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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" 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. "

However, does this " union state " also include the removal of all foreighn embassies from Belarus ? Does this " union state " allow Belarus to have an independent foreighn policy, For examample inviting foreighn troops on its soil ? Will the Belarusian army autmotaically come to the defense of Russia ? Will the militaries be totally integrated ? There are many questions.

Posted by: Fog of War | Aug 15 2020 18:19 utc | 1

Thank you for the information.

As an American, I find this meddling heinous.

To some in my country, it is as in the phrase, "All is fair in love and war."

When Trump was sworn in, he promised not to aggressively pursue undermining other nation's soverignty. Now we see that the little push from our side has provoked a neccessary response for Belarus to hitch their wagon to Ru.

Couldn't we see that? Was that the purpose all along? Is it theater and POTUS secretly wants a hardline between NATO and its rivals?

IMO, POTUS seems to give the rope so that they can hang themselves. My guess is that Trump knows or cares little about Belarus, only that it's in Russia's influence-sphere.

But, we still have to look the part to the Poles who are clearly pro-west and are signalling us by waving our own greenbacks to beckon us closer.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 15 2020 18:36 utc | 2

For once, you miss a part of the story.
ALthought it doesn't put all its eggs in the same basket, Russia also supports the opposition and MPs from Putin's party have lashed out at Lukashenko. The husband of one of the three opposition women is refugee in Russia. And Lukashenko almost daily criticise Moscow.
This time, the situation seems more complicated than a simple Soros 'color revolution'...

Posted by: Observatus | Aug 15 2020 18:59 utc | 3

thanks b... this Lukashenko guy must have some smarts to hold onto power for as long as he has, but playing this same game erdogan has played, playing russia off the west is a real jackass move as i see it.. you can see the attraction and danger in it, but you end up walking a very thin line and pissing off everyone.. smoothie wrote quite a good overview on this from russia's pov a day or two ago worth checking out White Elephant-size 800-pound Gorilla In The Room. i see he has written another article on it today that i have yet to read..

seems like the plan is as you describe in your last sentence... the west has no shortage of gofers to help it along - poland and etc, but i am not sure that is enough for the people of belarus to be convinced of the attractiveness of what ukraine has become... i kinda doubt it, but who knows...

interesting overview on nexta.... such a trendy name, lol... sounds like a name straight off madison avenue..

@ NemesisCalling | Aug 15 2020 18:36 utc | 2.. it seems like it has been going on foreveer nemesis... you really think trump is going to change any of this?? remember - grab the oil, or whatever and do what kleptomaniacs do.. that is trumps motto, although he calls it maga, lol...

Posted by: james | Aug 15 2020 19:00 utc | 4

The idea an ungrateful Lukashenko was dumping on the hero Putin sort of assumes that Putin wasn't squeezing Belarus because Putin's Russia is weakening economically and politically. Like Trump squeezing South Korea for more money, Putin wants more from Belarus because he needs it. And in this context, it means he wants Lukashenko to Yeltsinize Belarus.

The opposition to Lukashenko is due to the decline of Belarus in the world crisis. Selling the country to oligarchs, Russian or EU/US, would be even worse, but some people only learn the hard way, when tragically it's too late. The chances Tikhanovsky actually won a majority is nearly impossible in my view. Any claims of an unfair election, as in stolen or fraudulent, are purely hypocritical. Nonetheless the election was not free, given the removal of the real opposition leaders and the repression of the news media. But putting in another government is in no sense whatsoever a cure for elections unfree in this sense.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 15 2020 19:20 utc | 5

On the surface at least, Lukashenko has been surprisingly obtuse in all this. I mean that he thought he could cozy up to Uncle Sugar and not get regine-changed like this. Pompeo & Trump jumped right on it, they're looking hard for a win now, Pompeo does not look happy.

Putin kind of put Lukashenko in a bind when he started pushing him on the union state (which makes about as much sense as Modi does when he uses the same term for Kashmir). But I can see Putin's point too, freedom and responsibility go together.

The Russian commenters I've read on this seem negative on Lukashenko and Belarus too. Like Saker when going on about Ukrainians. Shamir OTOH seemed to think highly of both.

In fact it seems odd enough I want to see what happens next, now that the marriage has been saved. I wonder if Putin is up to something.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 15 2020 19:20 utc | 6

Another important point that was noted during the telephone conversation amongst the two presidents of Russia and Belarus is this little detail, reported by TASS...

The President of Belarus also noted the buildup of the military component in neighboring Poland and Lithuania, where NATO military exercises are held.

https://tass.com/world/1190061

Thus we could expcet a similar or equivalent military buildup in the Russian border or into Belarus proper, as the CSTO agreements allow...
Also, nobody would swallow the NATO drills were not coordinated with the "color revolution" intend....It seesm that they were expecting some armed support would be needed...after flowers and hugs resulted clearly ineffective

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 19:36 utc | 7

steven t.johnson The idea an ungrateful Lukashenko was dumping on the hero Putin sort of assumes that Putin wasn't squeezing Belarus because Putin's Russia is weakening economically and politically. Like Trump squeezing South Korea for more money, Putin wants more from Belarus because he needs it. And in this context, it means he wants Lukashenko to Yeltsinize Belarus.

Russia has recently increased its 'bad days' national saving fund to $600 billion. To suggest that it need Belarus for economic resaons in ludicrous.

Posted by: b | Aug 15 2020 19:41 utc | 8

I never understood why Belarus was separated from Russia in the breakup of 1991. Belarus was always part of Russia, but had been separated in the Soviet dictation of autonomous republics. If now there's a prospect of rejoining, it's hardly surprising, never mind the colour revolution people.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 15 2020 19:48 utc | 9

@Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 15 2020 19:48 utc | 9

I read this past day that Belarus, after the fall of the USSR, just declared its sovereignty, but not its independence, in the waiting that some other former Soviet republics would do the same and after the initial turmoil, all would rejoin into an economic/military union similar to the current EU/NATO...

But then the republics started declaring their independence, and it seems that Belarus remained only sovereing, and this must be the legal basis ( no idea indeed...have not studied the issue...) for the still possibility of the Union State...

By declaring its sovereignty, Belarus clearly wanted to avoid the plundering by Yeltsyn´s Russian oligarchs, which was a good job Lukashenko made for the current Belarusian Republic, as recognized by those security officials in those statements linked by "b"...a condition Putin must take into account...since it is fair...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 20:14 utc | 10

H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 19:36 utc | 7

Putin and his strategists must certainly have considered a "colour revolution" being forced on Belarus, as well as other countries in Russia's sphere of interest. It is possible that Putin has waited to see if Lukashenko could sort it out by himself, and is only now taking action knowing that Lukashenko would probably ressucitate the "Union" concept..

