Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 15, 2020

Belarus - This Color Revolution Is Already Dead. The Union State Has Killed It.

The color revolution attempt in Belarus, which we predicted in June, evolved over the last week. But today's events tell us that it will soon be over.

While President Alexander Lukashenko claimed to have won 80% of the votes during last Sunday's election, the 'western' candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya claimed that she had won. (While the 80% is certainly too high it is most likely that Lukashenko was the real winner.) Protests and riots ensued. On Tuesday Tikhanovskaya was told in no uncertain terms to leave the country. She ended up in Lithuania.

During the week several nightly riots were shut down by the police. Several protester were 'roughed up'. Videos of those incidents were used by the usual 'western journalists' as example of unusual police brutality. It is as if none of those empire serving scribes ever watched how 'western' police react when bottles and fireworks are thrown at them.

In an interview with Strana.ua two employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus explained their view of the situation (edited machine translation):

"The command has repeatedly informed the personnel that foreign provocateurs are preparing riots. These are America, Poland, the Baltics and Ukraine. Russia does not need a strong president in Belarus either; they want to put their own man instead of Lukashenko. It so happened that Belarus for all its neighbors has become like a bone in the throat. They do not like Lukashenko because he does not allow Western or Russian oligarchs into the country. Yes, and the local are not allowed to raise their heads. For this, everyone does not like him and that muddies the water."
...
"Did you see who came and stood in front of us during the hot phase of the riots on Monday? These are rich city kids, the children of rich parents who are fed up with the well-fed life. These are the boys, young people who have lost their shores, who do not understand what they want at all. Most of my colleagues are guys from the villages. And they remember how their parents had a hard time in the 90s, until Luka came and stopped the mess. Now we do not live richly, but we are not poor. But many do not appreciate that."

Anyway, the police were told to tone it down. They did not like that (edited machine translation):

"Nobody wants to be torn up like the Berkut in Ukraine. We remember its fate. We have an order, we carry it out. All our people understand that if these rich kids and their masters come to power, we will hang from poles. We are accused of beating people. They did not beat people, but carried out the order, the commanders told them in advance - to act harshly. We worked."

Berkut was the Ukrainian police force that was falsely accused of having fired at demonstrators during the 2014 Maidan coup and was afterwards dismantled.

There don't seem to be many rich city kids in Minsk. Throughout the week the protests groups in Belarus were rather small. The 'western' media have pushed high number counts and talked of countrywide protest when twenty women stood on a sidewalk in Minsk. Photos can tell the real story in such situations. Some observers got very excited when some 200 staff of the MTZ Minsk Tractor Works staged a short walkout. But MTZ Minsk Tractor Works has 17,000 employees.

The photo below was taken and published around noon local time  today. This was to be today's central protest in Minsk. On a Saturday morning, in excellent weather, only some 2,000 people came out. Minsk has some 2 million inhabitants. The 'rich city kids' came. And few beyond that.


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Nexta is by the way the central communication channel used in this color revolution attempt. On Tuesday another Stana.ua report gave some details about its operation (edited machine translation):

The main supplier of news from the streets of Minsk and other cities of Belarus is the Nexta Live channel. Today he has crossed the bar of a million subscribers, although he was widely cited only a day ago, when clashes began on the streets of the capital.

It has a sister channel Nexta - with half a million subscribers. Both sites mainly forward messages to each other. But the basic one is the channel with the Live prefix in the name. The most operative videos from the scene appear there.

And most importantly, it is there that plans for a protest are published - at what time and where to gather for a rally, when to start a strike, and so on.

Round the clock, and especially during nighttime opposition rallies, this public is updated at a rate of several messages per minute. Most of which are exclusive videos and photos directly from the hotbeds of protests.

In addition to the video, the channel is constantly coordinating the actions of the protesters. They are told about the movements of the riot police, and sympathizers are told how to shelter the protesters.

Another function of the channel is constant calls to go outside and encouraging attacks on police officers.

On the very first day of the protests, Nexta was marked with a joyful message "People are beating the riot police", as if law enforcement officers are not people.

Nexta is led by anti-Lukashenko pro-Western 'activists' in Poland. The editor in chief is one Roman Protasevich. He was perviously a journalist for the Polish-Lithuanian-funded Euroradio, as well as for the CIA's Radio Liberty. Nexta was founded by Stepan Putila who earlier worked for the Polish-Belarusian channel Belsat which is based in Warsaw and is funded by the Polish Foreign Ministry. Both currently live in Warsaw.

As these media  produce fresh videos 24 by 7 and do many online post there must be a sizeable staff behind Nexta, in Poland as well as on the ground in Belarus. This is certainly not a cheep operation and it certainly has nation state backing. Obama's deputy national security advisor left little doubt about who is behind this game.

Ben Rhodes @brhodes - 4:11 UTC · 11 Aug 2020

Americans have to recognize that the fight against Lukashenko in Belarus is our fight. He is part of the same trend that has ravaged the US, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Hong Kong, Brazil, Israel, Egypt, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and others. We need sustained solidarity in response

Neither the EU nor the U.S. have acknowledged Lukashenko's election win. Both clearly want him out. There are talks about sanctions.

Even Russian media have spoken against him:

Steve Rosenberg @BBCSteveR - 6:47 UTC · Aug 15, 2020

Judging by Russian media this morning, it's not looking good for Alexander Lukashenko:
• “The question's no longer will he go, but when”
• “Lukashenko’s nightmare becomes reality”
• “Hard to see how he can turn events in his favour”

This is not going well for Lukashenko. He could shut down the protests but he knows that the game would then escalate and that it would not end well. He clearly needs help. While President Putin of Russia and President Xi of China had both congratulated him, neither has much interest in keeping him in office.

What could he offer?

The Ukrainian operation to fake a 'Russian coup' threat in Belarus by baiting 32 former Wagner fighters into the country had failed. But the men were still imprisoned in Belarus.

Yesterday they were flown home on a special Belarus air force flight. This cleared the atmosphere for talks with Russia.

Early this morning Lukashenko took the next step. He warned publicly that a danger to Belarus would also be a danger to Russia:

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday he wanted to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning street protests were not just a threat to Belarus.
...
"There is a need to contact Putin so that I can talk to him now, because it is not a threat to just Belarus anymore," he said, according to state news agency Belta.

"Defending Belarus today is no less than defending our entire space, the union state, and an example to others ... Those who roam the streets, most of them do not understand this."

The code word in the public message was "the union state". When I read those words I smiled. Lukashenko hates the Union State idea. Today he emphasized it. This was a deal offer.

In 1999 Russia and Belarus signed a treaty to form a Union State out of Russia and Belarus. It would include free movement, a common defense and economic integration as well as a union parliament. But since then Lukashenko has dragged his feet on the issue. At the end of the last year Putin pressed him again to finally execute the deal. When Lukashenko rejected that Putin shut off the country's economic lifeline from Russia. Belarus did no longer receive subsidized Russian oil that it could refine and sell at market prices to the 'west'. Lukashenko then tried to make nice with the 'west'.  He bought U.S. fracking oil. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Minsk. In March the U.S. reopened its embassy in Belarus.

But now the 'west' Lukashenko had tried to coddle with is trying to get him killed. Every U.S. embassy is also a U.S. regime change base. He would have been better off without one.

As he was the target of an ongoing U.S. led regime change operation, and with economic pressure in direct sight, Lukashenko obviously needed help. Today he finally wised up and capitulated to Moscow on the Union State issue.

It did not take long for Putin to respond. Some 6 hours after the above Reuters report the Kremlin published a note about a Telephone conversation with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko (emphasis added):

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the initiative of the Belarusian side.

