher is Ivan Ilyin, a White emigre who supported a “Great Russia, One and Undivided”, and that he has often spoken of Belorussians (and Ukrainians) as the same people as Russians, there is good reason to think that Putin’s inner sympathies lie with the nationalist camp on the Belarus Question.

There is a lot of nuance here that escapes superficial treatments in the MSM. I hope this clears up some misconceptions.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. When by natural predisposition I started following the global nationalist scene back in mid 2000s and got to know more about Russia, nationalists had a strong street presence, it was inspiring. But after sustained crackdowns by the authorities, they are today a shadow of their former selves. The “Russian March” on Unity Day still exists and attracts a considerable crowd, but is not impressive and has been on decline for years.

    At the same time, liberals grew in strength and can show up frequently to protests and ’causes’. They are winning the ideological war among the youth, and although Karlin may say that they are unhappy with Putin but are nonetheless nationalistic, I have serious doubt that this can go on indefinitely. There are cracks. Liberasts are not persecuted, so those tired of Putin will flock to them because they can organize more freely. Perhaps liberals were nationalistic when Navalny was a crypto-nationalist. Times have changed, and they have been exposed to too much American Bolshevik propaganda in the internet in the last decade, and Navalny today isn’t the liberal nationalist of a decade ago, at least not outwardly.

    Another point I disagree with Karlin is that he doesn’t like “street neo-Nazis”, touting how bookish nationalists are the future. I have to disappoint you, but the problem is not so much the street brawlers but whether they are discreetly endorsed by the state and state-adjacent structures. Antifa is worser, by any metric, than Russian ultranationalists: they beat random people who cross them, vandalize private property, destroy public monuments, attack the police, parrot utterly harmful (& stupid) ideologies, yet nobody of importance seems to care, to the contrary. Anti-mask laws created to deter the KKK don’t apply to them, so their identities are secret, which is great news for troublemakers anywhere. They are almost always released upon arrest, if it comes to that. The media gives them cover. Almost half of the population support their cause.

    Nationalists in Russia had street presence, put fear in the hearts of liberasts and Bolsheviks, had ethnic interlopers from outside the federation afraid, and owned much of the street scene in Russia… until the authorities decided to come down hard on them.

    Unless the Russian secret services start setting up such movement again, which could be done by supporting popular and charismatic nationalist leaders who will tacitly badmouth the government here and there (nothing radical, but it HAS to be oppositionist to attract those who oppose the authorities for whatever reason), and giving the movement’s street punks some freedom to do their thing, and of course covert financial backing to the more bright and charismatic (again), the liberals will keep growing and one day it will have dire consequences for the government and more importantly, Russia.

    Dominating the streets is important, this can’t be stressed enough. Intellectualism alone won’t cut it, not in Russia, not in the US, not in Europe. The antifa IS the Deep State’s way to suppress physical nationalism without tarnishing ‘democracy’, that is, without overtly involving the state.