Note that Lukashenko HAS observed what happened in Ukraine and so far his reaction, and that of his police force has been quite moderate. This in spite of a baying horde of MSM in the EU and US. The 6'000 arrested have nearly all been released (but did he keep some of the "key" agitators?)

The build-up and a definite change in the make-up of NATO/US foces on the Russian borders has recently forced Putin to give several serious warnings about "crossing lines", pre-emptive fat fingers or other types of "accidents by design".

What he will do is not yet known but several possibilities are open. Some military warnings (sudden massive "manoeuvres"), cutting the finance to protestors and NGO's? Ask them to declare their sources of funding - eg for the 32 "projects by Soros as b remarked, or even expel them.

Or - nothing. ?huh? Don't forget Covid-19. Theoretically all those demonstrators are "at risk". Not one wears a mask. If they DON'T get sick - then why are we being forced into lockdowns and masks? just saying. The regular number of new cases quoted for Russia is slightly more than 5'000 a day.

It is not too easy to work out what the Russians will do, but I would not be surprised if their reaction is already taking place.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 15 2020 20:15 utc | 11

Well, the NATO offensive has started...Chuck Norris, through the video service Cameo, has menaced President Lukashenko with "making him cry"...

Clearly, Trump´s operation to get rid of any Chinese video platform through which whoever could mock him, was intended to have the monopoly of these platforms to be used in the informational war...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 20:27 utc | 12

Excellent post and comments, everyone.

Posted by: VeeDubya | Aug 15 2020 20:33 utc | 13

One significant result from the failed NATO-sponsored against Lukashenko, unlikable and Erdoganesque though he is, that we should glad about is that all 33 Russian "mercenaries" were returned to Russia. Imagine the howls of dismay going on at the combined SBU / CIA headquarters in Kiev. They must have been so sure they had this whole operation of fooling Belarus into extraditing these "mercenaries" to Kiev while at the same time creating a bigger rift between Moscow and Minsk, all sewn up. One stone, two birds: scoreline 0 - 2.

Another laugh (though I can't link to the source as I'm on my smartphone at present) is that Nobel literature laureate Svetlana Alexiyevich is sure that Russian security forces, not Belarusian security forces, are the ones beating up the rich city kid protesters (if they're not beating up each other or fighting with commuters or pensioners as in Hong Kong last year). Alexiyevich, a historian, is sure that Belarusians are so peaceful that they would never lift a finger to save themselves.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 15 2020 20:36 utc | 14

@5

...Putin wants more from Belarus because he needs it...

Do you smell what you are shovelling?

Debt/cash reserves

All the gold

Most of the oil too

If Putin "needs" Belarus, it is because he wants Russia to be the same size as the CCCP. Especially considering that Putin watched Yeltsin firsthand.

Posted by: Some Random Passerby | Aug 15 2020 20:44 utc | 15

Posted by: Jen | Aug 15 2020 20:36 utc | 14

if they're not beating up each other or fighting with commuters or pensioners

Well, there is something to it, the dude to which funeral they came the plana mayor of the EU to pay respect to, the martyr indeed, blow himself off with is own IED ( grenade..)

Alexiyevich, a historian, is sure that Belarusians are so peaceful that they would never lift a finger to save themselves.

Indeed they must be so peaceful as the organizers had to bring in plain criminals to start the violent riotts...In fact, the "sacred martyr" had some criminal record on about 7 assasinations account...This is the guy the EU elites came to pay homage ( and euros, one guess...)...then the honest European tax payer gets only lockdowns and ISIS attacks...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 20:48 utc | 16

Russian-language mainstream news media may well be against Lukashenko but it's difficult to see how geuine their opposition to him is through the filter of the BBC (hardly a neutral observer itself without a bone to pick) which quotes a highly prejudiced and pro-neoliberal source in Novaya Gazeta.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 15 2020 20:49 utc | 17

So. Frenimies it is. Putin doesn't make many mistakes. This was the right move to make.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Aug 15 2020 20:57 utc | 18

The whole thing looks like it was set up by Lukashenko and Putin from the start. It wasn't Lukashenko who was fooled by the Americans into thinking that he had a new ally in the West. He just played along with them. The public spats between Belarus and Russia in the past year were just for show. And the West believed he was going through a rough patch in his bromance with Putin!

Was Lukashenko really so dim that he thought that the USA could be its new ally if he bought their fracked oil? Or did he really believe the Ukrainian fantasy about Wagner mercenaries trying to overthrow him?

Unlikely. This is a guy who has managed to stay in power for a quarter of a century.

What the coup attempt has proved is that Belarus cannot do a deal with the Americans. Lukashenko made all the right moves for them but they still tried to throw him under the bus. Everyone in the government in Minsk now knows that. That leaves only Russia as an ally.

This happens on the day when Pompeo makes a speech in Poland, where the USA is transferring thousands of troops from Germany. And guess which country lies between Russia and Poland? Expect more military cooperation between Belarus and Russia in response, maybe even a Russian military base 'on NATO's border'.

Posted by: Brendan | Aug 15 2020 20:59 utc | 19

There was also knee bending at the passing of the coffin of the martyr...who had a funeral of state level...the block...by the paraphernalia employed by the "kids of the rich"...Immigrant workers who die under the sun after unending hours working without rest or time to drink any water do not receive anything even similar by any hint of imagination...

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/6099250.html

English machine translation

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 21:00 utc | 20

Just a bit off-topic: I looked up Lithuania's population stats on the Worldometer website and found its current total population is about 2,717,400.

I recall reading elsewhere that in 1991 Lithuania's population was above 3 million.

Also at Worldometer, the current median age in Lithuania is 45 years. That means the population is rapidly ageing.

No wonder Lithuania needs NATO forces: the country needs the money NATO soldiers will spend on food and being entertained by pole dancers while stationed there.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 15 2020 21:04 utc | 21

It is "by any twist of imagination", isn´t it?
Sorry...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 21:05 utc | 22

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 21:05 utc | 21

It is "by any twist of imagination", isn´t it?

I believe something like "by any stretch of the imagination" would be the usual cliche, but it's not common these days.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 15 2020 21:13 utc | 23

Putin or Lukashenko?
I think that Putin blackmails Lukashenko in order to promote his oligarchs.
Putin until 2024 will privatize half of the remaining state industries in Russia.
Lukashenko is president in a country were 80% of the industry is state property.
On what base the Union will be formed?
To illustrate more my opinion, I would say that Putin is trying (in the economy) to transform Russia to a state like Ukraine. Lukashenko is trying to avoid the unavoidable. If he turns to the west he will become Ukraine. If he turns to Russia he will become Ukraine.

Posted by: Lmar | Aug 15 2020 21:31 utc | 24

@18 Brendan: Seems risky to allow the US to install known regime change bases ("NGOs") into your country if it was set up by Lukashenko from the start. I hope Belarus can kick out those Western NGOs as soon as possible.