Alexander Lukashenko informed Vladimir Putin about the developments following the presidential election in Belarus. Both sides expressed confidence that all existing problems will be settled soon. The main thing is to prevent destructive forces from using these problems to cause damage to mutually beneficial relations of the two countries within the Union State.

In connection with the return to Russia of 32 people who were previously detained in Belarus, a positive assessment was given to close cooperation of the relevant agencies in this regard.

They also agreed on further regular contacts at various levels, and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening allied relations, which fully meets the core interests of the fraternal nations of Russia and Belarus.

It seems to me that Putin accepted the deal. 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.

This announcement tells NATO that its over:

Steve Rosenberg @BBCSteveR - 17:23 UTC · 15 Aug 2020

Lukashenko reveals details of phone call with Putin: “We have an agreement with Russia on collective security...and we agreed: if we request it, comprehensive assistance to ensure security in #Belarus will be provided to us.”

That is the backing that was needed. All U.S. and NATO hope to somehow get Belarus under their control has just ended.

Lukashenko should now start to shut down the 34 projects and organizations the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy is financing in his country. The people involved in these, likely many of the rioting 'rich kids',  should be kept under observation.

For now the main issue is to stabilize the local situation. Russia as a superpower surely has ways and means to help with that. Belarus is now under its full protection.

A year from now, when the Union State is finally established, Lukashenko can resign over health issues and retire. New competitive elections can then be held.

Posted by b on August 15, 2020 at 18:09 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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From RT, there is a flash, but well above the guy's head and his hands are empty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_wGVaOxKxk&feature=emb_title

There are claims by friends that he had a chest wound. Videos are not great, but there were people around, witnesses, and the videos do not clearly support the State's claim.

In my previous post I forgot to mention Lukashenko's initial claim that the Russian contractors snared in the sting were trying to destabilize Belorussia. While later he equivocated about this it was too late to undo the initial claim. Ukraine was not publicly accused, as they should have been from the start.

The problem I see is that the thieves and plunderers in the West have a plan, and they will try to execute it now. Is there a coherent counter plan? Can the army take over and run a new election after forcing lukashenko aside?

He gave a speech at a factory today and was openly heckled. The clock is ticking and I don't think the current state of affairs can persist for long. Wish it were not so.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 14:10 utc | 101

RT Breaking: Lukashenko Promises Fresh Elections in Belarus After New Constitution is Adopted via Nationwide Referendum

https://on.rt.com/aoff

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 17 2020 14:12 utc | 102

the pessimist

Found some videos. Looks to be one taken from behind him and one from some distance off to the side. In the video from the side, the flash is just in front of the police and from the video shot from behind, a little above head height.
In the video from behind, you can see a cop fire just before the flash. Look carefully enough and the dumb prick threw some sort of bomb and the cop fired as he threw it. Probably a tear gas canister hit the fool in the face.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc1aJjffKAg&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 14:15 utc | 103

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 13:23 utc | 100

"..It does not look to me like this is going to die down and go away as our host and others have suggested. "

Excellent summary of events leading toward today. Nope it's not going to died down b will need to rethink what's next. From my point of views with EU getting into the game and USA moving troops into Poland and blaming games start all over again Russia again moving near Poland NATO. USA will again apply more sanction and strike Russia Federation to end Putin's Russia-Germany Gas Pipeline.

If Belarus goes so will Russia - more venerable than ever, and soon China too...

Posted by: JC | Aug 17 2020 14:28 utc | 104

@103

The RT article shows 'protestors' holding signs in English for the camera - a bad sign (so to speak). There is one in Russian...

Can this change of heart by Lukashenko be made to fly? He has to hope that the security forces and the army will help to execute this plan without worsening the public mood.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 14:34 utc | 105

JC 105

I doubt Belarus will go. Even the wikipedia page on Belarus cant hide the fact that Lukashenko genuinely gets a high percentage of votes throughout his time as president.

Pompeo just finished his tour arm twisting in EU so the EU are taking the lead on this one. From what I've read, they've invested a lot of money in it. Now that Belarus will get hit by sanctions, it will most likely join Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 14:40 utc | 106

From the RT piece

"Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania in the wake of the protests last week, said earlier on Monday that she is ready and willing to take the role of an interim leader in case new elections are held."

Same as any of this color revolution bullshit. The only "fair" election is on in which the countrys president cannot participate for the simple reason they will win.
Syria, Venezuela, Belarus.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 14:48 utc | 107

Not as erudite or well-read as many posters here, but I remember the past, most especially the recent past. It was during W's administration that he and his cabal began touting the "freeing" of the "innovative" forces of the "market." The only innovation that was readily apparent and ultimately disastrous was the corruption of responsible financial behavior through the introduction of "derivatives" and other junk financial theft.

On a more generic note, there is no proof, and none can be offered that profit alone is responsible for innovation. What we call "science" is nothing more than formalizing methods of human inquiry into the natural world that brings us to understandings about same that are repeatable, reliable, and most importantly, predictive. And it is cumulative. I believe Einstein said: "If I have seen further than others it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants." Indeed.

Of the two: "Necessity is the mother of invention"; and "profit drives innovation", the first seems much more basic and generally progressive, while the latter will always work to keep filling the pockets of those whose pockets are already overflowing.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Aug 17 2020 15:00 utc | 108

Peter AU1@107

Lithuania and Poland (not to mention Ukraine) are nests of western regime change offal. Those actors must somehow be excluded from the proposed constitutional reform process and prevented from interfering in a new election. How many people do these forces already have on the ground in Minsk and elsewhere? It was around this point during Maidan when the EU guaranteed Yanukovitch's proposed reforms that the sniping occurred and the trap was sprung. Would the Belorussian population support Russia as an arbiter here? This could be a viable defense if there is public support for it. In Ukraine Russia's past policies had not won it sufficient sympathy across the country to allow it to participate openly during the critical period, other than to secure Crimea and protect Yanukovitch. What is the general public sentiment?

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 15:01 utc | 109

the pessimist

I asked that question over at smoothies blog and the answer I got was the older generations lean towards Russia, the younger generations the EU.

Back in the 90's a referendum to integrate Belarus economy with Russia's economy passed with about 70 or 80% of the vote.

From what I remember, the rioting with explosions started even before the elections where finished - I think planned that way as with a 70 to 80% turnout, Lukashenko usually gets around 70% of the vote.

Looking at the protests, a lot of the younger generation have drank the color revolution snake oil, but at the moment I think they are still a minority.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 15:15 utc | 110

Lukashenko on Assad and Syria
https://mobile.twitter.com/Partisangirl/status/1295346255632072704

Well worth watching.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 15:30 utc | 111

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 15:30 utc | 112

Thanks Peter good interviewed, it's past midnight Sydney still awake, Is Partisan girl still in Ozzie? When she first came out and was against Assad, but change after she realized what happens, the sad truth!

Lukashenko on Assad and Syria

https://mobile.twitter.com/Partisangirl/status/1295346255632072704

Posted by: JC | Aug 17 2020 16:11 utc | 112

Interesting video. Why then did he court the west in an attempt to pressure Russia? What exactly was Russia requesting that he was opposed to?

I see to remember some scandal about tainted oil in one of their pipelines that was blamed on criminals in Russia. I believe that was after the subsidy had been cut.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 16:11 utc | 113

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 15:30 utc | 112

Excuse me. Correction should be Syrian girl. Not familiar with Tweet, switch Opera Browser to Yandex to read Tweet. Syrian girl Tweet draws many high flyers I'm familiar, Susan Rice, Aaron Mata, Ben Norton, Sarah Abdallah even Guardian liar Shaun Walker, Alex Jones and ACLU..

