Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 26, 2020

Belarus - NATO Lobby Acknowledges That Its Color Revolution Failed

On August 15 we explained why the color revolution in Belarus would fail. Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko had offered President Vladimir Putin of Russia to finally implement the long delayed Union State that will unite Belarus with Russia. In exchange he wanted full Russian backing for shutting down the U.S. led color revolution against him. Putin accepted the deal. In consequence:

Lukashenko, and his police, will not hang from a pole. Russia will take care of the problem and the Union State will finally be established.

That does not mean that the color revolution attempt is over. The U.S. and its lackey Poland will not just pack up and leave. But with the full backing from Russia assured, Lukashenko can take the necessary steps to end the riots.

And that is what he did. Lukashenko continued to allow demonstrations but when on Sunday the demonstrators were directed to storm the presidential palace they saw a theatrical but strong response:

[T]he Polish-run Nexta Telagram channel (which is the main medium used by the Empire to overthrow Lukashenko) initially called for a peaceful protest, but at the end of the day a call was made to try to take over the main Presidential building. When the rioters (at this point we are dealing with an illegal, violent, attempt to overthrow the state – so I don’t call these people demonstrators) got to the building they were faced with a real “wall” of riot cops in full gear: this (really scary) sight was enough to stop the rioters who stood for a while, and then had to leave.

Second, Lukashenko did something rather weird, but which makes perfectly good sense in the Belarusian context: he dressed himself in full combat gear, grabbed an AKSU-74 assault rife, dressed his (15 year old!) son also in full combat gear (helmet included) and flew in his helicopter over Minsk and then landed in the Presidential building. They then walked to the riot cops, where Lukashenko warmly thanked them and which resulted in the full police force giving him a standing ovation. To most of us this behavior might look rather outlandish if not outright silly. But in the context of the Belarusian crisis, which is a crisis primarily fought in the informational realm, it makes perfectly good sense.

The protesters, which police had earlier identified as "rich city kids, the children of rich parents who are fed up with the well-fed life", did not have the stomach to attack a well armed and motivated police force.

The NATO lobby shop Atlantic Council has also recognized that fact and bemoans it:

The protesters are generally very sweet, polite, and peaceful. Many are young, middle class Belarusians who work in the country’s booming IT industry and come to rallies dressed in form-fitting hipster ensembles. Unlike events in Kyiv in 2013-14, there is no militant edge to the demonstrations. Indeed, this revolution is so velvet that at times it feels positively sleepy. For better or worse, there is a marked absence of the rough and stalwart young men capable of making liberals uncomfortable or leading the resistance if and when the authoritarian state decides to deploy force.

Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko. With such troops the fight would end in a massacre and Lukashenko would still be the winner. The author rightly concludes:

[T]he resistance of the Lukashenka regime is strengthening by the day. With Russia now seemingly standing firmly behind Lukashenka, photogenic rallies and patchy strike action will not be enough to bring about historic change.

It is over. The 'patchy strikes' were never real industrial actions. A few journalist of the Belarus state TV went on a strike. They were unceremoniously fired and replaced with Russian journalists. A few hundred workers at the MTZ Minsk Tractor Works did a walk out. But MTZ has 17,000 employees and the 16,500+ who did not walk out know very well why they still have their jobs. Should Lukashenko fall it is highly likely that their state owned company will be sold off for pennies and immediately 'right sized' meaning that most of them would be out of work. During the last 30 years they have seen that happen in every country around Belarus. There have no urge to experience that themselves.

On Monday the leader of the earlier MTZ walk out, one Sergei Dylevsky, was arrested while he agitated for more strikes. Dylevsky is a member of the self-proclaimed Coordination Council of the opposition which demands negotiations over the presidency. Other members of the council have been called in for questioning by state investigators over a criminal case against the council.

Meanwhile the rather hapless opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who falsely claimed to have won the election, is in Lithuania. She is supposed to be an English teacher but has difficulties reading the English text begging (vid) for 'western' support. She has already met various 'western' politicians including the General Secretary of the German Christian Democratic Union party of chancellor Angela Merkel, Peter Zeimiag, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. Neither will be able to help her.

With Russia's backing the military, political and economic stability of Belarus is for now guaranteed. Lukashenko will at some point be ousted but that will be at a time and in a way that is convenient for Russia and not because some hapless NED financed IT hipsters try to stage a revolution.

Posted by b on August 26, 2020 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink

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BLM Deaths Across Trump’s America - Dashboard

Black Lives Matter: Race, Policing, and Protest

https://libguides.wellesley.edu/blacklivesmatter/statistics

Will the American Uprising run until election day?

Posted by: Oui | Aug 26 2020 17:31 utc | 1

Those of us who have done it know that protests and demonstrations are completely useless. They only serve the government in "look how democratic and forgiving we are."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26 2020 17:44 utc | 2

According to the American unconventional warfare manual, a color revolution can only be successful if the target government (TG) is divided, i.e. there's at lest one powerful elite faction awaiting to do the coup at the same time the protests are on the streets, and when there's the military component to "give it a spine".

A color revolution is, therefore, a military coup with a popular protest façade. But it is never the protesters per se who topple the government, but those two behind-the-scenes elements. That's why color revolutions are not revolutions, but regime change operations or, if you will, coup d'États.

The Belarus "shoe revolution" failed because, although they had the protesting element (the "colored" element) it lacked the other two ends of the process: a powerful militia and a faction of the Belarusian elite willing to topple Lukashenko. Instead, they had to improvise with a housewife who had (with all the NGO machine) 10% of the valid votes.

And we can argue the military element is the most important. In Venezuela, for example, the USA had the elite (including Capriles, who had 49% of the votes against Maduro, losing by a hair) and some of the colored element (the middle class from the Maracaibo Lake/Caracas area). Maduro held them out almost exclusively because he had the FANB united on his side and the vast majority of the people, many of them organized in militias (one fisherman dominating and arresting a Jack Ryan the other day).

On the other side, the Brazilian color revolution was a monumental success because:

1) The Brazilian Armed Forces already were in American hands (they are since 1957);
2) The entire Brazilian elite already is pro-American (including most of the Legislative and all of the Judiciary);
3) Most of the Brazilian people indeed is ideologically pro-capitalist (i.e. liberal, pro-USA).

In fact, the Workers' Party situation since taking the Presidential Office in 2003 was so frail that one can argue it wasn't even a color revolution, but a pro-USA society expelling a alien element.

--//--

Second, Lukashenko did something rather weird, but which makes perfectly good sense in the Belarusian context: he dressed himself in full combat gear, grabbed an AKSU-74 assault rife, dressed his (15 year old!) son also in full combat gear (helmet included) and flew in his helicopter over Minsk and then landed in the Presidential building. They then walked to the riot cops, where Lukashenko warmly thanked them and which resulted in the full police force giving him a standing ovation. To most of us this behavior might look rather outlandish if not outright silly. But in the context of the Belarusian crisis, which is a crisis primarily fought in the informational realm, it makes perfectly good sense.

It harks back to the Bolshevik tradition, which demands that a communist leader must always lead by example and, in case of hot war, in the front lines. That's why it wasn't weird in the Belarusian context.

The Bolsheviks themselves lost most of their leadership in the Civil War merely because they led in the front. Trotsky himself led in the front a charge in a desperate attack to defend Petrograd from falling to the Whites. Fidel Castro led his army in the front line during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Stalin lost his son (I think he was a lieutenant) in a Nazi concentration camp. Not to mention all the leaders of the first generation of the CCP, who were all war-forged (yes, even Deng Xiaoping).

Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2020 18:05 utc | 3

I sent the earlier MOA article on this to Ben Aris at BNE Intellinews and bet him 100 euros MOA's reporting was more prescient than his. Too bad he didn't reply.

Posted by: Ingrian | Aug 26 2020 18:09 utc | 4

Tsikhanouskaya haser BHL photo op as the zenith of her "revolution". Of course, it took place in a foreign country haven, which makes it doubly comical.

The entire Belarusian Color Revolution is fodder for, and seemingly product of, the Onion and John Cleese.

If a movie is done, Cleese can interject Guido, a truly comic character.

This fail in Minsk sadly lacks the personal handiwork of Eliot Abrams, but contains all his masterly failings. Must be a protege in the State Dept. and henchmen in the CIA who crafted this debacle for "democracy".

Succor for the bozos who ran this show for the US is the Navalny medical emergency. They will ride that donkey for all its worth. And hope everyone will forget Belarus 2020.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Aug 26 2020 18:10 utc | 5

I knew it was over once the shills stopped spamming every thread imaginable. The incessant calls for "Democracy and Freedom" were turned off all at once, just like a light switch.

Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 26 2020 18:14 utc | 6

When I opened the posting from the Saker cited above, my attention was caught by the picture of Lukushenko carrying an assault rifle, and I immediately thought of the famous picture of Salvador Allende carrying an AK-47 on the day he died.