Posted by: David | Aug 15 2020 21:40 utc | 25

Jen @20--

Since regaining their independence, the Baltic States have all been ravaged by Neoliberalism, alienated their Russian speaking populace that was a fundamental part of their workforce, causing many to repatriate to Russia, and completely mismanaged themselves into debt peonage as that's the aim of Neoliberalism--They've all become miniature Greeces financially. And that drain has prompted its young people to go West in search of greener pastures. Belarus was fortunate to not follow Ukraine when the USSR imploded and managed to avoid the worst excesses of Yeltsinism. Estonia was fortunate to be rescued by China through a phase of BRI that linked it with Finland; but that only helped a fortunate few having skills Finland needed.

Eventually, Belarus will return to the status it had within the USSR as an SSR, although it might withdrawal from the UN, its organizations, and allow Russia to conduct all foreign policy and national security, therefore eliminating the US Embassy and its consulates. I expect Belarus's legislature to quickly adopt the same sort of laws regarding NGOs Russia imposed, thus closing the door on any future Color Revolution attempts prior to resuming SSR status.

It's been almost 6 years since the Minsk Accords, yet zip has occurred to alter the Donbass situation. Now that Belarus is on course to be protected, dealing with the frozen Donbass issue must be done soon, perhaps by force if Trump loses. (I'm thinking the same regarding Taiwan, of action during the Lame Duck period.) IMO, nothing better will come from a Biden administration as it'll be about the same as Obama's--rotten and stupid--with a different brand of Neocons from TrumpCo.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 15 2020 21:55 utc | 26

"Russia has recently increased its 'bad days' national saving fund to $600 billion. To suggest that it need Belarus for economic reasons in ludicrous."

Russian per capita GDP has never really recovered from its peak in 2010. Russia doing well is when the people in Russia have a rising standard of living, young families feel like they can have children, regional governments build infrastructure. Reducing such issues to the funds on hand to defend the currency or resolve an ever-threatening banking collapse in the world depression is worse than ludicrous.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 15 2020 21:56 utc | 27

From color revolutions to ISIS, telegram is the communications tool. Russia just recently allowed it back in but I take it the have source code or whatever is required to maintain security. Russia's job I think will be to shut down telegram in Belarus, and identify any color revolution leadership in country. Without that, protests and color revolution will disappear.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 15 2020 22:00 utc | 28

But what is the meaning of the Zmagarsky flag the ( I guess we can already call them that...)"coupists"" are waving and using all the way during these "peaceful protests"?

Well this is the flag of the puppet government under German occupation, those who collaborated with the Nazis for invasion and occupation Belarus and thus accomplices in the savage massacres that happened in this country...
What is the link of these people´s brethren with the US?
The same as the Ukrainian nazi collaborator diaspora in the US and Canada..Find there the organizers of this coup...alomg with the US stablishment

Thread ( roll down ):

https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1292916490635808769

There is a Nazi War Monument in the USA.

In South River, New Jersey stands a monument to Nazi collaborators who helped the Nazis to occupy Belarus. It is topped by an Iron Cross with the symbol of the 30th SS Grenadier Divison.

Nearby are the graves of fascist collaborators.

Buried nearby is Radislaw Ostrowsky, leader of the Belarusian puppet government under German occupation. By the end of summer 1941, Ostrowsky and his henchmen already reported to their Nazi masters: "The Jewish intelligentsia of Minsk has been liquidated without a trace".

Also buried nearby is leading collaborator Emanuel Jasiuk, burgomaster of Kletsk. He compiled lists of people to be exterminated. In 1942, he personally supervised the murder of 5,000 Jews in a single day.

Scores of war-criminal Nazi collaborators were brought to the USA by the CIA's Office of Policy Coordination under Frank Wisner. They were to form the nucleas of an anti-Soviet army. These criminals lived out their lives in the US, many got jobs with the CIA's Radio Liberty.

This is the official flag and anthem of Belarus...video filmed some 10 years ago...Where are all those people now? There was many young people there...They are still alive...
Lukashenko may have his faults, I do not deny, but he remains, instead of the "Last dictator in Europe", as the nazi front into NATO labels him, more proper, "Last antifascist in Europe"...( I mean at power level, there are hundreds of millions amongst the European population...)

https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1146469685199851521

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 22:04 utc | 29

Report by Colonel Cassad blog on the nazi reoccupation intends...

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/6098985.html

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 22:25 utc | 30

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 first and main thing that Lukashenko should do is to dismiss (with the subsequent prospect of trial and imprisonment) his minister Makei and his entire pro-Western gang. Because if these people remain in their posts, the work on the creation of the Union State will proceed in the same way as in all previous years - i.e. no way, and Lukashenko himself will continue to receive disinformation, while the 'West' will continue to be able to influence the events taking place.

Posted by: alaff | Aug 15 2020 22:31 utc | 31

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 22:25 utc | 29

Any question remains on why Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and Holland ( also Austria chimed in...) are main actors in this coup intend, along with the US?
What color are the governments there?
What is happening in most of those countries with Soviet memorials, Russian people and language?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 22:32 utc | 32

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 22:04 utc | 28

One only wonders, why the current Israeli government, nor any Jewish organization, so pendant of the slightest inoffensive anti-semitic sounding expression in the www ( to their so exigent standards...) have not extended yet an official letter of protest... nor there is any note in the whole myriad ( well, almost all...) of MSM owned by Jewish oligarchs...

Well, a rethoric question, one guess, since where they were also when the Ukraine was being taken over by nazis in 2014?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 22:45 utc | 33

But this, already happened before...

https://twitter.com/historic_ly/status/1294450746830794752

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 22:55 utc | 34

H. Schmatz @31--

There's only one answer--Neoliberalism--which in its essence is a prettier form of Fascism--Friendly Fascism as the book was called. The ongoing war is between Neoliberalism and traditional mixed economy Industrial Capitalism that emphasizes its collectivist basis. The two ideologies are irreconcilable. China and Russia lead the latter bloc while the Outlaw US Empire continues to lead the former bloc. That latter bloc is now suffering from the ravages of the system it's trying to force upon the other bloc, so its window of opportunity is beginning to close. That the balance of power is shifting from the former to the latter isn't lost on either bloc, so the current actions are somewhat predictable. The Big Question: Will the world escape this transitional phase of competition/paradigm change without suffering a Major Hot War? The answer depends on the desperation of the Neoliberal bloc as it loses its grip on global power.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 15 2020 22:58 utc | 35

Well, the Zmagarsky was already created under Polish occupation of Belarus in 1918-1919...hence its anti-bolshevik character...and why it is used by Belarusian Nazi collaborators...

https://twitter.com/elenaevdokimov7/status/1294470567064563712

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 23:02 utc | 36

Now we do not live richly, but we are not poor. But many do not appreciate that.
This is Lukashenko’s unpardonable crime: the future is only for the very rich and the very poor. Add to that Belarus having taken the sanest tack on the coronavirus and we see a thorn that needs to be removed. Oh well, better Russia than the West.