Posted by: JC | Aug 17 2020 16:37 utc | 114

Frank Viacorka, the US coups d´etat specialist around the world has been signaled by some peers as the head of the ongoing coup ( let´s call things by its name...) in Belarus...

https://twitter.com/franakviacorka

One would say that Lukashenko should make the opposite of what he asks...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 17:36 utc | 115

The protest coordinator is a link, completely ukromaydanovskiy type. They are prepared in Poland and in camps for activists in the Carpathians. "Victim of Minsk riot police" turned out to be ... the coordinator of the riots.

https://twitter.com/D_Steshin/status/1295220711880036355

What Lukashenko needs is to catch as many "coordinators" as he can, there can not be so many, they need some years to train, and jail them on insurrection charge on behalf of a foreign country...

Puppet masters in Belarus make people charge towards the cops Hoping for another "sacred victim"? The image of the first one, a criminal, who was incarcerated for manslaughter before - was not good enough for the opposition?

https://twitter.com/elenaevdokimov7/status/1295154450508550145

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 17:47 utc | 116

Why Belarusian US puppets can rise against the legitimate government and those who fought along those who rightfully rised against the coupist Nazi junta of Kiev in defense of their very lives are criminaly indicted?

News from a few days ago. The Ukrainian prosecution opens criminal cases against more than 100 foreigners who have fought on the LDNR side in the Donbass. Among them 27 Spanish, 19 Italians, 26 Moldovans, 5 German, 2 Dutch, 3 Lithuanians, 12 Kazakhs, 7 Armenians, 2 Bulgarians and 1 Georgian. All of them, according to the Ukrainian authorities, have fought in the Donetsk and Luhansk territories against Ukrainian troops. According to the prosecution this goes against the Geneva convention.

The prosecution had already opened cases against 20 French, 16 Brazilians, 1 Kyrgyz, 1 Bosnian and 1 Chilean. It remains to be seen if the prosecutors of the countries of origin of these alleged combatants collaborate, but at least the EU countries it is highly doubtful that they will.

https://twitter.com/PabVis/status/1295373734962921473

The EU has millions of euros ( they do not have to spend in the impoverished by Covid-19...) to spend in support of the Belarusian insurgents trying to give a coup d état in Belarus, but not to help the European antifascists who went to help Donbass people against a sure extermination by Nazi battalions

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 18:15 utc | 117

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 12:40 utc | 97

The three Baltics plus Poland milk the EU to its bones, on the orders of the whole US puppetery cadre inside the EU Parliament and Comission.
While not being hitted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the least compared to Italy and Spain they received almost the same pack of recovery funds, which Italy and Spain had to fight as in a ring with the Hanseatic League currently governend by the far-right...It seems that Holland did not protests so much about funds given to its correligionaires of the far-right in the Baltics and Poland as it did about helping the Southern countries, who contribute to the EU budget, by theri size and GDP, 50 times more than the Baltics and Poland...

When it is about the Baltics, there is no structural reforms to request, keep them as nazi strongholds to bother Russia is enough....

One day the EU citizenry should have a say about this... as they are granted such predicament that US managed tiny opposition in Belarus...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 18:46 utc | 118

I just posted the comment below in the weekly open thread and see that this thread is still active so will repeat here...

Below is a posting title at Reuters....projection much?


U.S. watching 'terrible' situation in Belarus closely, warns Russia not to meddle


How long will humanity put up with the seemingly obvious projection of "Don't do what we do, do what we say!"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17 2020 19:47 utc | 119

@ Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 15:30 utc | 112.. thanks peter... i agree...the 1 and 1/2 minutes was worth it... i am very curious to know what year that was recorded....

Posted by: james | Aug 17 2020 19:56 utc | 120

@Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17 2020 19:47 utc | 120

They mean, -"do not meddle in my meddling", of course...

Anyway, I will not hold my breath for the Russians to meddel too much....May be why Lukashenko has ceded to reform Constitution to hold new elections once that is done..

Look at these faces...strategic negotiations in Vienna...one would say the Belarusian affair came to timely for the US to have something with which negotiate...i.e. put pressure on Russia...

https://twitter.com/mission_rf/status/1295366285170286598

One gets with the impression these people deliver us amongst them as if we were pieces of chess...

Ainsss...Qué razón tenía Lenin!

If Belarus falls to the nazis, I will be seriously considering that insinuation by a misterious commenter ove there, years ago ( a Russian...) who once insinuated to me that nazis in Seventeen Moments of Spring were showed in a way too favoured light...And to be honest, once viewed the series, that is true, when you hear the reading of the personal files, all sound almost perfect...if you extract the "little" detail that they executed almost all Jews, Gypsies, Unionists and Communists they could catch in Europe...plus the looting of every welath they could find, even in the mouthes of the people...and that inmeasurable greed that they go to the extent of takong advantage even of the hair of the people....
That today it is allowed any kind of apology of the nazis in Europe is a whole shame and a sign that the same is coming for us. We should be already organizing the resistance...
The Russians will not come in our help, as will not come in the help of the so peaceful and beautiful Belarusian people...I hope the Belarusian will rise against this nazi coming rule...There is a time when peace is no more possible..

Where is Surkov when is needed? Suuuurkoooov!

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 20:11 utc | 121

Belarusian SSR...

https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1295449854563561474

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 20:19 utc | 122

I can not believe that the Belarusians who have these memories, have not gone into the streets to fight the wavers of the Zmagarsky...May be they are expectant...to see what happens...may be they are waiting for the Russians...on whom they for sure know they depend?
What will happen when they realize that the Russian will not come?
A blood bath for sure...as always...as in the Ukraine...

14 January, 1944: Nazis burned the village of Ola (Svietlahorsk District, Gomel region, Belarus) killing 1,758 people (950 children). Many residents of other villages had fled there but fascist soldiers burned them alive in the massacre. The village was never rebuilt.

https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1084836478583218176

Coming soo to Belarus....

https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1295410968214806528

US brought in prosperity in US colonies...

The US military bases in South Korea are full of brothels to satisfy the needs of imperialism. They call them 'Juicy Bars'. In addition to exploiting minors, these places receive a tax exemption and prohibit entry to nationals.

https://twitter.com/DPRK_CAODEBENOS/status/1294571067340709888


Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 20:29 utc | 123

H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 20:11 utc | 122 (17 moments nice to nazi)
In my opinion the same remark or criticism applies to "White Tiger", especially of course the very end. Nevertheless, morality aside, White Tiger exposes some truth...basically that it is never over. There are always fascists, nazis. If that's true, then one might say that there's a "little nazi" in most all men. The good, then, is to train up the young in moral ways. Alas, in these times, in US and, evidently, much of "the west", this is avoided because it would undermine the looting by the ruling class. It's transient, cannot last, unstable.It's therefore an exit strategy. Hence, one may assume, the necessity of war (to their agenda) and the sober prediction that the US population in 2015 will be 54 million. Just 54...

Posted by: Walter | Aug 17 2020 20:37 utc | 124

not 2015. read 2025. The 54M was "Deagle" - a "think tank

Posted by: Walter | Aug 17 2020 20:39 utc | 125

Thread on US preparations for the coup in Belarus...from years ago...

https://twitter.com/Herbert_Keg/status/1295056526319788034

We are going to unravel the origin of involution in Belarus. USAID (CIA "humanitarian" front-cover) has been operating since 2006 in Belarus training opponents. They call it "training of civil society organizations." THREAD

The training program for Belarusian opponents of USAID, it could not be otherwise, is oriented to neoliberal capitalism and includes visits to government agencies and US companies and civil societies, to "educate them in the corporate culture" of the United States.

In 2014-2015, USAID trained representatives of 140 Belarusian opposition organizations cynically called "civil society organizations," with more than 8,000 hours of ideological training. In 2016, 22 organizations were selected for financial support.