Then I read the caption below the picture:

"Last week Lukashenko said that no other elections, nevermind a coup, will happen as long as he is alive. This time Lukashenko decided to show, symbolically, that he is in charge and that he will die fighting along his son if needed. The message here is clear: “I am no Ianukovich and, if needed, I will die just like Allende died”.

Posted by: Who Er | Aug 26 2020 18:33 utc | 7

The degree to which 24/7 Putin-hatred drives greedy Christian Colonial Satanists batshit crazy is hilarious.
Stupid is as greedy does...?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 8

"The New York Post" published a report on the kilometer-long queues for free food in Queens.
https://nypost.com/2020/08/22/hungry-new-yorkers-line-up-around-the-block-for-free-food/
They write that the record queue length a couple of months ago was about 28 blocks
!!!! INSANE !!!!
What's wrong with you MOA ??!!
"Endles" posting about the latest Western "Poison"/Belarus Kasperle-Theater of absurdly ruminant nature (and by the way to get a better understanding of Russia/Putin & Co. - while using English - read less the Saker or John Helmer but far more 'Reminiscence of the Future'aka Smoothiex12.blogspot.com & StalkerZone.org)... while in the meantime in your very own country "THINGS" really are falling apart...
Theoretical, practically, politically & REAL economically with enormous consequences for squillions of very REAL HUMAN BEINGS all across the USA... and yet the whole THEME seems on the sideline concerning your bloging... for whatever rreason ??!!
Invisible People
https://www.youtube.com/user/invisiblepeopletv/videos

https://www.ahla.com/covid-19s-impact-hotel-industry
Hotel industry survival & millions of jobs lost during covid-19, 2020

Since the public health issue began escalating in mid-February in the U.S., hotels have already lost more than $46 billion in room revenue. This figure is devastating with hotels currently on pace to lose up to $400 million in room revenue per day based on current occupancy rates and revenue trends.

STR and Tourism Economics are projecting revenue losses of 50% for the year. Last week, revenues were 45% of what they were last year per STR.The human toll is equally devastating with major hotel managers already reporting significant layoffs and furloughs.The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.8M hospitality and leisure jobs have been lostsince February.With more than half of direct hotel employees laid off or furloughed, hotel workers are losing more than $1.7B in earnings each week.

Individual hotels and major operators are projecting occupancies below 20%. At an
occupancy rate of 35% or lower, hotels may simply close their doors, putting 33,000 small business at immediate risk.STR reported that in May, U.S. hotel operating profits fell by 105% compared to last year, meaning that hoteliers simply have no revenue to pay their costs.

https://www.ahla.com/sites/default/files/2020-04/compiled_state_job_loss_impact-covid.pdf
Study Showcases Potential Negative Impact Of Coronavirus Pandemic on Hotel
Industry Employment
The hotel industry supports nearly 8.3 million jobs total (direct hotel operations, guest spending, indirect supply-chain and induced), but drastic declines in occupancy rates will lead to massive job losses. Nearly 4 Million Employees Who Work In Or For The Hotel Industry Are Projected To Lose Their Jobs In The Coming Weeks, Or Have Already Been Furloughed.

https://www.eturbonews.com/579827/hotel-industry-facing-massive-wave-of-foreclosures/
A new national report shows that the hotel industry is facing a historic wave of
foreclosures as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate small business hotel
owners and its workforce

https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-travel-industry-research
COVID-19 Travel Industry Research
"Alice" in Disaster-Land.....

U.S. restaurant industry facing "mass extinction" due to covid-19 !!
How many may survive ??
https://pjmedia.com/vodkapundit/2020/08/13/on-the-brink-of-economic-collapse-covid-19-response-is-killing-the-restaurant-industry-n786677
'On the Brink' of Economic Collapse: COVID-19 Response Is Killing the Restaurant
Industry

It’s not too far of a stretch. The restaurant industry is currently leading all other sectors in terms of closures nationwide, according to data released last month by the customer review platform Yelp. It’s ahead of retail stores, beauty salons, bars and fitness studios.

https://www.eatthis.com/restaurant-staff-coronavirus/
According to the National Restaurant Association, 15.6 million people in the U.S. are restaurant industry employees. 10 million people filed for unemployment insurance in the past two weeks, according to the Labor Department—at least half of which are likely those who formerly held jobs in the restaurant industry.
Restaurant Industry Expects the Loss of 5 to 7 Million Jobs Due to Coronavirus.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/2020/08/13/restaurants-coronavirus-outback-steakhouse-ihop-applebees-cheesecake-factory-dennys/3368062001/
6 national restaurant chains in deepest trouble amid COVID-19 include Outback
Steakhouse, IHOP and Denny's
Remember... R.I.P. Pizza-Hut already !

Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9

Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9

Oh, bad shit happening to Americans.

As a non-American, excuse me while I play my smallest violin of the karma kind.

Posted by: J W | Aug 26 2020 18:49 utc | 10

Ashino-- The S&P is trading at all time highs today.

" while in the meantime in your very own country "THINGS" really are falling apart..."


PS; b lives in Germany

Posted by: arby | Aug 26 2020 18:51 utc | 11

Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9

Thanks for the reams of Off Topic drivel :-)
There are 67 Open Threads for irrelevant tosh.
b and the regulars here are ALL aware that AmeriKKKa is in terminal decline.
How come you only noticed today?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2020 18:56 utc | 12

Don Bacon - 2
Yeah, I guess every generation, every person has to go through this to see it. I've come to the conclusion that pretty much any protest that requires more than 2 demonstrations is doomed and is a sucker's game. If you have to keep on protesting, then you're not taken seriously and never will be, and you just waste your time. If something is massively important enough, the first protest is there to demonstrate your numbers and record your demands; the second protest is a show of force and a warning that either there's some negotiation and deal going on soon, or the next demonstration won't be a nice one. If you have to protest a third time, you should come with guns and rush the parliament or seat of government.
With hindsight, I've also, alas, come to the conclusion that the Gilets Jaunes were doomed after their first big day; after that, the government was prepared and they were contained; their only non-losing move would've been to raid the Elysee on the very first day, when police didn't know what it would be like and security was low, and come out with Macron's head on a pike. I'm not advocating it, just stating that it was the only single way for them to have anything else than a defeat.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 26 2020 19:00 utc | 13

The lies are failing. Good, very good..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 26 2020 19:03 utc | 14

Tom Luongo massively stubbed his big toe on Belarus in his latest assessment of Outlaw US Empire policy. But just because he got Belarus so wrong, should we dismiss the other content? Luongo puts forth the hypothesis that Trump has unleashed his own version of a Color Revolution on his own State Department:

"Trump has a bigger problem on his hands, however. The chaos he’s unleashed in his quest to remake European and U.S. relations is something his State Dept. under Pompeo can’t control either. And he won’t be in any position to do anything more than what he’s doing now, win short-term victories and lose the long-term war while global capital abandons the U.S. and moves [E]ast."

IMO, Luongo should've kept to that thesis and its accompanying idea that Trump is attempting to undermine the UN, or perhaps get the Empire to quit the UN.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2020 19:34 utc | 15

@ Ashino -

Yah think? If it wasn't COVID-19 it would have been something else. Everyone here already knows that Amerikkan late-stage capitalism is in deep decline and unsustainable in its present form. Furthermore, have a look at Wall Street - they seem to be doing just fine as the result of all the funny money injections. Maybe some of that cash should have gone to your restaurant and hotel industry, eh? Instead the already rich were bailed out and got even richer.

Besides, what exactly do you want b to say about it that he hasn't already? Why don't you start your own blog if you have such strong feelings about the content here and insist on polluting threads with off-topic whining?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Aug 26 2020 19:41 utc | 16

6

I thought it was over the moment Putin brushed the dust off the Union State agreement.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 19:44 utc | 17

And that's what you get when you take short cuts

Step 1. Destroy a country economically to depopulate it and create a sub-population of Orcs
Step 2. Hire snipers.
Step 3. THEN you declare your sock puppet the winner of an election in the Color revolution, make them a member of NATO of your now vacant country, install missile bases, drones and Chechen terrorists.

Covid must be taking a toll on the A-Team of Neocons.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 26 2020 19:44 utc | 18

A few journalist of the Belarus state TV went on a strike. They were unceremoniously fired and replaced with Russian journalists.

Hmm, I've heard otherwise. There is information that, on the contrary, Lukashenko forgives(!) those Belarusian journalists who rebelled against him, and takes them back to work (it is difficult to imagine a more stupid step).

The odious Minister Makei, like other pro-Westerners (who in fact organized the Maidan attempt in Belarus), retained their posts. Lukashenko did not purge personnel and did not identify traitors. Consequently, they will continue their subversive activities and will interfere with the implementation of the Union State.

Western (primarily Polish) NGOs and mass media have not been liquidated (or at least limited).

