The year 2020 will always be remembered for the social and political instability the world experienced. Large scale protests across the globe, against the government on social, economic or political factors have become very common. From Anti CAA protests in India to Black Lives Matters protests in The United States, almost each and every country experienced mass protests in this cursed year. But there are some countries which are known for their political instability since years now, especially the countries of Eastern Europe and some countries of Central Asia. Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Georgia are some of the countries which have seen protests day in and day out. The Question arises, why these countries face protests and political instability. Even after so many years, why is it that these countries cannot fix their political instability. To understand this, a reference needs to be made in the history, the nature of protest and the nature of the government of these countries.
A) The Unpleasant Historical Background of Eastern Europe
Europe was devastated after the Second World War. People had lost their dear ones in the war. Economic recession, vacuum of power were one of the primacy reasons why Europe had lost its shining glory which it held proudly for centuries. The two countries which were a part of allied forces, the capitalist United States and the communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republic emerged as superpowers. The responsibility to bring the devastated European nations back on track fell on the shoulders of these superpowers. During the Yalta Conference which is known to spark the Cold War between these 2 superpowers, it was decided that the Soviet Union would have control over the Eastern Europe and the United States would have control over the Western Europe.
Once these Eastern European nations came under the control of the tyrannical Joseph Stalin, they were simply cut off from the United States. They weren’t allowed to accept any monetary aid from the United States under the Marshall Plan and were forced to depend on USSR for it. To counter USA’s Marshall Plan, he set up Comecon – Council to provide economic aid to Eastern European Countries. All what Stalin and the USSR did was far from bringing stability in the region. To expand the communist ideology of the Soviet Union, Stalin with his influence and power set up governments which were loyal to the USSR. Any form of protest which was initiated against Stalin and against communism was crushed by force. All what USSR did brought more discontent in the Eastern European countries and which led to a build up of an anti Russia sentiment among the citizens.
B) Summer of Frustration due to Russian allegiance
Although the region is pretty unstable since years, the summer of 2020 sparked protests in ex Soviet Nations especially those which recently held elections. Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Georgia are experiencing wide scale protests.
Kyrgyzstan recently held its parliamentary elections. Considering the outcome of the election, the people of the country with the election commission backing them, have hit the streets alleging that the elections conducted were unfair and the parties that have come in power have managed to win by fraud. The nation has been heavily dependent upon Russia for its trade and economy. The president who now resigned, has been accused of being Pro Russia and Pro Putin. After his resignation, the Kremlin (just like the White House in USA) has stopped all its aid programs and has sent its senior officials to negotiate in Kyrgyzstan.
In Belarus protests are happening against the non recognition of presidential election. People of Belarus allege that the corrupt Lukashenko, who is the current President has managed to win elections by tampering votes. The president is known for his dictatorial tendencies and has managed to be in power for 26 long years and the political pundits say that it is all because of the backing the President receives from Moscow.
In Georgia, protests are happening since more than a year now. The protests are mainly against Russia’s occupation of Georgia’s 20% territory and the non action of the current government regarding the same. Even when France was trying to settle this dispute between Georgia and Russia by conveying and arranging meetings, no Georgia officials decided to take part in it. Adding the cherry to the cake, the Georgian government released all those who were accused for spying for Russia without any proper trial. This clearly indicates the pro Russia and Pro Putin bias of the Georgian government
C) Materializing the dream of Vladimir
The protests are against the current regime/government which is currently enjoying power in the countries of Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Georgia. These countries and the governments of these countries have one thing in common – too much influence of Russia and a pro Russia sentiment among the citizens.
Putin has a dream, a dream of bring back the long lost glory of Russia after the breakdown of USSR in 1990. He wishes to reunite the independent USSR states after 1990 and thus in the recent years, the influence of Russia in ex USSR countries has increased considerably.
The citizens of the ex soviet countries have a very anti Russia sentiment and this is because the bad memories of the USSR period is still fresh in their minds. People know that too much Russian influence before had brought bad days for them and had led to economic instability, poverty with absolutely no development and mass scale human rights violations. They do not want their country to go on their path again and thus try all their means to avoid any Russian interference in their lives.
– Manav Asrani, Writer Bharat Bhagya Vidhata
D) References / Further Read