USAID has only been able to exercise a high degree of ideological penetration in Belarus if it had a permanent headquarters in the country. That's right, USAID has a center in Minsk, at 70 Myasnikova Street. Putin kicked USAID's ass, Lukashenko didn't. It is what it is.

The NED (National Endowment for Democracy) is another of the US interventionist flagships in the world. It is, along with USAID, which now does the "clean" work for the CIA with "regime changes." The NED has infiltrated every pore of Belarusian society

In 2019, the NED allocated $ 1,739,698 to Belarusian opposition organizations for projects on "freedom of information", "independent press", civil society, "youth activism", "promotion of democratic values" etc. In 2018, he donated a similar amount

Another US coup foundation, the International Republican Institute (CIA partner) has been steeped in the destabilization of Belarus since 1997, funding "political party programs, women's empowerment, and youth leadership development." Does it sounds to you?

The International Republican Institute has helped Belarusian opposition forces and the so-called civil society with millions of $ in electoral campaigns, in the realization of youth workshops, as well as in strategies to follow in social networks and the astute promotion of women

Soros's ubiquitous Open Society Foundation could not miss the appointment. But here Lukashenko was alive. He was registered in Minsk on October 22, 1993 by liberal and conservative "activists and intellectuals", but in 1997 the Belarusian leader ordered his expulsion from the country.

The CIA's anti-communist station, Radio Free Liberty, has played a decisive role in the coup riots in Belarus (as it did in the socialist East). It has its own service in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, through Radio Svavoda. What could go wrong?

The Radio Free Liberty Service (Radio Svavoda) for Belarus is clear "we are a bastion against pervasive Russian propaganda and we challenge the government's monopoly on the national media." Is it strange that opponents sing songs to the CIA station?

Can you imagine that someone with the same economic power as the US foundations would do the same in US territory to promote regime change in Washington through the training of communist cadres, infiltration in the spheres of power and massive demonstrations?

I forgot to quote the fascist rat of Franak Viačorka, a member of the Atlantic Council and Radio Free Liberty, who is being the main propaganda voice of manipulation in Belarus, involved in all the US coup plotters in the world.


Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 20:44 utc | 126

In this video, of nazi thugs beating elders in the Ukraine, you can view the "coordinator" perfectly well at 1:30 footage...See through the video how he encourages the thugs...and how he would fit perfectly into ISIS ranks...indeed he has not even shaved himself...to what end? may be next week he is is Syria...or Belarus...Do you think this dude is even Ukrainian?

https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1295410968214806528

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 20:57 utc | 127

@ the pessimist, #105


If Belarus goes so will Russia - more venerable than ever, and soon China too...

Hmm, strange conclusion in my opinion. Why should Russia (and China!) fall if Belarus will do so? Why on earth?

Banderastan (in times it was more/less normal state) was much more important for Russia (than Belarus) - the volume of investments, the volume of the domestic [ukrainian] market, well-established supply chains, the connectedness of economies, road and gas transit, dependence in some critical areas (for example, engines for helicopters, which Russia is now capable of producing itself), etc.

But Banderastan's "turn to the West" is not a "critical loss" for Russia. Only naive adherents of the myth created by Brzezinski ("Russia is nothing without Ukraine") believe in this. This bizarre country with a yellow-blue flag has chosen the path of self-destruction and successfully destroys itself (since 2014 in turbo mode). Russia only looks at it from the side, bewildered.

From this point of view, Belarus is much less important for Russia (than Banderastan was).
If the value/significance of Belarus were so important and critical for Russia, then we would see a completely different development of events in this republic. All republics of the former USSR have been independent states for 30 years. They choose and build their own policies. Belarus is no exception. Russia can only offer cooperation. It's their choice to accept or reject the offer. Lukashenko essentially rejected it. We now see the result.

In my opinion Belarus is more important for Russia from a "world outlook" and historical point of view. Russia and Belarus is really one people/nation, artificially divided after the fall of the USSR. I can only repeat what I said in one of the previous topics - in my opinion, Belarus expects a Ukrainian scenario, only probably in a somewhat 'lighter mode'.

Posted by: alaff | Aug 17 2020 21:01 utc | 128

alaff@120

Check your post reference - not my words.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 21:03 utc | 129

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_and_See?wprov=sfti1

Klimov's Come & See is imo the definitive work on Fascism's unfinished quest for Lebenraum in Belarus during WW2. V2.0 in the making?

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 17 2020 21:10 utc | 130

BBC is interviewing people in Kiev regarding developments in Belorussia, a disturbing sign. These folks have a plan and EU support.

alaff, regarding your post - a NATO militarized Belarus would be a security red line for Russia I would think, and another EU run failed state on its border would not serve Russian interests either. Like was the case in Ukraine, Russia is the primary trading partner and destroying the trade relationship will destroy the economy. Russia cannot stand by as a disinterested party here.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 21:14 utc | 131

Lozion@131

Thanks for reminding me of that film. It has been many years since I watched it and I had forgotten the Belorussian context. Seems the current generation has as well.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 21:26 utc | 132

As a commenter is correctly pointing out at Fort Russ, the response to an undemocratic take over of power, can not be democratic...

The same commenter is pointing out that the Belarus case marks the end of democratic elections for all of us. In fact, I was precisely thinking this morning that if the EU allows and willingly collaborate in this take over of Belarus, it is a very bad sign for us, since the same is coming for us, no doubt, othrwise how they will justify the carnage and looting coming for Belarus...The thing is that the general looting is coming...and for that they need the rule of the fascio..They are taking advantage now that the people is shocked and who is not is exhausted after two Covid-19 rounds during 6 months non-stop...

We may possible witnessing this unleashing in full force on November when Trump, or the others, lose...

That The Economist has chimmed in is a sign of worst presage...( no wonder Macron is leading the bid in the EU...we can imagine what´s the bid in Lebanon thus...) and a sign which points at Lukashenko refusing to stop the economy because of Covid-19 pandemic as the decisive factor to overthrow him just right now...
Stopping the economy would had runied Belarus, as it ruined us, as a needed condition for Belarus to be indebted for ages by the IMF loans...

One would say that the Covid-19 came way too timely so as to facilitate taking over what remained without being so after the fall of the USSR...The Great Reset...they call it...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 21:32 utc | 133

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 21:26 utc | 133

I mentioned it some threads ago....may be even posted some link to the film...can not remember well..posting way too much these days...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 21:34 utc | 134

Well they are trying a "Putin in Dresde" right now...old book....

Hundreds of people are gathering outside the KGB headquarters in Minsk.

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1295411823676731393

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 22:30 utc | 135

One would say that the Covid-19 came way too timely so as to facilitate taking over what remained without being so after the fall of the USSR...The Great Reset...they call it...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 21:32 utc | 134

Really? It was the Covid-19 that undermined Belarus and not Lukashenko's incredible stupidity to allow the US and its vassals to do EXACTLY the same thing they have done in preparation of every color revolution?

So if the pandemic had harmed the Belorussian economy, but there had not been any room for subversive US/western agencies to undermine the country for over a decade, would the latest events come to pass? I must say, I despair when I see a leftist like you miss the obvious and look for excuses elsewhere.

Russia is partly responsible too with its attachment to neoliberal policies (even in parallel with social-democratic ones) that turned away many Belorussians of socialist convictions who were concerned that, in the case of unification, their country would be burdened with oligarchs that had not infested Belarus before. But the root of the current mess, exposed openly and in numerous occasions, is the subversive activity of western agencies whose goals and modus operandi is very well known. Lukashenko himself bears the main responsibility for the current disturbing developments.

Posted by: Constantine | Aug 17 2020 23:11 utc | 136

@Posted by: Constantine | Aug 17 2020 23:11 utc | 137

What part of the buildup of US coupist apparatus into Belarus I have posted above in a whole thread did you miss?