So far, there are no signs that Lukashenko is going to change his favorite (and so fatal both for him and for Belarus) "multi-vector policy". I do not think that we will see real shifts towards the implementation of the Union State. Rather the opposite.

Posted by: alaff | Aug 26 2020 19:52 utc | 19

As b said, it was never likely that Belarus was going to go to the west. The question is whether it's going to remain independent, or be integrated into Russia.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 26 2020 20:02 utc | 20

Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9

Have you ever heard of the side effects of capitalism? You should have known that the social drain is always downward ... because you see there will be no rich who will suffer in this situation while many normal people will be left without a job ... but don't worry , what's important in all this is to blame the communists.


Posted by: LuBa | Aug 26 2020 20:13 utc | 21

Laguerre

there's a bit on the Union State agreement at wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_State

This is what Russia and Belarus are using at the moment along with other agreements. It was signed back in the late nineties so perhaps they will make a few changes to it.

https://tass.com/world/1192339
"Union State Parliamentary Assembly denounces meddling in Belarus’s internal affairs
It underscores that Alexander Lukashenko is the president-elect and that the vote took place in compliance with the country’s Constitution"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 20:22 utc | 22

Laguerre @20--

Here's the Union State Portal whose Russian version is current while the English version lags about 3 weeks behind. It's difficult to get English language info on this topic that isn't massaged by the CIA or MI6, thus the need to read both Russian and Belarus sources. One Union model is the USA which is a federal, not unitary, construct, with states having a small amount of independence but don't have overall control of federal policies--security, monetary, fiscal, foreign, etc. I understand this version between Russia and Belarus to be similar--as I wrote earlier, Belarus would return to the SSR status it had within the USSR, although it was awarded a spot in the UN after WW2. The potential exists for other states to join. For example, the Donbass could become integrated, which makes sense to me.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2020 20:30 utc | 23

Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko.

Posted by b on August 26, 2020 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink

Let me fix that for you, B:

Without organized militant elements like [insert every freaking revolution in history] there is no chance for the people to overthrow the state.

At some point, this sort of partisan cheerleaing cum "analysis" will crumble under the weight of its own contradictions.

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Aug 26 2020 20:31 utc | 24

Israel Shamir's entertaining take on it all: https://www.unz.com/ishamir/belarus-on-the-brink/

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Aug 26 2020 20:38 utc | 25

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 20:22 utc | 22

Everyone agrees Lukashenko's regime is reaching its end. The question is what happens next.

The West doesn't seem to have the power to impose a colour revolution as happened in Ukraine. Belarus are Russians in most views. Will it end with integration, or a new "independent" state. I have no idea.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 26 2020 20:42 utc | 26

@ Posted by: alaff | Aug 26 2020 19:52 utc | 19

Your article from Vesti is likely a chimera.

First, it mentions a bunch of journalists (400 in total) from the State Media have received death threats are coming back to work or are resuming work (I machine translated the article, so I'm not sure of the precise meaning). It never states which political position said journalists defended (they could be pro-Lukashenko/government journalists, receiving death threats from the color revolutionaries).

Then, it makes a quantum leap and spits out the information that 40 Belarusian unionized journalists have applied to leave the country (the data comes from the Journalists' Union). It is heavily implied they are anti-Lukashenko journalists.

Then, it makes another quantum leap, quoting the chairman of the union, who stated that some journalists wrote letters of resignation, stating they are exiting because they are anti-Lukashenko. It never states those are the same 40 journalists who applied to leave the country (or how many of them, for that matter), or that those are the same Belarusian journalists who have been receiving death threats (but obviously didn't resume work in their previous jobs, as they resigned).

Then... another quantum leap. The article then suddenly mentions some "reports" (from whom? By whom?) stating that "they" (the journalists) made "the decision" (which one?) on an emotional state and are reconsidering their resignations after cooling off their heads. Presumably, they are referring to the journalists who wrote the letters of resignation, but this is not clear.

All those information apparently came from the same person, Andrei Krivosheev, chairman of the Journalists' Union. It all indicates they came from a single speech or report of his authorship. But it is clipped in the Vesti article in a way that is confusing, but tending to a pro-protests bias, as if they were trying to twist his statement in order to force a "journalists being persecuted by the State" narrative.

Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2020 20:46 utc | 27

Laguerre

From what I understand, the Union state agreement merges a number of things, but Belarus and Russia retained independent governments and foreign policies.

My thought is Belarus would have to join the Russian federation at some stage, losing independent foreign policy but retaining reasonable independence in domestic affairs. Something along the lines of Chechnya.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 20:49 utc | 28

ashino #9

Nothing wrong with MoA ! You do understand that this is a global blog and our host is German. So comments like "meanwhile in your very own country" etc are puerile and many of us have no interest in the dieing wheezes of the USA.

The funeral process underway in the USA is minor compared to millions of funerals CAUSED BY THE USA throughout the world in the past 80 years. You are welcome to stay fixated on that one funeral.

We don't follow and many don't even read an occasional link to the WAPO or NYT or any of the USA gutter press.
b will reliably report and save us the agony of reading tosh.

If you care about your country try bogging down some other blog with your navel gazing - it won't distract most of us here at the bar of infinite wisdom.

There is the rest of the world to consider.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 26 2020 20:51 utc | 29

Belarus has been turned into a focal point of geopolitics, the outcome of this latest U.S. mis-adventure I'm sure will have profound ramifications. Thanks b for your sharp and insightful analysis, on par with your most excellent Syria, Skripal and other reporting that won me over to MoA as a regular.

It would be interesting to know if the failing Outlaw Empire (thanks karlof1 for that term) had reasons to hope for a different outcome of that gamble. On the face of it it looks either desperate or ignorant - to think that Russia which has foiled coups in places as far and surrounded by US stooges such as Venezuela and Syria (and possibly more), would not intervene successfully next door in a Russian-speaking country.

Posted by: Leser | Aug 26 2020 20:55 utc | 30

Further indications that indeed western colour revolution plans have fizzled. Note the tonal change absent the threats and belligerence in this Canadian communique:

Aug 26, 2020: Joint Statement by European Union High Representative/VP Josep Borrell and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Francois-Philippe Champagne

https://twitter.com/CanadaFP/status/1298682679324545027

"...It is now urgent to launch an open and constructive national dialogue to find a way forward in Belarus."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 26 2020 21:00 utc | 31

karlof1 23

Thanks for putting up the Union State website link.

Laguerre This is the webpage showing the Union State agreement. I would guess this governs how they are operating together at the moment.
https://soyuz.by/dogovor-o-sozdanii-soyuznogo-gosudarstva

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 21:02 utc | 32

Tikhanovskaya disproves reports of opposition’s plans to shut down borders with Russia

Here's a universal truth about politics: victories unite, defeats divide. It's human nature.

Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2020 21:09 utc | 33

@Red Ryder #5:

If a movie is done, Cleese can interject Guido, a truly comic character.

No, no, no. Guaidó must be played by Adriano Celentano.

Posted by: S | Aug 26 2020 21:12 utc | 34

@Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 26 2020 20:51 utc | 29:

The people suffering in the US are generally working and lower class, and frequently immigrants and/or people of color, not 'The Masters of the Universe'.
I guess "The funeral process underway in the USA is minor compared to millions of funerals CAUSED BY THE USA throughout the world in the past 80 years" is how statements of solidarity read when they come from sociopaths.

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 26 2020 21:34 utc | 35

The Cavalry comes to the rescue of poor defenseless Belarus. The 'Human Rights (for some) Foundation' has formed the 'Belarus Solidarity Fund' - with either $106,957 (38 donors) or 1,397,340 EUR raised depending on who tells the tale:

https://defendbelarus.funraise.org/

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/colonelcassad/19281164/2658305/2658305_900.png

Posted by: Ken Garoo | Aug 26 2020 21:38 utc | 36

"Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko."
So why didn't the Nazis and the snipers show up? Did the FSB and KGB intercept them.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Aug 26 2020 21:48 utc | 37

The Belarus color revolution was an after thought, not a plan. It can't really have been said to have failed.
Venezuela again not Ukraine.
Madam Guaido's wikipedia entry was created after she stood for President. Even Random Guaido in Venezuela had a wikipedia entry 2 weeks before Trump named him president (though he still hasn't stood for it).