You’ve done well, Alexander Grigoryevich, but such is the age.

Posted by: David G | Aug 15 2020 23:32 utc | 37

Who are calling for "revoltuion" from Poland, of all places...

Ukrainian lawyer Tatiana Montyan: These 2 are in Poland, calling the Belarusians to join the Maidan. Their names are Stepan Putilo&Roman Protasevich. The list of "partners" of their similar to "Khromatsky" media- the US State Department, UK Government, Deutsche Welle, etc.

https://twitter.com/elenaevdokimov7/status/1293110178137530368

Then it is Russia who meddles...

BTW, whose orders would be Poland following?...a slight idea...

https://twitter.com/Ruptly/status/1294657602719293442

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 15 2020 23:50 utc | 38

karlof1 | Aug 15 2020 21:55 utc | 25:

Eventually, Belarus will return to the status it had within the USSR as an SSR, although it might withdrawal from the UN …
Actually, the Byelorussian SSR, along with the Ukarainian SSR, were U.N. members from the start of the organization, even without statehood. I imagine Belarus could retain the seat even in a “union state” with Russia.

Posted by: David G | Aug 15 2020 23:51 utc | 39

The West’s real doomsday weapon against Belarus would be to let out that the country’s name translates as “White Russia”, and then set the Tweeters and YouTubers on them. Minsk would fall as fast as Mrs. Butterworth.

Posted by: David G | Aug 16 2020 0:00 utc | 40

Has no one noticed??

There is one profoundly important missing element... the snipers. They have been a part of every serious color revolution yet launched. They are essential because without outrage the revolution has no emotional steam.

So either this was like Ukraine 2003-4, setting the stage for a more serious attempt later - in which case score one for the Ziocons, OR

This was preemptive and very astute inoculation against a rising pro-Western sentiment, in which case score one for Putin and co.

If it is setting the stage for later events, look to Western players working to keep Lukashenko around(as a focus of invective), even while they increase sanctions (to create more social discontent). If this was an innoculation, look to Lukashenko being replaced in a year or two.

Posted by: les7 | Aug 16 2020 0:00 utc | 41

Anyone from the Belarusian "opposition" should explain why along the Zmagarsky they, "espontaneously", wave also the US flag and why, "espontaneously", their "protesters" solidarize with HK, Iran, Lebanon and Ecuador....of all places...

https://twitter.com/Zis1941/status/1294746773928513540

https://twitter.com/Herbert_Keg/status/1294749437127000064

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 0:20 utc | 42

ZH has a posting up about Belarus quoting Lukashenko thusly

"
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said that an air assault brigade would move to Belarus’ Western border in response to NATO exercises in neighboring nations, even as the country reels from massive anti-government protests which Lukashenko has dubbed a "color revolution" orchestrated by foreign agents. Lukashenko also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin promised him to help securing safety of Belarus if needed, state news agency Belta reported.

Speaking on state TV, Lukashenko said he was “worried” that NATO was carrying out military exercises in Poland and Lithuania, which he views as an arms build-up on Belarus’ borders.

"I am more worried about the situation that is unfolding on the territory of our neighboring states - Poland and Lithuania. As you know, military exercises of NATO troops are taking place there. That would have been fine, but there is an escalation and a build-up of the armed component in these territories. Naturally we cannot turn a blind eye to it, we cannot observe this calmly. And when early in the morning I was listening to the report of the Chief of the General Staff, I noticed: our military is also worried about this problem," Lukashenko said.

In response to the drills, the Belarus president said that he has ordered the transfer of an airborne brigade from Vitebsk to Grodno.

Lukashenko also slammed foreign countries which he said were attempting to act as "mediators" in the country's problems, urging them to "put their own business in order" before dictating to Minsk.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 16 2020 1:07 utc | 43

Why Syria, Ukraine...and Belarus....

https://twitter.com/Garou_Hidalgo/status/1292970098014277633

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 2:03 utc | 45

Democrats and the Deep State will not be pleased that the Donald cannot pull off a color revolution.

I wonder if they’re planning a US color revolution in the event of a Trump win. You can bet that Steps will be taken to prevent that. Already the mainstream media has taken reporting Trump’s inaccurate statements on a daily basis...after four years of repeating them as if they were fact. I expect real skulduggery.

I will glad to see Trump go, but the thought of Biden is disgusting. I’m going to write in Mr. Potato Head.

Posted by: JohnH | Aug 16 2020 2:22 utc | 46

Hey Mr. B your headline is missing a letter and your articles lately have had lots of typos. It’s a step backwards from the professional presentation your readers have come to expect. No hate, just saying.

Posted by: PSA Bot | Aug 16 2020 2:35 utc | 47

I'm dying. At the same time as I'm no longer able to provide factual statements of west n Russia, a third party or 6th column has come to control or attempt to control not only every narrative but every act upon Earth's worldly stage. There is now and has been since 1953 a new player on the world's stage in full controlof the US.. We can talk right vs wrong in humanity's views but this is part of the larger picture beyond that. A party is again helping an Earthly nation power over all others if they can conform to certain policies and attain certain goals whose attainment helps neither the population of the usa nor any other worldly nation. The "space" or "dimensional neighbors/intruders" are in total control of the US government and of Britain's, and a handful of other nationalities. As they were in control of so called Axis AND ALLIED nations decades ago. There's no legit excuse for America's involvement in European civil wars despite fakery like Pearl Harbor, etc. If they've (off world powers) have chosen (which they undoubtedly undeniably have) the US to take over and control the world they're again terribly mistaken as to their backing's ability and citizen's loyalty to bs adventurisms

Posted by: Not John Helmer | Aug 16 2020 4:01 utc | 48

That Ben Rhodes tweet has presage of nasty things to come.
Beware the state department under a new regime. It sounds messianic .

Posted by: Australian lady | Aug 16 2020 4:06 utc | 49

Few opinions.
----------
"Alexiyevich, a historian, is sure that Belarusians are so peaceful that they would never lift a finger to save themselves."

In 2003, I spend few hours in Belarus, more precisely, I was in a Russian sleeping railroad car from Warsaw to St. Petersburg, with 2-3 hours on a Belorussian train station in Orsha, as the car started in Warsaw-Moscow train and had to switch to Odessa-St. Petersburg train. My fellow traveller was a Belorus. So I could eat dinner and observe "city life". Two striking images. The ceiling of the main hall in the station with Sistine Chapel type of paining of Lenin exhorting the masses. Second, policemen (militiamen?) crossing through the station. Athletic, with serious self-important faces. The type of people who follow orders.
-------------------------
Is Lukashenka smart? If he is, he is hiding it well. He is an animated speaker, but definitely a bullshiteer. Not stupid, but not very bright, and he has trouble keeping his story straight.
-------------------------
Is Lukashenka a notable bullshiteer? Not really. Ukrainian authorities do not even try to be believable, they lie energetically and incessantly. The current government of Poland is more consistent, but some of their bullwhatever is best left untranslated. Crossing the English Channel we encounter a certain prime minister that is rather mediocre as a source of information, even though he talks quite a bit. Etc.
Slow learner to be sure.
--------------------------
Why did Putin quarrel with Lukashenka? The bottom line is that Putin is a tightwad and Lukashenka is financial problems. Most recent issue were oil subsidies that expired when Russia changed the way it taxes domestic oil, aimed at decrease of the planned revenue from gas and oil. In this was Belorus remained with a relief from a non-existence tax, thus with no price premium for oil.