Of course, Lukashenko allowed they in, but the IMF had offered him loans if he lockedown the economy and he refused...then the Maidan came.... as usual, with its crystal ball, guessed it all...

Spare me your corrective tone of leftist dirigent cadre with a poltrona somewhere...you are touching bone...I know you from Fort Russ...mate...Most of you have of leftists what i have of lagarterana...you all play the leftist to advance your narrative in the middel of all your verbiage...which ends being that of the US Empire...

BTW, the Greens voted for not reocgnizing Lukashenko victory and to declare him persona non grata in Europe...Do not tell me, you are a green lefty...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 23:21 utc | 137

...as usual The Economist with its crystal ball...guessed it all...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 23:23 utc | 138

Well, after all Russia came...at least the stavka...and the missiles are already positioned in the border...This must have been discussed in Viena...those smiling faces must have been for the stalemate...

Now it´s up to Lukashenko and the to get rid of the 5th column...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 23:34 utc | 139

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 23:21 utc | 138

Apparently, you know nothing of me and respond like a prick. The point I made was specifically about your assertion about the Covid's effect on the events. Which is unimportant.

As for me and others "advancing the verbiage of the US empire", you must really have comprehension issues. No need for you to pose as the sagacious leftist authority here. As it happens, I have found many of your links quite interesting and informative. But you really have to tone down your high and mighty attitude a bit, especially on people who are more or less on your side

Posted by: Constantine | Aug 17 2020 23:35 utc | 140

@Posted by: Constantine | Aug 17 2020 23:35 utc | 141

No need for you to pose as the sagacious leftist authority here

Oh, wait, the same point that the other troll, the Conspira loon, stop projecting hamijos...and stop trying to discredit me...I must be onto something when one after another are thrown at me, like alimañas...someone should ship a cargo of algo pa los nervios to that border with Lebanon...

It´s you who came with your derogatory tone to me...It´s the first time I find you here...Forget me...mate...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 17 2020 23:42 utc | 141

james 121

I was interested in who the interviewer was. turned out he was the son of a Russian or ex Russian oligarch that bought him a British paper. the interview I think was 2012.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 23:50 utc | 142

Constantine
waste of time saying anything to idiot boy as to him everyone else are trolls of some sort. Left, five-eyes or whatever. All idiot boy is good for is swamping threads with links.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 18 2020 0:08 utc | 143

JC

I sleep at odd times now. Most of my life I've gone to sleep an hour or two after dark and wake up a few hours before daylight. At one stage I would work for a couple of days- one day, one night, and the next day - and just sleep every second night.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 18 2020 5:29 utc | 144

A Ukrainian official claims that the SBU intended to fly the former Wagner fighters to Ukraine, where they were supposed to be arrested for their previous involvement in the war in Donbass. https://twitter.com/I_Katchanovski/status/1295520768445550597

The plan was to use a fake medical emergency of another passenger on their flight from Belarus to Turkey as an excuse to divert the plane to Ukraine. The official blames the head of the Ukrainian President's Office for calling off the operation.

There could be some truth in this story, but it's more likely that it was the FSB who found out about the plan and delayed the departure of the ex-Wagner team until they were arrested by the Belarusans.

Posted by: Brendan | Aug 18 2020 7:57 utc | 145

the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 14:34 utc | 106

The RT article shows 'protestors' holding signs in English for the camera - a bad sign (so to speak). There is one in Russian...

The fourth sign is in Belorussian and says "Return our voice". Both Belorussian and Ukrainian kept the letter "i" whereas Russian dropped it using only "и".

Posted by: Peter Williams | Aug 18 2020 11:43 utc | 146

Thanks Peter@147, so all signs made only for camera.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 18 2020 12:40 utc | 147

More official Ukrainian sources are supporting the story that the plan was to detain the ex-Wagner fighters in Ukraine (machine translation from https://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2020/08/18/7263339/):

"The group to be seized included people likely involved in the downing of a Boeing MN-17, an IL-76 near Luhansk airport, and an AN-26 near Luhansk.
(...)
Under the guise of paramedics, a group of special forces would board the plane and detain the Wagnerians.

However, the plan failed to materialize. Deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ruslan Baranetsky reported on the operation to President Volodymyr Zelensky and head of his office Andriy Yermak. After the report, Ermak asked to postpone the special operation because it could disrupt the exchange of prisoners, which was being prepared at the time. And the operation was postponed for several days.

Ukrainian intelligence suspects that after that there was a leak of information to the FSB. The result was the detention of mercenaries in Minsk and their subsequent transfer to Russia."

Posted by: Brendan | Aug 18 2020 13:38 utc | 148

There is a polarization about color revolution which leads to two narratives , neither of them getting things right as they should. Whether it's Syria, Hong Kong or Belarus, there is a mainstream narrative which completely denies the western regimechange machinery and emphasises color revolutions as the authentic voice of the people which should be obeyed. An instance I read today did mention outside influence but as 'a public perception', or as a potential problem in the future. But it is not possible to discuss this influence because it is the territory of distrusters: conspiracytheories. Humanitarian interventionism is a dominant ideology and it goes much further than this, claiming the US should intervene to force a country to do the right thing.

There is the 'distrusters' side who turn away from the mainstream and who tend to put all the emphasis on the regime change machinery. Since most on here including me tend towards the distrusters side that applies to us. This point of view disregards what people want and reduces them to tools of foreign powers. This attitude also has its problems because it tells to people "you are only a tool of foreign interference". At some point you have to acknowledge what people want, however stupid and manipulated they are.
I have had such discussions on Syria. As the extent of foreign intervention became clear the whole conflict was reduced to a foreign regime change operation. One should acknowledge that the situation in 2011 was a hybrid with a sincere Arab Spring component, and the Arab Spring was more than a Qatari/US regime change project. I had a strong point of view on this from the start which was more geopolitical: I accepted only limited freedom of the Syrians to decide their fate because it was certain that foreign players would try to blow the whole thing up even if they were not doing so already. So I took a harsh anti-regime change point of view which respected that the integrity of the state had value in itself and the state had to be kept intact while acknowledging that what a lot of people wanted something else which had value in itself.
In Belarus I am sure the regime change machinery is present from the start and I don't like it. I am also sure a lot of citizens have very sincere aspirations. Some of these citizens are middle class and well off. Some of them are students. It is not trivial to weigh the different factors . Bernhard has not tried it yet which makes his post..unbalanced.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 19 2020 20:50 utc | 149

Tuyzentfloot

The majority of people that get carried along at the start of color revolutions are generally decent people. Sometimes, genuine problems can be used in a color revolution, other times grievances have to be manufactured.

The protests in Belarus have been manufactured. The rioting on the streets was begun before voting was finished and was designed to produce 'police brutality'. Color revolution media already have their stories written ready for some video and pics to go with the narrative. The large protests that occurred after the first few days was about "police brutality".

Hong Kong was the same. Manufactured grievances on "universal suffrage".

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 19 2020 21:19 utc | 150

Bolivia is a clean case of a coup.
Hong Kong is more towards the other end. The election results in Hong Kong were strongly in favor of the student protests. That should be acknowledged while also acknowledging there is a powerful foreign influence component. And a local one , both doing their best to turn the people's grievances against the oligarchs into grievances against China. But such components can't do miracles. Ukraine is something in between.