Posted by: M Droy | Aug 26 2020 21:52 utc | 38

@VK, Compare those socialists leading from the front to Trump, the great saviour of western civilization, according to the dupes at the RNC. You gotta be special kind of brainwashed to believe an anthropologically inferior personality type like Trump would do anything but continue destruction of material conditions for everyday americans. The notion of Trump’s paradise lost, a fantastic Never-Never land of economic prosperity and good health - that never was neither on land or sea. Trump’s globalist tax scam kept the Wall Street bubble going for two years with record ballooning deficits and no public benefit for masses of deplorables. The repo crisis of September 2019 already signaled collapsing of his bubble, but (after over ultimatums and pressure from Trump) fed countered with $1 Trillion per week in overnight loans for his financial parasite friends. The United States was in freefall even before pandemic began. A Dorian Gray individual like Trump is not saving anything or waging war on the front to save american republic against deep state actors. Trump is their best double agent, openly negociating access to chinese financial markets for globalist firms (see article). To top it off, his administration just socialized 3 to 4 trillions dollars to Wall Street with no oversight in latest pandemic bailout. He's basically destroying your country and children future economic position by giving a free endowment to financial parasites who will reengineer the whole of society at expense of hoi polloi. How that worked out for Weimar Germany ? We know what followed. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't see how destroying pre-requisite material conditions of freedom, make him suitable to lead anything ? Is this how one saves middle class deplorables, by paying it forward and scheming with his ''friends'' to steal pension funds from working class americans ? Nowadays conservatives have shown their true colours, sadly they don't believe in anything...Hating niggers, hispanics and antifa won't make them more competitive vis a vis marxist China and collectivist Russia. Can't fix cultish and stupid, derp.

http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO1Jun2018.php
https://www.citizen.org/article/the-trade-deficit-is-up-under-trump/
His real friends: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/02/trump-says-he-cut-wall-street-reform-because-his-friends-need-money
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/retirement-private-equity-trump-administration-wall-street-1047576/
Trump's friend already investing the looted 3 trillions overseas in Chinese equities:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-15/u-s-china-sign-phase-one-of-trade-deal-trump-calls-remarkable
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-01-16/u-s-investors-should-beware-china-trade-deal-access-to-bad-debt

Posted by: Horatio | Aug 26 2020 22:14 utc | 39

One Too Many @ 6

I knew it was over ....

To be honest it never really started. Looking at the protests there were never the numbers required to bring about change. Mostly, the protesters were in the thousands and one that I saw pictures of was probably in the tens of thousands but never in the hundreds of thousand and that is what you need to bring about the possibility of changes in a compact city of 2 million like Minsk.

Also, I think most people are wise to the various methods used to make a crowd look larger than it is and I noticed this time that many of the videos of protests on Twitter, etc. were taken while quickly scanning from side to side and not allowing time for viewers to make a decent estimate of the numbers present.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 26 2020 22:53 utc | 40

thanks b... good read....

i think cia - ned and the state dept just need to fancy up the wikpedia page for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya... maybe they can organize a special round table with random guaido and whoever abrams and etc are working on and call it the 2021 puppet round table group..sell it to the western msm - maybe even see if crystia freeland is available to be one of the main speakers at the event... maybe trump or biden - which ever one wins - can be a guest of honour at this special round table meet and greet too!

Posted by: james | Aug 26 2020 22:55 utc | 41

@VK 3, Compare those socialists leading from the front to Trump. You gotta be special kind of brainwashed to believe an anthropologically inferior personality type like Trump would do anything but continue destruction of material conditions for everyday americans. The notion of Trump’s paradise lost, a fantastic Never-Never land of economic prosperity and good health - that never was either on land or sea. Trump’s globalist tax scam kept the Wall Street bubble going for two years with record ballooning deficits and no public benefit for masses of deplorables. The repo crisis of September 2019 already signaled collapsing of his bubble, but (after over ultimatums and pressure from Trump) fed countered with $1 Trillion per week in overnight loans for his financial parasite friends. The United States was in freefall even before pandemic began. A Dorian Gray individual is not saving western civilization or waging war against globalist deep state to save the american republic. Trump is probably their best double agent, openly negociating access to chinese financial markets for globalist firms (see article). To top it off, his administration just socialized 3 to 4 trillions dollars to Wall Street with no oversight in latest pandemic bailout. He's basically destroying your country and children future economic position by giving a free endowment to financial parasites who will reengineer the whole of society at expense of hoi polloi. How that worked out for Weimar Germany ? We know what followed. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't see how destroying pre-requisite material conditions for freedom, make him suitable to lead anything ? Is this how one saves middle class deplorables, by paying it forward and scheming with his ''friends'' to steal pension funds from working class americans ? Nowadays conservatives have shown their true colours, sadly they don't believe in anything... Hating blacks, hispanics and boogeyman antifa won't make them more competitive vis a vis marxist China and Collectivist Russia. Can't fix cultish and stupid.

Posted by: Horatio | Aug 26 2020 22:57 utc | 42

The enforcement of the Union Treaty means the dismantling of the state property left in Balrus; the maximum feasible termination of the social wage left; the absorption of any or all state assets into Moscow's central government; the replacement of most personnel with either oligarch's men or Putin loyalists; the incidental termination of Lukashenko; the possible partition of Belarus with the rabid reactionaries in Poland and Lithuania, if Putin tries vainly to avoid yet another endless war to match the Donbass and Syria. Putin is neither so smart nor so brave as his press would say.

If Lukashenko sticks to what principles he's operated by, he will resist the Yeltsinization of Belarus by Yelstin's loyal heir Putin, and will likely be abandoned to the newly reforming movement, already being revamped with new pro-fascist element who will not much appreciate invocations of Allende.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 26 2020 23:00 utc | 43

yelstins loyal heir putin..... and little stevie is elliot abrams loyal heir... the transition team just hasn't announced it yet... you can take that to the donkey bank too!

Posted by: james | Aug 26 2020 23:09 utc | 44

"She has already met various 'western' politicians including the General Secretary of the German Christian Democratic Union party of chancellor Angela Merkel, Peter Zeimiag, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. Neither will be able to help her."

Biegun is currently Deputy State Secretary, but he met with Russian Foreign Minister when he 'came' to Moscow on 25 August.

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4299276

Biegun made the claim, as reported by Lavrov "We heard the US confirm its position that it is not interested in creating an artificial crisis around the situation in Belarus."

He drew Biegun's attention to "...initiative of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko...of implementing Constitutional reform as a foundation for consolidating society and the holding of subsequent elections for president, parliament and local government authority. I believe a hand has been extended to all those who are interested in a stable and united Belarus. Of course, this should be considered by the opposition, and our Western partners, that are leading the opposition now."

Lavrov structured the last sentence so it could be read two ways, deliberately, I suspect, to allow the interpretation that Western 'partners' should pay attention to Lukasheko's concessions.

These concessions include constitutional reform, and we can be sure such changes will be modelled on the Russian constitutional changes, incorporating the US system or requiring foreign NGOs to report extensively on their holdings,financing, property etc. Those attempting to interfere in Govt are thrown out, quite rightly (altho in USA Saudi Arabia and Israel are functionally exempt, it appears).

His final remarks were the most important:

"We appealed to these countries, primarily the US and the EU, to pay attention to those circles, such as in Poland and Lithuania, that are emphatically expressing their discontent with normalisation in Belarus and are trying to provoke violent actions in order to cause a respective response from law enforcement.

We consider such actions dangerous, and I think Mr Biegun heard our serious warnings."

This last recalls Pres. Putins comment on unveiling hypersonic missiles in response to USA seeking nuclear 'first strike' ability against Russia by deploying anti missile systems to block any Russian retaliatory resonse. He said along the lines 'they didn't listen to us then. Maybe they will listen now'.

So Lavrov is NOT saying USA is 'taking on board' Russias warnings. He is saying that USA HAS BEEN TOLD very clearly there will be a geopolitical blocking response that will not suits USA ambitions to surround Russia's land borders with an extreme close proximity ring of nuclear weapons.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Aug 26 2020 23:14 utc | 45

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 26 2020 23:00 utc | 42

That's why the Union State is not a reality yet. That's why Lukashenko risked everything by opening up to the West. It can only be because of the voracity of the Russian oligarchs.

But there's a tiny ray of hope: China. If Russia can settle on a Chinese model of socialism, then Belarus can open up (albeit gradually, very slowly). It's different when you have the system ready, as a palpable reality, where you just need to copy - you don't need to be like Lenin, trying desperately to educate and convince millions of illiterate peasants in the 1910s. It's much easier when the formula is ready and in the showcase, for everybody to see.

Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2020 23:19 utc | 46

to Horsewhisperer a 12

"b and the regulars here are ALL aware that AmeriKKKa is in terminal decline.
How come you only noticed today?"

Decline: the top layer of power is collapsing, but Am is a multi-layered federation. Illinois' (Chicago etc)
bonds are rated "junk", but the SF Bay Area is a power house. the terms of federation are the next issue.
track the state level, and Paul Jay and Larry Wilkerson. foreign policy is a wreck, so is the culture.