Thus one issue is that Russia fully expects a "rainy day", and knows that in such an eventuality, no foreign credit will be available. But allegedly, Putin could invent some other way of providing price premium to Belorus, but only in exchange for a tighter cooperation, like joining Russia in boycotting Latvian ports (example from the article).
--------------
Typos in the headline, and "a step backwards from the professional presentation your readers have come to expect." Huh? What readers? The only typo-intolerant readers here are those who cannot spell.
---------------
Beware the state department under a new regime. It sounds messianic .

Posted by: Australian lady | Aug 16 2020 4:06 utc | 49

It reminds me my surprise what I seen a road sign for the first time: "[beware] falling rocks". You got to drive on that read, and if a rock will fall on your car, oh, well...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 16 2020 5:09 utc | 50

In 1996-9 the RF and Belarus moved in the direction of a federation, and in 1999 signed a Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus with a common foreign policy, currency, market, judicial, energy, transport and communication systems, although subsequent progress was partial, as Belarus sought to preserve more independence than the Treaty permitted.
Over the years Lukashenka has operated a multi-vector and multi-directional foreign policy in which it has at times played the RF off against the EU (and more recently the US)
Of particular importance is the relationship with the RF not only because of its reliance on Russian loans but also because Belarus purchases oil and gas from the RF at discounted prices. For example, Belarus refineries import cheap (initially export-tariff free) crude oil and export refined oil at world market prices, with Belnaftachim, a Belarusian state oil and chemical company, accounting for up to 20% of national industrial production and some 30% of exports.
As a result, Belarus has managed to retain a social model that differs significantly from other European transition economies, avoiding large-scale privatization and ensuring full employment and a high degree of social security for its citizens.
Maintaining this very favourable arrangement while stalling on the implementation of the Union State has involved Lukashenka in continual arguments with Russia and in the end to a scaling down in Russian support which led Lukashenka to deepen the opening to the west. The result is a colour revolution against him organized by the US and Poland along with ‘rich kids’ and their backers.
Hopefully we shall rapidly see the establishment of the Union State and a consolidation of relations with Russia, China and the EAEU and an end to any dream of restoring the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania.
In China the national security law for HK thankfully put an end to another attempted colour revolution.

Posted by: md | Aug 16 2020 5:52 utc | 51

The MEP of my voters district - right-conservatic and usually pro-Russian and totally against "color revolutions" - publicly supports the overthrown of Lukashenko, to the astonishment of his followers. He says that this is not merely a color revolution but that the uneasy of the Belorusian people with Lukashenko is genuine and universal. "Lukashenko is already finished." He thinks conservatives have to support the people of Belarus because otherwise the "Soros adepts" will take over the country for sure. He also says that the Russians have a habit for supporting such lost causes like Lukashenko and that the only thing they will get from it is a rise in anti-Russian sentiment in Belarus.

I don't know whose assessment is right. I find it very interesting that both people from the Right and people from the Left can be against color revolutions for similar reasons but arrive at opposing conclusions in regards to the situation in Belarus.

Posted by: m | Aug 16 2020 6:18 utc | 52

...
"When Trump was sworn in, he promised not to aggressively pursue undermining other nation's soverignty."
...
Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 15 2020 18:36 utc | 2

Wow! Clumsy, much!?
There are dozens of video clips and transcripts of His inauguration speech on the www. Trump didn't say anything like that.
It's sad, but funny, that you couldn't be bothered checking first...
The speech is only circa 16 minutes :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16 2020 6:20 utc | 53

David G cited B and said Now we do not live richly, but we are not poor. But many do not appreciate that.
This is Lukashenko’s unpardonable crime: the future is only for the very rich and the very poor. Add to that Belarus having taken the sanest tack on the coronavirus and we see a thorn that needs to be removed. Oh well, better Russia than the West.

What Lukashenka sought for Belarus was admirable but it depended on continuing large scale Russian assistance for which he argued vigorously certainly infuriating many Russian people. Yet Lukashenka sought to impede the Union Treaty and he did so by playing Russia off against the West (and courting China) to reduce dependence on Russia. But if you purchase oil from western countries they do you no favours over pricing so it was economically self-defeating.

In the case of COVID the response was driven by the view that Belarus had an outstanding public health system inherited from the Soviet era (which it does) that could manage the problem.

Posted by: md | Aug 16 2020 6:29 utc | 54

Of course Lukashenka may have thought that Russian generosity may not have survived the completion of the Union Treaty.

Posted by: md | Aug 16 2020 6:36 utc | 55


"Belarus’ Lukashenko to move air assault brigade to country’s western border amid protests & NATO activity in Poland, Lithuania"

This evening RT News not good, long line HUGE protests in Belarus and in Russia. It look like another Ukraine's "Maidan square, in the heart of the capital, has been filled with protestors; who've been demanding the government and president, Victor Yanukovych..." I hope Lukashenko survive. Putin offered his support, hope Putin permit to send peacekeeping force to Belarus’. I too hope PRC China follow suit. Maybe Iran and Cuba follow too.

The fucking yanks and EU must not be allowed into Belarus!!

RT News - August 15 2020 (17:00 MSK)

https://www.rt.com/shows/news/498088-rtnews-august-15-17msk/

Posted by: JC | Aug 16 2020 7:05 utc | 56

Imo, Putin was onto this Regime Change plot in June, if not before. Having watched Oliver Stone's The Putin Interviews 1 - 4, many times, I also believe that Putin would have warned Lukashenko by telling him what to look for and inviting him to call back when he'd confirmed Putin's suspicions. Putin would not want, or allow, Belarus to become Ukraine Ver 2.0.

All Putin had to say to scare the beJesus out of Lukashenko was "Neither of us want Belarus bombed back to the Stone Age by the Christian Cranls, to 'save' it."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16 2020 7:26 utc | 57

Thanks a lot to b for this remarkable article,that gives real insight in a question that I found very difficult to understand.Kudos,whatever that means!

Posted by: willie | Aug 16 2020 10:14 utc | 58

The old fox outsmarted himself. He should sign the Union State agreement wearing a dunce cap.