I'd be cautious of the dichotomy of dismissing the ideas of the Belarussians. Yes I'm sure the foreign component will be very active here to trigger and amplify it all.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 19 2020 22:10 utc | 151

Tuyzentfloot

Looking at the recent history of Belarus, there doesn't seem to have been any major protests prior to the elections. A few small ones from several hundred to maybe a few thousand. Some of anti Russia demonstrations.
Belarus current election rules, system of governance and integrating there economy with that of Russia have all been through referendum. No dictating from the top in that regard. A number of questions that have been put to referendum have not passed, but those that do seem to pass with a large majority.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 19 2020 22:30 utc | 152

Tuyzenfloot @ 150, Peter AU 1 @ 151:

It's part of the nature of Color Revolutions to prey on and manipulate genuine public grievances. Nearly every Color Revolution that has occurred over the past 30 years or so has piggy-backed on a genuine public protest.

For most of us MoA barflies to know when a protest is genuine and when it is or becomes a Color Revolution often means having a lot of detailed knowledge about the society in which that protest occurs, and that's difficult when you live elsewhere and have no ties or links to that society. It means knowing who among other things are the actors, institutions and organisations most likely to be part of or instigate a Color Revolution. It means knowing how popular or unpopular the current government is among the public of that country and why, what sort of personalities are the political leaders and the political opposition, what their policies and actions are and have been.

Although one rule of thumb we could use is that genuine public protests are usually about something concrete that most of us, even with no ties to the society or knowledge of it, can relate to: issues like rises in prices of food staples (Syria in 2011) or petrol (Iran sometimes), proposed increases in household electricity bills (Armenia in 2015) or housing shortages, high youth unemployment and high property prices that drive young people overseas (Hong Kong over the years), whereas Color Revolutions start when the protests change their demands to more abstract demands that are impossible (often deliberately so) for governments to agree to, and often after these governments being targeted have already agreed to meet the original demands or backed away from increasing prices or some other proposed policy that aroused original public ire.

Also in some places (Russia and HK), when the usual activists come out and take over protests, be they Alexei Navalny or the likes of Joshua Wong and Jimmy Lai, that is also a sign of a genuine public protest being co-opted by Color Revolution actors. Reports on social media of protesters being bussed into cities and/or being paid whopping amounts of money, often more than they can make in daily work, to vandalise public property or attack police, are also indicators that protests have become Color Revolutions.

We can use mainstream news media to see what they report and what they ignore as an ongoing sign of when a protest becomes a Color Revolution.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 19 2020 23:45 utc | 153

Lukashenko looks to be conservative and socialist, Belarus continuing a number of the state run enterprises. I think it was about the workers at the tractor factory he said they emloyed far more than required to ensure everyone had employment.

Employment stats for Belarus
https://tradingeconomics.com/belarus/unemployment-rate
"Unemployment Rate in Belarus averaged 0.95 percent from 1995 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 4 percent in December of 1996 and a record low of 0.20 percent in March of 2020."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 20 2020 0:46 utc | 154

paco left a link with pictures that is informative...

If there was any doubt about the events in Belarus they're gone for me after looking at a picture of Tikhanovskaya with the infamous silk shirt donned destroyer of Lybia by the name of beshel, BHL.

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/6108819.html

Posted by: Paco | Aug 19 2020 22:41 utc | 21

Posted by: james | Aug 20 2020 1:15 utc | 155

@ 143 peter au... thank you...

Posted by: james | Aug 20 2020 1:16 utc | 156

Hi, can someone tell me if Lukashenko really got 80% of the vote? They did have exit polls and they were done by two different groups. One was done by the Sociology Department of a Belorussian university. One would think they would be honest. The other was done by a large Russian private TV station. What motive would they have to fake an exit poll? They count on being honest journalists to get viewer support.

Exit polls are only very rarely corrupted. The only case I have seen is with fascist exit polls in Venezuela - they were clearly falsified. Curiously both exit polls came up with about the same numbers, and those numbers were close to his vote total.

The Opposition has never been popular and was generally 20-30% of the total. They've been Nazi ultranationists and neoliberals from Day One. They are extreme Russia-haters, and they hate the Russian language. Most Belorussians speak Russian and like Russia. They want to turn the whole country over to NATO while becoming yet another extreme Russia-hating Nazi state just like Ukraine, their model. You think Putin is going to allow another NATO country on his borders? Nope.

First, I don't see why we support these neoliberals and Nazis.

Second, I really doubt that those exit polls were both off and especially that they both got the same numbers, which coincided well with the totals.

To believe they were corrupted, you would have to believe a lot of weird things.

That the Sociology Department of a major university is so incredibly corrupt as to fake an exit poll. That a large Russian private TV station is so outrageously corrupt as to fake an exit poll.

Now you have to believe that both of these esteemed institutions got together and faked their exit polls together to make the numbers line up.

Also I believe that they would have had to have known the outcome of the election before it even ended to come up numbers that matched the outcome. Do they both have precognition?

Also, Lukashenko offered the opposition to recount the votes. They turned it down of course. Why did they do that? Afraid of the outcome? This is standard US color revolution procedure. When they know they lost the election but are screaming fraud and trying to topple the government anyway, they always reject all recount requests and reject all official recounts. This is how the behaved in Bolivia and Venezuela. It's standard Empire of Chaos behavior.

That they are behaving this way is very suspicious and implies that they lost the election. If they think they won, why not recount the ballots? What do they have to lose?

Why would Lukashenko offer to let the Opposition recount the votes if there was massive fraud? It will be uncovered in the recount, clearly. You are telling me that Lukashenko disposed of millions of opposition ballots without anybody seeing a thing? That's unlikely.

Has support for Lukashenko ever been polled? What were the numbers?

What's so hard about believing that Lukashenko did get 80%? After all, he jailed or exiled most of the opposition, so they ran someone no one had heard of. Traditionally the opposition has been 20-30%, which lines up with the outcome of this election.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Aug 20 2020 7:09 utc | 157

Robert Lindsay

Look up previous elections that have been overseen by CSTO? According to yankistan, Belarus's elections do not meet requirements for vassal states, but according to the Eurasian security mobs observers, they are carried out according to the constitution of Belarus which has been agreed on by referendum.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 20 2020 8:06 utc | 158

Test

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 20 2020 8:07 utc | 159

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/protests-continue-in-belarus-but-doubts-show-as-strikes-come-under-pressure/ar-BB18aBWV
"The protests have sought to keep the pressure up on Lukashenko. But after the euphoria of the vast crowds of Sunday, by Wednesday an unease and a sense of fragility had appeared among some protesters, aware Lukashenko's grip on power has not been broken and mass defections of security forces or government workers have so far not materialized."

This about says it all. Russian specialists will now be cutting coms to the US and European color revolution specialists overseeing the operation.

There is a small rabidly anti Russia block that will be the US tools in Belarus. The school teacher and her husband are part of the block which is why once the riots had been kicked off she skipped out to rabidly anti Russian Lithuania. Shortly before he was arrested, her blogger husband had taken part in and anti Russia protest comprising of several hundred people.
The hardcore anti Russia crowd seem to consist of no more than a few thousand people and are probably the group the US are dealing with for the regime change.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 20 2020 8:47 utc | 160

It is to be expected when I argue people are far too eager to resolve the cognitive dissonances that the reply is 'look it is clearcut'. It it likely a more clearcut foreign regime change operation than with Hong Kong or even Ukraine yes, but my policy is not to force the dichotomy. Some conclusions can be made which don't rely on them. For the rest we can take the time, not start by dismissing.

That is what I did in the Syria case: I knew early on there were signs of foreign incitement but rather than saying the aspirations of the opposition were fictional I thought they did not carry enough weight(or a mixture of both).
When Catalonia or Crimea or Sudetenland want to separate off the will of the people is not the only argument. It is a step too far to dismiss the will of the people as the mere result of propaganda or to say the will of the people is misrepresented.
I think Hong Kong is a case where most anti-imperialists made a bit of a mess dismissing the protests as 'foreign' so they ended up being surprised by the election results. Yes I think the election results were strongly affected by propaganda but
that is not enough for dismissal.