Posted by: bogdan | Aug 26 2020 23:29 utc | 47

powerandpeople @44--

I tend to agree with your parsing of Lavrov. It's been several months now that the Outlaw US Empire's been read the riot act by both China and Russia, who are now both engaging in pushback. Note the change in attitude in Syria where the Outlaw US Empire is in violation of the law--of course, it's an Outlaw--and Outlaw troops are now being pushed around by all, not just Russians. China's launch of two carrier killer missiles in response to continual provocations is also new. Clearly, the two Strategic Partners are acting in concert. And their message is directed to those behind Trump, who are also those behind Biden: Things are going to change and you're going to be the one doing the changing is the message.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2020 23:29 utc | 48

I just came to leave this link > https://www.ned.org/region/central-and-eastern-europe/belarus-2019/


NED donations to Belarus for....

"Increase local and regional civic engagement","expand an online depository of publications not readily accessible in the country, including works on politics, civil society, history, human rights, and independent culture","To defend and support independent journalists and media","To foster youth civic engagement","training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns"

Posted by: Chico | Aug 26 2020 23:31 utc | 49

b: "Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who falsely claimed to have won the election, is in Lithuania. She is supposed to be an English teacher but has difficulties to read the English text during her begging (vid) for 'western' support."

S.T. has some trouble making speeches in Russian too, with unnatural pauses etc. If her English is similar, then slow speaking with numerous pauses and avoiding complicated terms may be OK in teaching foreign language with weird grammar and difficult phonetics. I recall my increasingly dispirited English teacher in high school: Teacher: "think", girl: "sink", teacher: "think", girl "tink", and that repeated like 10 times.

-----

steven t johnson: "The enforcement of the Union Treaty means the dismantling of the state property left in Balarus; the maximum feasible termination of the social wage left; the absorption of any or all state assets into Moscow's central government; ..." I would need a credible link for that. EU has anti-subsidy rules etc., but state owned manufacturing companies exist in Russia, say, Rosatom (nuclear reactor and related products), United Aircraft Corporation, Gazprom, and quite a few other. Moreover, I seriously doubt if Union Treaty is anywhere as prescriptive as EU rules imposed on members and non-members like Ukraine. Putin is near fanatical about fiscal discipline, and lax about minimal wage (like Germany, if I recall, convenient if many workers are foreign), and was eliminating subsidies for Belarus. If anything, with Belarus more formally following Russia, the fiscal pressure from Moscow would relax. For example, Crimea does not pay for its infrastructure projects like the bridge, railroad and new highways.

On the other hand, economic and social consequences of incorporating Belarus to EU and NATO would be very severe.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 26 2020 23:36 utc | 50


sorry for the oversize. plus, the Russian KGB map is v useful. Am decline is a work in progress.

Posted by: bogdan | Aug 26 2020 23:44 utc | 51

Piotr Berman @ 49:

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya may be having trouble with a teleprompter going too quickly or placed too far for her to read.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 0:12 utc | 52

The failure of the Color Revolution in Belarus demonstrates that such actions can never be done on the cheap.

Color Revolutions require at least US$5 billion or whatever the current equivalent would be in today's money after being adjusted for inflation and other effects of incessant money-printing by the US Treasury. Plus you probably need someone of the calibre and menace of Victoria Nuland to carry it out properly, actually going to the place where the Color Revolution is occurring with loads of cookies and pastries to hand out to people and yakking to the US Ambassador in Minsk on the phone about who's going to be Prime Minister and who's going to be Foreign Minister, and so on and so forth.

As VK @3 says, it would have helped also if the US had cultivated a bunch of oligarchs like Khodorkovsky in Russia, Timoshenko in Ukraine and Leopoldo López Mendoza in Venezuela to meddle in national politics and pose as Belarus' legitimate political opposition. Instead the US and the EU thought they could woo Alexander Lukashenko to their side. As long as he appeared to be making all the right moves, they got lazy and neglected to nurture potential faux opposition candidates and groups until too late.

The result is that Lukashenko can point to nearly 30 years of political, economic and social stability as his record as President of Belarus, and that is a record that will be very hard for any political opposition to overcome.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 0:25 utc | 53

At the linke that Chico @ 48 posted (thanks, Chico!), I found this:

Increasing Party Capacity In Citizen Outreach And Issue Advocacy

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

$300,000

To enable a broad, diverse group of political activists representing democratic political parties and movements to conduct effective and systematic citizen outreach. The institute will assist political leaders in utilizing important pre- and post-election periods to carry out constructive citizen outreach by training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns.

$300,000 is the largest single donation made by the NED in Belarus in 2019. Does anyone else think this is actually quite a small amount to spend on what presumably should be a medium-large group of political activists (say at least 15 individuals)? Some if not most of that grant money must represent their salaries and living expenses, not to mention also rent money and money for office equipment if they need a place to gather and work together.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 0:38 utc | 54

B's celebration of the dictator Lukashenko's victory is a tawdry and shallow pseudo-journalistic exercise. It's disappointing. A dictatorship back-stopped by a clever Russian oligarch is nothing to celebrate. Democracy is a universal human value. I don't think you value democracy very highly, b. Disappointing.

Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 55

@jadan -

Where do you see "celebration"? I think you're projecting a little bit there; too used to the actual celebrations in the US and UK corporate media for any blatant or disguised coup attempts (or refusing to call a coup a coup). This day's entry on Belarus was merely pointing out that the author predicted correctly that the phony color revolution would fizzle out. He gave several reasons and they all seem to have been correct. So if anything, maybe there is some celebration that the author was correct but that's not at all what you're accusing here.

Besides, what was democratic about the way that Maidan happened? How about Chile? Seriously you might as well just take the next logical step that you're already thinking but not yet writing out for us to see. You think that "democracy" means US CIA and globalist western billionaire funded NGOs prying open new markets and swooping in to privatize all of the centralized, people-owned health care systwms, education, utilities and resources so that a few people can get very rich and the people of those countries eventually succumb to austerity measures so that their new "democratically" implemented government leaders who took IMF money can pay it back, always at the peoples' expense, never the western oligarchs or their puppets.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Aug 27 2020 2:04 utc | 56

Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 54

At least 1.23 billion Chinese would rather have improving standards of living as a human right than weasel words than don't put food on the table. After all, they are all too familiar with Taiwan which has real wages stagnated for the past 20 years under glorious vote-based democracy.

Posted by: J W | Aug 27 2020 2:24 utc | 57

Jadan #54

A dictatorship by two captive political parties owned by the same pack of oligarchs is not a Democracy.

Look within and you will discover your masters.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 2:40 utc | 58

Those of us who have done it know that protests and demonstrations are completely useless. They only serve the government in "look how democratic and forgiving we are."
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26 2020 17:44 utc | 2

Demonstrations have no effect in the fake-"democratic" oligarchies of the West because the entire Western system is constructed on subterfuge and fakery. In China demonstrations are highly effective, and thousands of demonstrations and protests take place all the time, having such an important part in moulding state policy that they are almost a part of the governing process - that is what happens when the State fully accredits the power of the people.

Posted by: BM | Aug 27 2020 2:50 utc | 59

@58 BM and others

Indeed, and as someone here said I think, it's far better to have a Party you can't change enacting policies that you can change, than Parties you can change enacting policies you can't change.

China is vastly more democratic than the west. The voice of the people carries.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 27 2020 3:06 utc | 60

@ 58 & 59
In China demonstrations are highly effective. . .The voice of the people carries.
Okay, I'm open to new knowledge. Evidence?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 27 2020 3:46 utc | 61

Democracy is a universal human value. I don't think you value democracy very highly, b. Disappointing.

Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 54

For starters, it is good to read "Ochlocracy" in Wikipedia, and ponder a bit about ochlocracy today. If you are lazy, it means "rule of mob", where changes of the government are violent and often lead to regression. Wikipedia is under many pressures, so the historical examples end in 19-th century, but there is a wealth of examples in 21-st century.

It is also worth to note that it used to be a "common wisdom" that democracy as a system cannot work in most of countries. Jeane Kirkpatrick, a professor and a diplomat, earned her diplomatic position (ambassador to UN?) writing "Dictatorships and Double Standards", published in Commentary in November 1979.

In that piece, Kirkpatrick mentioned what she saw as a difference between authoritarian regimes and the totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union; sometimes, it was necessary to work with authoritarian regimes if it suited American purposes: "No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime and anywhere, under any circumstances ... Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road [to democratic government] took seven centuries to traverse ...

