The German ZoiS research institute has published a study based on a December 2020 Internet survey of Belarusian citizens about society and politics.
More than 2 thousand Belarusians aged 16 to 64 years living in cities with a population of over 20 thousand people took part in the survey. The number of different groups of respondents was determined according to the proportions by age, gender, and place of residence.
According to the survey, 65% of respondents partially or completely agreed that the results of the presidential elections in August 2020 were rigged in favor of Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Most of them are men and people with higher education.
Slightly more than 52% of respondents said they voted for Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya. 17.6% of respondents voted for Alyaksandr Lukashenka. 8.4% voted against all the candidates and only less than 3% voted for the other three. 18.6% of respondents refused to answer the question.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka was most supported by older people and women, residents of small towns, people with higher incomes, as well as followers of the Orthodox Church. Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, on the other hand, was more popular among men, students, residents of big cities, employed in the private sector. Only a quarter of those who voted for Lukashenka supported him because he represented their political views.
About 14% of those polled said they had participated in protests after the elections. This is approximately 700 thousand people out of 5 million residents of Belarus, the age and other groups of which the study covers. About half of the respondents personally know someone who took part in the protests.
Trust in Belarusian political structures in general remains low and has gone down for many of the respondents. And so has the population’s trust in the executive, legislative and judicial authorities, as well as in the law enforcement bodies. The greatest number of respondents trusted the Coordinating Council and the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
According to the research, the violence of law enforcement officers became an important factor in increasing fear and anxiety among Belarusian citizens.
The survey also showed that social networks and Internet media dominate the information field of Belarusian society: more than 70% of respondents use them as their main sources of information about current events.
Views on the national flag were divided: 41% of respondents considered the current state flag an acceptable symbol of the state, while 36% favored the white-red-white flag.