Belarus seems a lot easier yes. It does seem more clear cut: an attempt by the West to pull in Belarus while Belarus policy was to maintain a status quo and straddle the fence. I oppose this western belligerence.
When I make a map I want the map to show the contradictions and tensions and resist the urge to resolve them. Take the time to figure out Belarussian attitudes.

I remember clear cases in Hong Kong or Venezuela or Russia where people say "I'm fine with it if the Americans interfere. I want them to win too." That is part of the picture. I had a discussion about it with a Russian recently. I told him the US won in the nineties and whether he liked it. But he did not blame the US for the nineties. He blamed Russian corruption.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 20 2020 9:36 utc | 161

Trade unions and industrial strikes are apparently "good" if they can be used for regime change. Elsewhere in our neo-liberal world, they are "bad".

Posted by: Waldorf | Aug 20 2020 9:42 utc | 162

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 16 2020 5:09 utc | 51

Belarus is strategically unimportant and an economic basket case. China sure is interested (as in Ukraine) as they need food imports.

Germany's problems with US policy are piling up:Nord Stream, Ukraine (Lukashenka used to mediate, no way now) and now Belarus. EU is supposed to pay as in Ukraine.

Putin's cards in dealing with EU have just become a lot better. Basically he can lean back whilst the Chinese US trade war splits Europe.

Pompeio just failed to persuade the Czech Republic not to use Huawei. At least China seems to think so.

The United States of Europe are a pipe dream.


Posted by: somebody | Aug 20 2020 11:56 utc | 163

@Waldorf: The vast majority of the largest unions in Belarus are with Lukashenko. Working conditions are very good in Belarus. They are far better in Belarus than in Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, etc. and probably the rest of Eastern Europe. If the opposition comes in, the result is going to be Ukraine as it exists now. Most workers look at that prospect and do not want it.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Aug 21 2020 4:52 utc | 164

@Piotr Berman

I'm not sure the economy of Belarus is such a basket case. The basket case was Belarus under US/EU rule from 1991-1994, with an economic retraction of 26% in a single year. Lukashenko came in and stopped all the privatization, etc. that was causing that crash. This is precisely the Belarus that the opposition wants to go back to because their program advocates those precise conditions that existed at that time. I really doubt if most Belarussians want to go back to that, but propaganda works wonders.

About the protests. I am sure that those out there rioting really hate Lukashenko. Maybe they are just mad because they think he stole an election. As that looks to not be true de facto, it's probably the case that they already hated him. The opposition flies the flag of the pro-Nazi vassal state during WW2, when Belarus lost 30% of its population! So the opposition are flying a Nazi flag because the Nazi flag is the flag of the Belarussian ultranationalists.

The schoolteacher who ran in the election has praised Hitler. The opposition is the "if we had to pick between Stalin and Hitler, we would pick Hitler" crowd. Most Belarussians are not Nazis. In fact, most are probably anti-Nazi (and in fact, in Belarus, nationalism itself is conflated with Nazism). Their war heroes are the partisans who fought the Nazis and the pro-Nazi collaborationists. Nazi-style White Nationalism is not popular in Russia. Putin has put them in prison. Even the Russian Nazis describe the war as a tragedy when two brotherly people slaughtered each other when they should have united.

Russian hardcore nationalism centers around the Russian Empire (indeed, some are Czarists) - and note that the Russian Empire always included 30% non-Russians, the Orthodox religion, and yes, the Russian language. But they care nothing about ethnicity. You can look very Asiatic and easily be a Russian nationalist. If you care about ethnicity, according to them, you are a Nazi, and the Nazis are the eternal enemies of the Russian nationalists. But even the Russian nationalists don't care if you speak another language. They just want you to speak Russian too.

And yes, Muslims can't join, but most don't hate Muslims. However, many Russian Muslims are rather secular and are pro-Russia and even pro-Russian Empire. The Orthodox Church and the tradtional Muslim clergy have warm relations. Also in Russia you can convert out of Islam. After the Beslan tragedy, hundreds of thousands of Muslims in North Ossetia converted to Christianity. Generally no one will come after you if you this as Muslim apostates are a dime a dozen in Russia.

The ultras are joined with neoliberals. This is an ultra-neoliberal attempt at a coup, exactly as Ukraine was, with almost the same actors. The Belarussian ultras have very close relations with the Ukie Nazis. In fact many have gone to Ukraine for military training. Note also the "hit list" the opposition drew up of everyone who "helped steal the election." If these ultras get in, they are going to start killing people just like they did in Ukraine. Rest assured. They are going to ban any pro-Lukashenko or pro-Russian political party just as they did in Ukraine. This is nothing but Ukraine 2.0.

The % of Belarussians who hate Russia is hard to figure. That's a characteristic of the ultras. These people traditionally had 20-30% vote in previous votes. So it looks like 25% of the population supports the ultra-neocon revolution. That's not a majority. Most Belarussians speak Russian first and foremost. The opposition hates the Russian language and wants to restrict it. Most Belarussians like Russia almost to the point where they think Belarus is part of Russia as it once was. This "we are really a part of Russia" mindset of the majority obviously seriously hampers the ultranationalists.

As in Ukraine, the nationalists tend to live in the West near Poland and the pro-Russians and pro-Russian language folks live in the East. If these Belarussian Nazis take power, the people in the east may well take up arms again as the Russians in the east of Ukraine did.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Aug 21 2020 5:12 utc | 165

As in Ukraine, the nationalists tend to live in the West near Poland and the pro-Russians and pro-Russian language folks live in the East. If these Belarussian Nazis take power, the people in the east may well take up arms again as the Russians in the east of Ukraine did.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Aug 21 2020 5:12 utc | 166

This is not that simple. I think that there is no "nationalistic region" in Belarus. For example, a Belorussian young women posted a number of YouTubes on living in Poland, visiting her home town etc. Guess in what language? (hint: I did not learn Belarus language in school). And her hometown is Brest, with Poland on the other side of river bridges. Some knowledge of Belarusian (?) language is wide, preference to speak it not so wide. Lukashenka himself is wibbly-wobbly on "nationalism", but the latest news indicate that the opposition tries to hide its nationalistic/fascistic program, and Lukashenka, who is so-so intellect (not stupid) started to attack them from that direction and it has good chances to work.

The "color revolution" scheme is to exploit ANY cause of discontent and promote demands that more often than not totally contradict the real "pro-Western" or pro-American program. A good example is opposition to pension reform or raising prices of subsidized utilities and staples, something that IMF and western expert are demanding. Or subsidized electricity prices etc. In the case we are discussing, the country leader has a habit of saying things that are obviously false, from time to time, while the opposition lies TOTALLY. Fascistic program was presented as "details in a link" where there was another link where there is a website temporarily shut down, alas, enemies of the freedom cached it and not make noise (like strana.ua, and at long last, Lukashenka). For brevity, I leave the question why this program is fascistic for another time.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2020 15:22 utc | 166

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Posted by: Ram narayan | Aug 22 2020 1:25 utc | 167

Hi Piotr. Are my figures about right. It seems that the opposition does not have a lot of support. Russians say that the opposition in Belarus (22%) and in Russia (17%) has much less support than in Ukraine (50%). When you look at what the opposition really wants, it's hard to see how much Belarussian workers would want that.

Also there's no way that those exit polls were faked. Lukashenko probably did get 80%. He usually gets 70-80% every time. One exit poll was done by the Social Science Department at a Belarussian university. The other was done by a large Russian private TV station. It is very unlikely that that university faked that poll. That the private Russian TV faked a poll is even more unlikely. Let me tell you. Polls are not usually faked. Most pollsters rarely if ever fake a poll. Faking a poll is on the level or serial murder. It's the most disgusting abuse of that system I can think of. Most pollsters have an extreme interest in running a fair poll.