Posted by: Peter | Aug 16 2020 11:02 utc | 59

"In an interview with Strana.ua two employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus explained their view of the situation..."

Great. That's like relying on William Barr for an assessment of Black Lives Matter.

Posted by: Louis N Proyect | Aug 16 2020 12:13 utc | 60

Belarus’ Lukashenko to move air assault brigade to country’s western border amid protests & NATO activity in Poland, Lithuania

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said an air assault brigade will be moved to the country’s border, amid massive anti-government protests that the leader has dubbed a “color revolution” directed by foreign agents.
Speaking to state media on Saturday, Lukashenko said he was “worried” that NATO was carrying out military exercises in Poland and Lithuania, regarding it as an arms build-up on Belarus’ borders.

The president said that Belarus “cannot calmly observe this” and do nothing, adding that he has ordered the transfer of an airborne brigade from Vitebsk to Grodno.

Lukashenko also slammed foreign countries which he said were attempting to act as “mediators” in the country's problems, urging them to “put their own business in order” before dictating to Minsk.

Earlier, Lukashenko said Russian President Vladimir Putin had promised to help him secure his country’s safety, if necessary. According to the Kremlin, the two leaders agreed that the country's problems “will be solved soon” and that the situation would not harm relations between the two countries.

ALSO ON RT.COM
Belarus’ Lukashenko says he is being targeted by ‘color revolution’, seeks to join forces with Putin
Lukashenko’s re-election for a sixth term last week was marred by massive protests, as thousands took to the streets over their belief that the election – in which the president claims to have received 80 percent of the votes – had been rigged. Workers at major state-run industrial plants were also hit with demonstrations and strikes during the week.

On Saturday, Lukashenko said workers at state-run companies should be fired if they go on strike, suggesting they were colluding with foreign actors, according to BelTa.

The European Union has said it does not believe the election results were legitimate and is readying itself to impose sanctions on Minsk in response to the bloody police crackdown, which has already seen two protesters killed.

On a visit to Poland on Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was monitoring the situation in Belarus.

https://www.rt.com/news/498122-lukashenko-air-brigade-borders/


Posted by: Alina | Aug 16 2020 12:46 utc | 61

If more evidence was needed...

Belarus security forces apprehended several fascist provocateurs from Russia.

They are apparently operatives of the "Открытой России" (Open Russia) entity, which was formed by the exiled parasite oligarch 𝙺𝚑𝚘𝚍𝚘𝚛𝚔𝚘𝚟𝚜𝚔𝚢 and has been blacklisted in Russia since 2017.

https://twitter.com/flagrantdolphin/status/1293198958840303617

BREAKING!

Dmitry Yarosh, founder of the Right Sector in #Ukraine, admits training nationalist militants in #Belarus since 2000.

https://twitter.com/LubimayaRussiya/status/1294014809600557061

The US/NATO are attempting a "color revolution" to overthrow the government in Belarus, the only remaining ex-Soviet state that still has socialistic policies and state control over the economy

Stratfor, "the Shadow CIA," is admitting they want a neoliberal Western puppet regime.

https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1291737176510730242

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 12:49 utc | 62

16 AUG, 14:19

Belarusian leader says won’t allow to ‘give away’ his country


Incumbent Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he won’t allow to "give away" his country even if he dies.

"Together with you, despite all difficulties and troubles, we have built a beautiful country. To whom have you decided to give it away? If anyone wants to give away the country, I won’t let you do this even when I am dead," Lukashenko said.

Alexander Lukashenko said, Belarus would die as a state if it agreed to hold a rerun election.

"The NATO leadership is calling on us to hold a new election," Lukashenko said. "If we yield to their wishes we will die as a state," he stressed.

According to Lukashenko, foreign puppeteers are orchestrating riots in the country and want Belarusian borders to move from Brest back to Minsk like before World War II.

"They won’t let us live calmly. Even if they calm down now, they will emerge like rats from their holes some time later," the Belarusian president said, referring to the opposition supporters.

"They [the opposition - TASS] are controlled by people from outside, puppeteers. They see the Western borders of our Belarus here, near Minsk like back in 1939, and not near Brest," Lukashenko told a rally in his support on Independence Square in Minsk. "This is not going to happen," he stressed. "We will all become the Brest fortress, we won’t give away our country.".

A rally in support of incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko is now held on Independence Square in Minsk. On Sunday, the opposition will also gather for a protest in the Belarusian capital.

https://tass.com/world/1190189

Posted by: Alina | Aug 16 2020 12:57 utc | 63

Having never been to Belarus I am short of firsthand knowledge, so corrections by others with more experience with the place would be appreciated. I request specifically for non-TV "experience", which excludes all of the basement-dwelling brainwashed American trolls who think they are experts on the subject because they saw something about it on Netflix.

My impression is that Belarus never really embraced neoliberalism when the Soviet Union was dissolved, and as such it most retained the old Soviet spirit out of all of the fragments. Of course, I am not talking about the flower-stomping, puppy-purging, rainbow-nuking, celebration of all that is evil and dark that people in the West have been successfully brainwashed into believing that the Soviet Union stood for. I am talking about public ownership of the economy and resources of the nation.

Russia, on the other hand, catastrophically embraced neoliberalism, and it seems that despite all of his nationalist pragmatism that prevents it, Putin himself would like to find a way to make neoliberalism work.

Could it be these two philosophies being very much at odds, diametrically opposed in fact, that explain Lukashenko's resistance to the Union State? Could it be that events over the last several years have convinced Putin & Co that pushing neoliberalism isn't a viable near term success strategy for them or their allies so they are easing up on it, allowing Belarus to become more comfortable with the Union?

Many on the left say that socialist restoration in Russia will require a new revolution, but I often wonder if that is really the case. It seems that western isolation of Russia and nationalist pragmatism are forcing the Russian leadership towards public ownership of industries and economic planning, even against those leaders' will. They want Russia to be a strong sovereign state, but neoliberalism only delivers the opposite.

Perhaps I am waxing metaphysical here, but reuniting with the last fragment of the "soul" of the old Soviet Union might prove to be a catalyst that allows a new socialist union to arise. Or maybe that union will instead extinguish that last faint ember of Soviet soul?

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 16 2020 13:20 utc | 64

@steven t johnson | Aug 15 2020 21:56 utc | 27

Russian per capita GDP has never really recovered from its peak in 2010.

That may be true when measured by official exchange rates, but that's hardly relevant, as exchange rates yoyo up and down quite frequently. What is relevant is the following: according to the World Bank, Russia's GDP measured in PPP terms, per capita, in constant 2017 dollars, has been rising steadily. In 2010, it was $20,049 per capita; in 2019, it was $29,181. In other words, the average Russian citizen was almost 50% richer last year than he was ten years ago. (Using constant 2017 dollars removes the effects of inflation; the improvement is real.)