Many guiding ideas for "color revolutions" come from that background. There is Goodness ("we") and Badness ("evil they"), and to transition from Goodness to Badness, a few centuries of autocracy may be exactly what is needed. One can view it as democracy with a few necessary correction. In the context of east-central Europe, the correction include:

waves of purges under "de-Communization", and "removing Russian influence"
elimination of people who speak Russian from public life (Baltics, Ukraine, proposed for Belorus)
censorship of everything which smacks Communism, sympathy to Russia, advocacy of the right to education in Russian etc.
innovative uses of law enforcement (allow some people to be killed or beaten up to various degree by ardent "democrats", allow some parties to collect black money while unleashing huge search for the most picayune transgression for opposition parties
somewhat novel re-definition of "social activism", a combination of fascism and pro-NATO workshops paid by oligarchs and bureaucrats of the West

Not a full list, but it seems to be to be the less advertised part of Belarussian "democratic program".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 27 2020 4:26 utc | 62

Don Bacon @ 60:

China Labour Bulletin (published in Hong Kong) monitors strike activity and other forms of industrial action in China daily. See here: CLB Strikes Map

Having said that, I should advise everyone including CLB has a different interpretation of what all this industrial action actually means. Some like CLB (and also WSWS.org) interpret the information to suggest that there is significant worker opposition against the CCP and all this strike activity is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of incipient revolution. But others may interpret the information differently, that the CCP actually encourages industrial action as one way of finding out what people want and then responding to it.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 4:50 utc | 63

@ jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 54.. you are very young and naive by the sounds of it.. you might come around if you keep reading moa..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2020 5:22 utc | 64

Lukashenko has spent his whole time in power - a quarter of a century - prevnting the union with Russia. Now he is supposed to implement it only in order to be ousted later on with the tacit support of Russia?

Where exactly is the Russian interference here? What specifically did Putin do beyond having a phone call with Lukashenko?

To me it seems Lukashenko has weathered the storm on his own, at least temporary. Meanwhile the Belorusian economy keeps declining, the political stagnation keeps going on, the geopolitical questions haven't be answered. This isn't over yet, just suspended, at best for a few years. Lukashenko can't rule forever.

Posted by: m | Aug 27 2020 5:43 utc | 65

m

b and others think Putin will remove Lukashenko at a future date.
Putin is not into revenge. Lukashenko has put his country first and I think that means more to Putin than small time get backs for past slights.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 27 2020 5:47 utc | 66

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 27 2020 3:46 utc | 60 -- "Okay, I'm open to new knowledge. Evidence?"

For non-Mandarin readers, start with Jeff Brown, Godfrey Roberts, Ramin Mazaheri on Chinese governance over the last 70 years.

Ignore the condescending Western "experts" who write to disparage China. Ignore the Chinese "scholars", who write to seek approval from said Western experts. Listen to the viewpoint of the common people, the deplorables, the 1,000,000,000 Chinese lifted up from 1949 world-class poverty to 2020 world-class middle income status. Mao's revolutionaries serve the billion citizens, who consequently speak well of the CCP. The Chinese elite before Mao lost family fortunes, and speak poorly about the CCP until this day, but the West read their "history books", and pertinently, cultivate the children of these people as useful idiots.

Democracy is not just about voting every 4 years. It is not even about the voice of people being HEARD. It is about their voice being heard, and then FOLLOWED. That is what happens in China. That is what separates China from the supposed "largest democracy in the world".

Changing parties, per se, is not democracy. Actually, that is less useful than changing underwear if the lot of Main Streeters is not changed anyway.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 27 2020 6:28 utc | 67

@Peter AU1
I agree that Putin is not the type who is carried away by his emotions. However, the assessment that the Russia-Belarus Union will lead to the ouster of Lukashenko is well founded.

Putin has mase clear what he wants, already in 1999: The union of Russia and Belarus. Read: Belarus becoming an autonomous part of Russia and remaining an independent state in name only.

Lukashenko has also made clear what he wants: He has build his whole presidency on Belarus remaining an independent country. Independent both from the West and from Russia.

I don´t see how it is possible to reconcile the two positions.

Posted by: m | Aug 27 2020 6:31 utc | 68

Re the democracy debate : I have come to consider that what makes the democracy illusion so effective in the collective West is its hope factor. The value proposition is actually exactly the same as the lottery or horse races ; millions of people are playing everyday, just for the hope of catching that 1-in-a-60 million big prize. It doesn't matter if, in reality, you will never win it - or, in electoral terms, if the policy or party you're longing for will never in a million years be enacted. What's important is this illusion that it may still happen.

So the most important aspect for a political system is to maintain this dream for ordinary people that their voice may be heard, even if in reality entrenched elites remain solidly in charge.

Apart from that we have to recognize that generally Western democracies (at least in Europe) work reasonably well for local policies and low-level issues. It's only for the big strategic and transnational decisions that we don't have any say in the matter. That's maybe where governments like Belarus or Russia have to progress : democratize more the local institutions, give people more control in matters directly affecting their lives. But as for foreign policy or strategic planning most people won't have a clue, it's too complex for them.

Posted by: Micron | Aug 27 2020 7:16 utc | 69

m 67

The way I see it is that Lukashenko is simply not in the running when it comes to Geo-politics, perhaps hemmed in by the size and position of his country. He is loyal to his country, and has been a good manager - especially when compared to other former soviet block states.
This color revolution I would think has given him a bit more of an understanding of where Belarus needs to go. As bush said - you are either for or against, and that remains unchanged.

If another that Russia thinks has better skills than Lukashenko appears, then they may well back that person, but at the moment I don't see Putin swapping Lukashenko out in a palace coup because of what has gone before.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 27 2020 7:47 utc | 70

Sidney Caesar #35

"The funeral process underway in the USA is minor compared to millions of funerals CAUSED BY THE USA throughout the world in the past 80 years"

That is what I said and it is in reference to the solidarity I share with all people on this earth. Including those in the USA.

The nuance that you so readily obscure or eludes you is that all those millions in other countries that have died at the hands or design of the USA had no access to democratic mechanisms IN THE USA to alter their fate. They were attacked and killed by the USA and their running dogs.

The working class and poor in the USA have some access to the democratic election process and can organise to change their fate.

Not so Libyans, Vietnamese, Chileans, Syrians, Venezuelans, Koreans, Iraqis, Cubans, Afghanis, Bolivians, Iranians, St Georgians, etc, etc,.

The people of the USA are in the throes of another of their faux democratic ejaculations that will likely deliver them nought but misery yet again and misery for this planet as a result. They have my sympathy to the extent that each of them is part of a solution NOT part of the problem.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 8:29 utc | 71

NEXTA and the Belarus games has me somewhat intrigued especially as it appears from an earlier thread that it was hacked and the demonstrators sent on wild goose chase after wild goose chase.

Was that when the western meddlers finally realised they were stymied? Has Telegram been hacked by the Belarus security?

Euronews spoke to Roman Potasetich, Nexta's Editor in chief, to find out more about the blog.

Some interesting details emerge and the extent of the network of spies and informants claimed by Potasetich would, if he were in the UK, land him in Belmarsh as a prisoner under the UK Official Secrets Act. Or if he were USA perhaps Gitmo, in Australia probably Manus Island rotting alongside refugees and waiting for malaria to finish him off.

Some extracts from the interview:-

Potasetich: Our channel is called "Nexta," which means "somebody" in Belarusian. That's our specialty. Telegram is an anonymous platform, it's a place for the secure transmission of information, and "Nexta" is a network of thousands of Belarusians who are sharing information, who send it to us and thus share the information with the whole country.

We have people in each sphere, verified sources with whom we have been communicating for a long time. These are the people who provide information that is always 100% accurate. These are the people who send us internal documents from various agencies, including the security service.

In terms of mass protests, first of all, we observe the situation because we receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of messages per hour. We are able to see the bigger picture and we immediately see when something corresponds to reality, and where there is an obvious provocation, exaggeration, or disinformation — including by the special services, which also throws us information quite regularly.

We have a lot of exclusive information, we have many government insiders, a lot of documents from some small government agencies or enterprises. We also have a lot of documents and classified information from high-ranking officials, including the president's administration, as well as law enforcement agencies. People know that they can read what will never be said anywhere else, simply because if ordinary, independent mass media in Belarus wrote it, they would be subject to controls immediately, pressure from special services would start, warnings would be issued and the publication could be closed down.


And then this interesting comment that indicates Telegram was safe and handy for the Belarus security establishment:

Euronews: Were you ready for the fact that the internet would be cut off across the whole country? How did you work under these conditions?

Potasetich: The good thing about Telegram is that it's the only platform that worked somehow. Even when no media downloads, at least it worked a bit. Most people in Belarus saw only a text version of messages, but at least this way they got information about what was going on.

A large number of subscribers from abroad also came to us and everything worked perfectly well. This news really spread all over the world. I think it's great, because even most government sites in Belarus still aren't working. At the moment, it's even impossible to enter the site of the Belarusian CEC (Central Election Commission of Belarus), because the internet has been blocked to such an extent.

This is the beauty of this new media format — when there's no centralised site, when it's impossible to block or ban in any way, because everyone has access to it and this access is unconditional.

Did you advise your readers on how to get around the block?

Yes, we actively advised our subscribers to use proxies, VPN, Tor, and other ways to bypass the total blockage of the internet, which continues in Belarus for a second day. But the proxy-servers were so in demand that the addresses we gave immediately went down.