I am trying to think of the last opinion poll that was faked. I think one done by the fascist Venezuelan opposition, but they are the worst fash around. They also seem to have faked an exit poll, which is one of the most outrageous abuses around. Yes election results are faked all the time, but in general opinion polls are not and exit polls even more rarely so.

Further, both exit polls came up with the same numbers very close to the final totals. Now we have to argue that the polls got together and decided to fake the exit polls to show the exact number that would be final in the election.

They would have to know beforehand that Lukashenko would get 80% no matter the real vote was, assuming the outcome was preordained. If they had no knowledge of the final tally, then they got together to fake their exit polls, in other words, they collaborated on fraud. In the other scenario, they also collaborated with the government on fraud. Those are all extremely unlikely scenarios. And if they only collaborated with each other, how did they know the outcome of the election would be 80%? The exit polls were released before the polls were even closed. How did they both collaborate to get 80% when they had no idea that that would be the total.

The election was unfair because Lukashenko exiled or imprisoned most of the opposition. The main woman running was an unknown that no one had heard of. It stands to reason that she did not get many votes.

I am also seeing a lot of massive pro-government rallies, and I do mean massive.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Aug 22 2020 6:36 utc | 168

TASS: In case of taking power, Belorussian opposition will continue tight economic ties with Russia, announced ex-presidential candidate Svetlyana Tikhanovskaya. She noted that it is obvious that Belorus supports commercial relationships with Russia in larger volumes (?) than EU. "[From what I hear (? vague phrase)] there are reasons for it that I do not know as I am not an economist and not a politician. But I believe that nobody will demand to change that situation [another vague phrase], and in particular, I will not."

Translating Svetlyana is not easy, because the main principle of translating is
to preserve the meaning. Seems that however distasteful the proposition of cont
inuing trade with Russia on current conditions is to her, for reasons she cannot
understand she supports it. Inspiring leadership, bolstered by her unique delivery style -- speaking slowly, quietly, with pauses and facial expressions indicated great mental effort. Apparently, she was known for her cooking videos, and she very frank about her lack of depth, but she has a great faith in the goodness of Belorus nation, that type of thing.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 23 2020 13:36 utc | 169

A little sociological theory. My first input is an article comparing the earning power of people working in Belarus and Ukraine in strana.ua. In public sector, which is large in Belorus, the earnings are quite a bit higher in Belorus, but in private, they are lower. Hm. It is not that great to have lower wages than in Ukraine.

Balancing low wages in the private sector, the prices for utilities are quite a bit lower, and in a poor country, this is a big dent in Ukrainian budgets. Nevertheless, a Belarus working in Poland gets several times more than in home country, presumably in a private sector. Additionally, COVID eliminated a lot of jobs in Poland and many people were forced to return.

Thus there are many people, especially young, who are left out of "Belarus prosperity". This is by no means unique to Belarus, it is basically the situation across Europe, and here and there, say in France, it results it riots, big vote swings toward vague candidates etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 23 2020 13:54 utc | 170

Tuyzentfloot @150: "At some point you have to acknowledge what people want, however stupid and manipulated they are."

It is called "marketing". It works to make people desire to consume crap that will definitely kill them, such as bacon triple lardburgers and carbonated corn syrup water and various other carriers for fat and salt like fried potatoes. Capitalists have become exceptionally good at "marketing" and getting people to buy into that which will kill them. Indeed, "marketing" is now the biggest remaining industry that America has, next to big finance.

Another term for "marketing" is "brainwashing", though the brainwashed will protest against the idea that control over their mind and, most importantly, behavior is in someone else's hands. This brainwash "marketing" is by far the #1 and chief reason that capitalist mass media exists. The importance of this brainwashing by capitalist mass media is easily seen by the fact that the very first thing the capitalist empire does when planning for a color revolution is to gain control of some of the mass media in the targeted society.

If you have "Free Press©" in the society that you live in, then you are subject to constant brainwashing. It used to be in America at least that the dangers and power of this mass media brainwashing were understood and regulated to an extent, but those regulations have largely been removed over the last half dozen decades. In any event, capitalists have found many ways around regulation of their most powerful tool by embedding their brainwashing in entertainment programming, thus avoiding some of the controls on commercials and infotainment.

All capitalist mass media must be outlawed.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 24 2020 12:35 utc | 171

"At some point you have to acknowledge what people want, however stupid and manipulated they are."

ISIS? and the other jihadi types? Tuyzentfloot is very much the woke type that will back any color revolution because that's what the minority people want.

There are genuine issues and there are synthetic issues broadcast in by VOA and its siblings.

People should be just allowed to wander along, destroy what they like, kill what they like and then say "I'm innocent because I'm dumb as dogshit".

There is no second chances in life.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 24 2020 12:49 utc | 172

These so called protesters. Like little kids hyped on American sugar.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 24 2020 12:51 utc | 173

Peter AU1 @173

Exactly.

A government's duty is to protect its citizens. That includes protecting the stupid from being taken advantage of. That is why pharmaceutical commercials used to be illegal in the US before things went totally caveat emptor here.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 24 2020 13:33 utc | 174

@Peter AU1 it is possible that I am phrasing things too concisely but your description of me is bullshit.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 24 2020 20:43 utc | 175

@William Gruff, I believe we live in a propaganda society. Propaganda is best understood as reputation management, not brainwashing. It controls what has good and what has bad reputation in a community. If something has bad reputation you are very critical and intolerant towards it. You don't believe anything from it, but you will believe bad things which are said about it. You will carry over that bad reputation to anything associated with Russia. It is a group effect which defines common sense: You know you will not be taken seriously if you say anything positive about Russia, and it can even be used against you. The aim of propaganda is not really about which things you believe specific about Russia, it is that you consider it common sense that Russia is bad and you'd feel stupid saying otherwise.
When propaganda becomes too powerful a good argument can be made that it should be made illegal. It is quite powerful now though it cannot do everything.

Democracy means you treat people as adults - to some extent. That is a choice. They may be idiots and make a mess of it but they have to carry their responsibility. Also it is simply about them.

A democratic vote as in Hong Kong has a value which should be acknowledge. Democracy means that to some extent you treat people like adults: give the people some power to decide what is good for them. They may be wrong or right but it's their life and they get to decide. When it directly affects their life they are generally the best reference too. I can say look I believe your beliefs are too strongly steered by propaganda but I have to accept your ideas as they are.
In the case of Hong Kong I believe a lot of effort has gone to bending the grievances against the oligarchs towards the Chinese instead.

I'm qualifying 'acknowledge' though. You can acknowledge the democratic element but that does not mean you have to blindly adopt it. It can be overruled by other factors.
In a state you can't just take a part of a population, let them vote on something and follow the majority of that part of the population. You can't just separate off a part of a country, it would very destabilizing. You also can't just let the majority decide the minority should be expelled or killed. There can be a constitution and when you have an agreed upon election system there is also a commitment to play by the rules. You can't just interrupt everything half way because of a good campaign.

In the case of China I would just respect the interest of the state and tell the population they've been overruled. What I would not say is 'I will ignore what you want because you have been propagandized and it is not really what you want or need'. You can compare it with treating people as adults or as children.

In each of the color revolutions the 'will of the people' has a different weight. Sometimes the appearance of popular support is created but it is faked. As I said when the outside effort in color revolutions is clear the temptation is react by minimizing and deligitimize popular support. I want to avoid that. Some would consider this nitpicking. Well that would already be a much better interpretation than calling me 'woke'. I call it getting things right.
In the case of Belarus I just want to get it right.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 24 2020 21:29 utc | 176

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