Russia doing well is when the people in Russia have a rising standard of living

Standard of living is indeed what Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) measures. Thus a rising GDP/capita (PPP) indicates that the average Russian citizen's life has been improving dramatically under Putin -- which contradicts your claim.

If you have an issue with the numbers, talk to the World Bank.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 16 2020 13:39 utc | 65

20/03/2017

LUKASHENKO ACCUSED THE FIFTH COLUMN OF ATTEMPTING
TO AGGRAVATE THE SITUATION

The President considers that this happens inside Belarus with the assistance of western funds and intelligence agencies.
The President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko considers attempts at aggravating the situation are ongoing in the country. As was reported by BELTA, he said this on 20.03.17 in the report of the plan of the joint strategic exercise between the Armed Forces of Belarus and Russia “West-2017”.

He noted that Minsk is not really nervous about the “revival and strengthening of” NATO, which “places additional contingents of troops at our borders”.

“We are much more concerned by the attempts of the opposition using modern methods of confrontation to aggravate the situation inside Belarus, and conduct against it the appropriate actions,” said Lukashenko. “It concerns the attempt of our fifth column, with the support (again, we record it, I don’t try at all to intimidate anybody) and financing of western funds and the leadership of western intelligence agencies of our thugs who fled abroad, which means an attempt to aggravate the situation in Belarus.”

However, the head of state declared that Belarus will cope with it and “it is not a problem”.

https://www.stalkerzone.org/lukashenko-accused-fifth-column-attempting-aggravate-situation/

Posted by: Alina | Aug 16 2020 13:39 utc | 66

August 16, 2020

NOTORIOUS BANDERIST DMITRY YAROSH ADMITTED TO TRAINING BELARUSIAN RADICALS & PARTICIPATING IN “ANTI-LUKASHENKO”
ACTIONS

The commander of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army and former head of “Right Sector“ Dmitry Yarosh admitted that he personally trained and advised Belarusian radicals, and also took part in previously held “anti-Lukashenko“ actions in Belarus.

The radical wrote about this on his Facebook page....

After being nostalgic about the time of service in the Soviet Army on the territory of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, which fell in the late 1980s-early 1990s, Yarosh touched upon the memories of his cooperation with Belarusian nationalists already in the years of independence of the Republic — in the 2000s.

“I conducted dozens of exercises for my Belarusian colleagues in Ukraine, traveled almost the entire fraternal country, took a direct advisory part in many Belarusian anti-Lukashenko patriotic actions, and so on,”

He also spoke about the

“In 2013, many Belarusians participated in Maidan. Since 2014, our Belarusian brothers participated in the Russian-Ukrainian war and even formed their own unit in the part of our volunteer battalions. They formed their own unit as part of our volunteer battalions

Now some of these militants, having a good experience of participating in civil conflicts, are returning to Belarus. According to the Ukrainian nationalist, Lukashenko will fall sooner or later, and most likely, not without the help of those very nationalists.

“The fight of Belarusians for the independence of their state will not end in vain, even if Lukashenko suppresses this uprising.

His regime is rotten and will fall sooner or later. The main thing is that the Kremlin dwarfs do not take advantage of this and do not completely take over the fraternal country of Ukrainians. Ukraine is with you, Belarus lives!” summed up Dmitry Yarosh.

https://www.stalkerzone.org/notorious-banderist-dmitry-yarosh-admitted-to-training-belarusian-radicals-participating-in-anti-lukashenko-actions/


Posted by: Alina | Aug 16 2020 13:48 utc | 67

July 31, 2020

TROJAN HORSE FOR LUKASHENKO

The “independent nation” [Ukraine – ed] actively got into a scandal with the detention of Russian PMC “Wagner” mercenaries in Belarus.

And it did it for a reason, but at the suggestion of the Americans, without whose participation such events never happen.

As soon as the information about the arrest of Russians in Minsk was made public, a statement by the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council Sergey Krivonos immediately appeared on the need to extradite the “terrorist fighters” to Ukraine.

Why the fright? And such a step “would strengthen normal relations between Ukraine and Belarus…

it would discourage our enemies from using the territory of our neighbours as a springboard for actions against Ukraine.” It sounds like complete nonsense.

According to Krivonos’ logic, it turns out that the PMC “Wagner” was almost preparing an invasion of Kiev.

Krivonos is a recruited agent of the Americans. By political orientation, he is a “Poroshenko bot”.

He even withdrew his candidacy in favour of Poroshenko in the 2019 presidential election.

This was such a political technological move – the former deputy commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as a sign of respect for the commander-in-chief, leaves the presidential race.

After the Security Council, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry joined the anti-Russian information campaign.

This Ministry is directly managed by the State Department. Deputy Foreign Minister Evgeny Enin is in direct contact with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.

Friend George allots to him tasks that are brought to the knowledge of the formal head of the Foreign Ministry Dmitry Kuleba. Without instructions from the State Department, no one in the Ministry will even squeak.

Therefore, the agency’s statement on the incident in Belarus, no doubt, has been agreed with Washington.

Its essence is that “the militants detained in Belarus could have been used to destabilise the situation on the eve of the presidential election in a country friendly to Ukraine.”

Such a funny statement was made by the Speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the nation, Ekaterina Zelenko (recruited by the American intelligence agencies while working in Vienna). Why funny?.....

https://www.stalkerzone.org/trojan-horse-for-lukashenko/


Tag: Belarus
https://www.stalkerzone.org/tag/belarus/


Posted by: Alina | Aug 16 2020 14:06 utc | 68

Russia and Belorussia are one people. Luka should never be president. Belarussia should be part of Russian federation. Russia have been subsiding Belarussia for 25 years. What Russia back? Luka refused to give Russia military airfield. On the other hand, training with British troops? No problem at all.
Luka do not give damm about Belarussia, Russia or anything else. He care only about Luka. Russia should cut his bs and let him fly.

Posted by: justiana | Aug 16 2020 14:55 utc | 69

Cyril@66 covers a multitude of sins with the word "average." Russia is so large you can't talk about the welfare of the people without allowing in particular for geographical variation. to private hands. And, with the outbreak of yet another world depression, the gifts of capitalism, even a managed capitalism a la Putin, will steadily shrink. Even more to the point, this touching faith in capitalism in Russia means that Cyril should be in the streets baying for the sale of all remaining state industryn the people of Belarus.

Putin is a Yeltsinite and Yeltsinism is what he'll do with a Union treaty, if he doesn't chicken out/go soft on fascism like he did in Ukraine. Putin puts some limits on the oligarchs, especially their political ambitions, but he supports their power over the economy on the whole. And he will never resume the kind of state ownership and direction Lukashenko preserved. That would be changing the Russian system on a fundamental level and isn't going to happen. Worse, Putin is fool enough to think another slowly bleeding wound like the Donbass in east Belarus would be a win, I suspect. In addition to advocating the privatization of the Belarus economy, Cyril forgets endorsing the plunder of Belarus means endorsing the absorption of Belarus into the iron curtain against Russia. This may require Polish revanchism, the conquest of Belarussian lands to the imperialist boundary of 1939. And it may also involve yet another fascist regime a la Ukraine. Scum like Proyect have no problem with fascism, as they are the best anti-"Stalinists" (anti-communists) around. The touching faith in a capitalism regulated by a heroic boss like Putin is the worship of capitalism too.