Ah yes - Tor - safe as a bank of course. Given the run around the demonstrators got it appears that someone outside of the core operators had admin rights to the NEXTA channel. Which likely gave them peek-a-boo rights to every subscriber.

I can imagine the Maxwell Smart cone of silence descending on the channel for a while. Can any barflies expand on this at all?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 9:44 utc | 72

Gizmodo offered this advice regarding Telegram in 2016 !!

Telegram, the supposedly secure messaging app, has over 100 million users. You might even be one of them. If you are, you should probably stop using it right now. Here’s the unfortunate truth about Telegram: it’s not as secure as the company’s marketing campaigns might lead you to believe.

According to interviews with leading encryption and security experts, Telegram has a wide range of security issues and doesn’t live up to its proclamations as a safe and secure messaging application.

Take note Belarus activists, NEXTA has just set you all up for a big fall. That is how much they 'care for your revolution'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 10:02 utc | 73

Jadan@54 "A dictatorship back-stopped by a clever Russian oligarch is nothing to celebrate."

Are you saying that there is a clever Russian oligarch supporting Lukashenko, or that Lukashenko is a clever Russian oligarch?

If the first, I would be really interested to know who you are referring to and this is the only reason I react to your post.

If the second, you should know that Lukashenko is not Russian..

Posted by: montreal | Aug 27 2020 10:33 utc | 74

It appears world war three has been averted – for now. For Belarus could have been the flashpoint that triggered the series of events leading to global conflagration; it still could be. There are numerous international hotspots where it could begin. Governments need to heed the warnings of history, and be very careful about any unwise actions they might take.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Aug 27 2020 10:50 utc | 75

RE Future of Belarus:

1.) I would assume that one of Lukashenko's foremost concerns at this point is the preservations of his work, so to speak, that Belarus keep it's "soviet" economy.

2.) I would think Putin/Russia could accomodate that, if they wanted to. It will be very interesting to see how that works out.

I think we have to give Lukashenko some credit at this point, at least he does not seem to be the usual gold toilet and bimbos dictator we have become so used to.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2020 11:48 utc | 76

montreal | Aug 27 2020 10:33 utc | 74

The clever Russian oligarch is V. Putin, though I am sure lesser Russian oligarchs also support Lukashenko. Lukashenko is the posturing dictator,in case you are confused about this, the subhuman creature threatening to murder his fellow citizens so that he can stay in power. B is happy to see that Lukashenko remains in power because he's (b is)so much opposed to US interference in the internal affairs of other countries. The fact that Lukashenko, the blood thirsty posturing dictator who fancies himself such a manly defender of the state, who has remained in power for 26 years by hook or by crook, may be disliked by the majority of people he attempts to dominate, is of no concern to b. B denies that a majority of Belarussians may be sick and tired of this creepy Lukashenko and his militarist band of ass-lickers. Heroes, armed to the teeth willing to murder unarmed civilians! Heroes, like cops in this country who shoot black people in the back! B has a certain fondness for authoritarian leaders. Have you noticed? I do believe if Trump were as clever and self-disciplined as Putin, B would be a Trumpster. I, too, admire Putin, by the way, and I don't think he would sanction the poisoning of Navalny. Putin is a point of stability in our world, a counterbalance to the divisive irredeemable lunatic Trump, but Putin is no democrat. He calls for a multipolar world and arms control, but he does not call for democracy because he is an authoritarian and an oligarch and he does not believe in democracy. I'm not sure b believes in democracy either. The founders of this USA that b seems to have adopted, most of them, did not believe in democracy either.

Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 12:27 utc | 77

jadan @55

What is disappointing is foolish people like yourself bemoaning the lack of Democracy™ when you don't even have the foggiest notion of what democracy is. I will give you a hint: Wherever you are doing your moaning from does not have democracy.

Advice: Straighten out your own house before you start moaning about the condition of others' houses. Stop imagining that the "Democracy Show™" that your local oligarchs put on, along with their bread stolen from the Global South to go with that circus in order to keep you fat and distracted, is real democracy.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 12:38 utc | 78

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2020 11:48 utc | 76

If Lukashenka has to stop labour emigration Belorussian economy is in trouble.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 27 2020 12:39 utc | 79

Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 55

I must have spoken too soon about the incessant calls for "Democracy and Freedom" from shills.

Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 27 2020 12:58 utc | 80

Posted by: somebody | Aug 27 2020 12:39 utc | 79

Yes, probably not "innovative" enough too, but mainly too small of a country. That's why they will wind up part of Russia. I see something like 80-90% of those working abroad are working in Russia, so not a problem unless you want to join the EU or some such. But still the problem of being "small" and located on geopolitically sensitive terrain will force them to join somebody. The main problem seems to be that Lukashenko likes his gig there.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2020 13:11 utc | 81

@uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 8:29 utc | 71:

"many of us have no interest in the dieing wheezes of the USA" =/= "That is what I said and it is in reference to the solidarity I share with all people on this earth. Including those in the USA."

"The working class and poor in the USA have some access to the democratic election process" =/= "The people of the USA are in the throes of another of their faux democratic ejaculations".

Make up your mind, Uncle 'Man-of-the-people'.

Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 27 2020 13:29 utc | 82

Who is this "jadan" poster? Jaded more likely.

Instead of busting balls about your superior democratic credentials, feel free to educate yourself on the actual course of the Belarussian economy and society. But you won't do this. Like most creepy crypto-fascist "champions of freedom and democracy", you are spewing vague accusations without backing them with hard data. Like the fact that Belarus does NOT have oligarchs and the fact that Lukashenko bemoaned the presence of such in neighboring Russia. Even your NATO overlords grudgingly acknowledged that.

Or you may take a good hard look on every "democracy promotion" by the Anglo-American empire the last thirty years and inform the regulars here where exactly there has been established an actual democratic government. Did you enjoy the Nazification of Ukraine, touted as some sort of advance of democratic values? How about Libya, Syria, Hondura, Bolivia, Iraq or the neoliberal sewer of eastern Europe?

And no, this horror show did NOT start with Trump, although he has proudly coninued the policies of his predecessors. Did Trump establish the militarization of the police, the fascistc glorification of war, the mass surveillance of the population, the total unaccountability of the elites and their minions or the doctrine of extreme ethno-supremacism and messianic chauvinism? Because all these aspects constitute a highly authoritarian regime and existed before Trump who is a product of this system.

So, instead of trashing b, you might look on your own vomit-inducing levels of hypocrisy when you claim with a straight face that the events in Belarus have anything to do with democracy of any kind.

Posted by: Constantine | Aug 27 2020 13:30 utc | 83

@ Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 27 2020 13:12 utc | 82

Lukashenko won the election.

The Belarusian Constitution allows multiple reelections.

Is it too hard for you to understand?

Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 13:33 utc | 84

vk @3

What you say about the color revolution attempt in Belarus is correct. The State Department/CIA and their toadies in the mass media failed to do the necessary groundwork to give it a chance at success. This means that the empire "pulled the trigger" on that color revolution much too early. This despite the fact that their own color revolution manual clearly indicates that conditions in Belarus are not ready for color revolution.

In other words, the empire knew they were trying to pick fruit that wasn't ripe yet. Why get so ahead of themselves?

This decision reeks of desperation, but for Trump's election? It would be highly unlikely that Trump could order the premature execution of the color revolution. The empire's "Deep State" would drag their feet on such squandering of their resources just for their domestic "Democracy Show™". Biden would make just as good a figurehead of the empire for a delayed color revolution, so they wouldn't waste their ammunition for Trump. This means that the empire is acting out of desperation for the empire itself.

This desperation from the empire is both encouraging and a little bit frightening. It suggests that the empire's final act might be on cue.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 13:52 utc | 85

It took ten years to flip Ukraine to western side. I think it will take less to flip Belarus but this won't happen after one round of demonstrations and nobody sane believed it will. The pressure will be increased and at some point it will become unbearable.
I acknowledge Lukashenko skill, he managed to lead his country for 25 year without major bumps.
If Lukashenko wanted to make union with Russia he already had enough time to do it. IMHO it is more likely there will be an agreement with the west to hand over government while keeping wealth and some influence, similar to scenario played in Poland around 1989, where communist elites prepared to hand over for several years, quite possibly since 1985 and where they stayed a part of the political system for at least next 20 years. They are still around today but their significance is next to zero. Similar scenarios were played in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Ceausescu did not play along so he got bloody treatment.
I expect Lukashenko to swap sides and align with west within 3 to 5 years from now.

Don't hope for the fall of the west. It's just with technical progress, people there became less useful so some of them can be disposed of, be it violent or non-violent way. It's up to you if you allow to be disposed of.

Posted by: pppp | Aug 27 2020 14:02 utc | 86

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 13:52 utc | 86

There are many factors to consider:

1) elections in the USA;

2) the fact that the Belarusian election would happen this year, and not, say, next year;

3) Germany's (i.e. EU's) own geopolitical interests;

4) time not being in the West's favor in the greater scheme of things (pandemic, late capitalism's structural crisis, rise of socialist China, fall of prestige of the West among the Third World countries, etc. etc.).

Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 14:09 utc | 87

vk @88

Those first three factors are of interest to the empire, but they are not at all decisive. For instance, the winner of the US election is not so important to the empire so long as that individual represents the empire. A Biden victory might repair some of the empire's image in the world, but would pose no threats to the empire's color revolution schemes. Also, while the empire will certainly try for regime change again in the next Belarus election, they now have to start from scratch building up the opposition for that try, and the Belarus state is fully warned this time.

I think it is the fourth point you raise that is decisive in this. The empire seems to believe that it no longer has the time to wait for these regime change opportunities to mature properly.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 14:24 utc | 88

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 14:24 utc | 89

It (1) doesn't matter for the USA, but it matters for the incumbent POTUS individually (in this case, Trump). The USA has a history of inexplicable foreign policy decisions in election years, which can only be reasonably explained by the POTUS's individual vanity and will to be reelected/elect his successor.

But yes, (4) is definitely de decisive factor here.

Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 14:32 utc | 89

donkeytale | Aug 27 2020 13:12 utc | 82.

You write good donkeytale! Some commentators here might be a better fit at unz.com where racism, libertarianism, pure bullshit, and crotch rot are concentrated. b is ok, overall, even if he's a tad authoritarian. We're not haunted by the ghost of Adolf Hitler and goose-stepping zombies so we don't know what it's like to be b. I thought I might ask Gruff to explain to me what democracy is, but I don't believe I could bear the halitosis. James can just fuck himself, which he probably does anyway without invitation.

Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 15:01 utc | 90

re Democracy

I'm sure I read it here first, but what we call "Democracy" in the west is a system that from its inception was never expected to yield good representative governance. It was a scam from the beginning, says a certain viewpoint, and there's at least a small body of work illustrating this, but I can't find it currently.

Perhaps others know, and could share, this concept that elected government was intended as a sop from the beginning and was never seen as a very large grant of representation?

~~

In my local town politics and fights with my city council, I have often used the concept of "representative government" to argue for respecting, listening to and acting in accordance with the wishes of the townspeople, who are the stakeholders in any issue that comes before the dais.

At the local level, you can do this with some success. At the federal level of the US, it's obvious that the elected officers of government represent several interests but very rarely those of the people who elect them.

So if we're discussing successful government it seems crucial to use the equation of how well overall, and in how many fine-grained particulars, the system of governance succeeds in representing the views of the people it governs.

And this is where China's system has something to show all the countries of the world.

Let me find some links...

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 27 2020 15:01 utc | 91

Democracy = Shamocracy in the West

The West is ruled by the dictatorship of global private finance. All other claims to representative government are subservient to the "rule-based-order" of the cult behind global private finance.

And many are too ignorant to understand this perspective and keep spewing this and that "ism" myth they think is reality as brainwashed tools for the elite.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 27 2020 15:15 utc | 92

Godfree Roberts is the go-to source for statistics about China, while, as offered above, Jeff J. Brown is one of the best overall sources to understand what makes China great. Try this link for a minor meditation on the meaning and true value of democracy, combining intimate understanding of both China and the US with the kind of data that you want to make points stick:

Selling Democracy to China

Today, Chinese democracy resembles Proctor and Gamble more than Pericles. There are more than a thousand polling firms in China and its government spends prolifically on surveys, as author Jeff J. Brown says, “My Beijing neighborhood committee and town hall are constantly putting up announcements, inviting groups of people–renters, homeowners, over seventies, women under forty, those with or without medical insurance, retirees–to answer surveys. The CPC is the world’s biggest pollster for a reason: China’s democratic ‘dictatorship of the people’ is highly engaged at the day-to-day, citizen-on-the-street level. I know, because I live in a middle class Chinese community and I question them all the time. I find their government much more responsive and democratic than the dog-and-pony shows back home, and I mean that seriously." Even the imperious Mao would remind colleagues, “If we don’t investigate public opinion we have no right to voice our own opinion. Public opinion is our guideline for action,” which is why Five Year Plans are the results of intensive polling.

~~

It's clear from Roberts's article that we're talking about representative government, rather than the mere ability to vote "representatives" in or out of office.

It should be clear from our many grievances in the west that this one token gift of "the vote" is not enough to satisfy us. It has not yielded good, representative governance.

And so it becomes a very substantial argument to say that being able as a people to change government policy is more important than being able to change the temporary parties holding power over those policies, if those parties are not responsive to the wishes of the people.

It can be argued that a more stable system of government is one that does not change its elected representation, and the Chinese Communist Party shows us many things to ponder. Godfree Roberts again has a detailed view of how well and how fairly this system of leadership, made up of almost 100 million people, works: The Chinese Communist Party

~~

For those struggling to hang on to the benefits of multiple political parties rather than one party, the very erudite Chinese academician, Zhang Weiwei explains how the parties in the US are designed to represent only part the people - and how thereby, only a portion of the populace have "Democracy" at any one time - while the Communist Party in China is designed to represent all of the people:

Why is the one-party system right for China? Political scientist Zhang Weiwei explains the CPC bears no similarity with western political parties. It aims at representing the interests of the vast majority of the population, whereas political parties of the West by definition work for the benefit of a small minority. -- The CPC is not a "party"

~~

ps..I hope this isn't too off-topic. But since the discussion of events on Belarus keeps using the poorly defined notion of western "democracy", and since we are discussing this notion, it seems useful to offer the Chinese experiment as something that actually can afford to look the words "representative government" squarely in the face without flinching, indeed with pride rather than with the corrupt shame of the western leaders.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 27 2020 15:34 utc | 93

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 13:52 utc | 86


This means that the empire "pulled the trigger" on that color revolution much too early.

Not at all. This is called "priming".

It doesn't matter if the process is set in motion "too early", or "too late".
The empire is always in motion. If the 'revolution' fails today, it will try again tomorrow.
The next time it decides to trigger the process, the remnants of the last one will be ready to add to the mix and amplify the effect.

All part of the plan.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 27 2020 15:42 utc | 94

Putin an oligarch? No... That would be Biden, Trump, Clinton, Bush, Obama. Get the picture?

Posted by: obammamamma | Aug 27 2020 15:46 utc | 95

okay - 2 trolls talking to one another... hopefully folks will make note of that and not bother with them here forward - jadan and donkey..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2020 16:17 utc | 96

could be the same person for all i know... b can figure it out..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2020 16:18 utc | 97

Putin interview today, about corona, a second vaccine. Concerning Belarus, a reserve force made after Lukashenko’s request, to be deployed only if the situation goes out of control, the request is legally based on the United State Agreement between Russia and Belarus and the CSTO treaty.
In russian:

https://tass.ru/politika/9304671

Peter AU1 @32
Thanks for the link, Article 2 of the agreement calls for a common agreed upon foreign and defense policy.
I took some notes of the agreement, but I think whoever is interested in its contents can read it with a mechanical translation.

Posted by: Paco | Aug 27 2020 16:26 utc | 98

One more detail in the interview, the operation to trap the supposedly Wagner mercenaries was designed by Kiev together with the USA, no surprises there, but now publicly announced.

Posted by: Paco | Aug 27 2020 16:32 utc | 99

@ Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 27 2020 16:01 utc | 97

And what does it have to do with Belarus?

By the way, there's absolutely no evidence the results of this Belarusian presidential election aren't precise. Many Russian journalists and "experts" took the bait an immediately accepted Lukashenko doesn't have 80% of support, instead having "three thirds" (i.e. 66,66%).

The problem is the only material basis for this is the results in Minsk, where Lukashenko got "only" 64% of the votes. But even then you're assuming the official results are true.

Tikhanovskaya stated, citing her own particular sources, that it was actually she, and not Lukashenko, who received 80% of the vote. She equally stated Lukashenko actually got not more than 7% of the vote (!!). Either way, Lukashenko put her theory to test and proved her wrong.

Minsk is not Belarus. It is perfectly possible for a man to have received two thirds of the vote in the city which hates him the most to have received 90-99% in the interior. 80% of the vote is perfectly possible, and I think they are near the truth (but not exactly, as you have to take into account the people who voted "none" or didn't vote).

The fact that the pro-Lukashenko rallies flopped is not surprising. One of the main problems with late Soviet-style democracy is the profound castration of the masses in terms of political mobilization and organization. They grow up and expect the issue to be solved by the corresponding organ of the central party/State, so they don't bother to go out to the streets and do propaganda warfare. In fact, Lukashenko's call for his supporters to hit the streets must've sound very strange for them: he should simply deploy the police and, if it isn't enough, the army and get over it as quickly as possible.

Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 16:45 utc | 100

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