To put it another way, the averages Cyril puts faith in also told us that first Obama, then Trump actually did do a fantastic job on the economy and times really were great for America! Putin $600 gigabuck fund is the equivalent of a sky-high stock market here in this country, a sign of good things for a few, and a sign of bad things for most.

I suppose it's possible there's an AfD foreign policy where an accommodation between Germany(/EU) and Russia leaves Germany(/EU) more independent vis-a-vis the US. But I'm not for a mere re-division of the world by the rising imperialist powers.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 16 2020 14:57 utc | 70

It is all very well for Lukashenko to now support the integration agreement with Russia, but does he have an effective plan to deal with the internal discontent? Putin promised security help, but today's huge opposition rally indicates that something tangible and not mere window dressing is required to satisfy the population. Not sure how Russia can help with this. Absent such a plan the security help will not be sufficient to defuse the momentum of the protests in my opinion.

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 16 2020 15:27 utc | 71

My suspicion is that Lukashenko was already well clued up into the failed Ukraine operation with supposed Russian "mercenaries", and that he played the operation with Russian intelligence support in their joint interests.

Someone asked at the time how could Russian intelligence services not know about the recruitment of former Wagner operatives and their travel abroad (implying failure by the Russians)? Wrongly put. I am confident the Russians knew key details in real time, and played along to wrap up the whole operation and switch it to their advantage - this is what we see the fruit of now. This deal that we hear of today was probably being discussed between Russia and Belarus in outline form very early in the Ukrainian operation. Russia would certainly have had hyperactive intelligence operations in Belarus during the whole regime-change period - whether with or without Belarus knowledge and approval, being strongly in the Russian national interest, and I suspect largely with Belarus cooperation from the start of the Ukrainian op. That is why there was no snipering - any snipers being silently neutralised and removed from the field before they could even start operations.

Let's face it, once the facts about the Ukrainian op were known to both Russia and Belarus, it would have been quite obvious what was at stake and what had to be done, hence also obvious to both parties that close intelligence cooperation was in the vital interests of both parties. And it is clear that the whole of the Ukrainian op has helped to neutralise the colour revolution. The whole sequence of events smells strongly of Russian strategic planning. There is no reason to think Lukashenko is no admirer of Russian strategic planning, even if he sometimes vainly hoped to try to wiggle around it opportunistically.

Posted by: BM | Aug 16 2020 15:29 utc | 72

William Gruff

Socialism and neo-liberalism... Striking a balance, socialism plus innovation - innovation spurred by reward. Perhaps striking that balance is the hardest part. I think it is that innovation Putin has been trying to support or foster rather than neo-liberalism as such. Soviet Union had innovation in the military sector but not in the civilian side.
I believe China moved to its form of limited capitalism to encourage innovation.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 15:29 utc | 73

I think it is that innovation Putin has been trying to support or foster rather than neo-liberalism as such

Interesting suggestion, Peter, sounds very realistic.

Posted by: BM | Aug 16 2020 15:33 utc | 74

the pessimist 72

Along with BM's comment I think Russia will have neutralized any snipers. The color revolution is not a grass roots uprising. It's top down, cut the communications and the protests are finished. I suspect Russia is quite capable of shutting down telegram in Belarus.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 15:38 utc | 75

neoliberals & nationalists calling the shots, socialist voices muffled Katya Kazbek Op-Ed is featured on RT.

Currently, I see overwhelming kneejerk support for the protests in Belarus without any nuance or reflection on the problematic parts of it, and I see obvious support for Belarusian nationalism. The ‘right side’ of history is, once again, defined precisely. Very few people, unfortunately, are ready to discuss the negatives of the protests. Very few are brave enough to oppose the majority’s opinions. Those aligned with Lukashenko support the violent cops, whether they’re coming from the left of the right. But there are also Marxist skeptics who want Lukashenko gone, but don’t want a Maidan-style revolt...
Anyone who asks for nuance is met with a resounding dismissal: “Are you against the working people?” No, but what if I’m against the working class being appropriated as useful idiots for the causes of nationalism and a color revolution? What if I don’t want to see Belarus torn apart by privatization and in the pits of poverty, as its citizens roam Europe looking for low-paid jobs as labor migrants? Which is what has happened in Ukraine.
The violence on the ground in Belarus is real. The autocracy is real. There can be no doubts about that. But the neoliberal and nationalist tendencies seem to be as much of a threat to worker solidarity as the regime’s wrongdoings. I am incredibly invested in observing the events unfolding in Belarus because I have seen all of it before, in Russia personally and in Ukraine from a distance. And I hate to see the worst repeat yet again, with the same stalwarts of neoliberalism at the helm, denouncing communism, virtue-signaling to nationalism.

Kazbek's thesis seem to be that worker solidarity and socialism is menaced everywhere by neoliberalism and nationalism.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 16 2020 15:49 utc | 76

What about the white-red-white flags and the Phanonia coat of arms?

Posted by: Bruh | Aug 16 2020 16:35 utc | 77

Peter AU1@76

Today's protests suggest otherwise:

https://www.rt.com/news/498156-minsk-anti-government-rally/

This rally suggests widespread discontent, rather than just a color provocation. I hope there is some plan, but so far there has only been an appeal to solidarity based on an external threat, and this is not what is motivating the protestors.

How is the general population disposed toward Russia? Would they welcome some systemic change guaranteed by Russia?

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 16 2020 16:37 utc | 78

the pessimist

That is a big protest. In that article it also said there had been a big pro governments rally?

"Earlier on Sunday, a pro-government demonstration was held in Minsk with hundreds of thousands of people attending. The president appeared at the rally to thank his supporters and to declare that he would not bow to the pressure because doing so would mean forsaking his country."

A divided country?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 16 2020 16:50 utc | 79

Peter AU1 @74

I am not convinced that socialism is incompatible with innovation nor that neoliberalism fosters innovation. While Sputnik and the rest of the Russian space program is the perfect counterexample, I think it is useful to look at key innovation in the United States and ask if that was a product of neoliberalism. I think you will find that a closer examination will reveal that very little innovation in the West has been driven by neoliberal "Free Market™" forces.

I don't think that anyone would argue against the claim that up until the last decade of last century American telecommunications infrastructure and technology was the very best in the world. Was it the neoliberal "Free Market™" that gave America this remarkable advantage?

You might look to AT&T/Bell Telephone as a capitalist enterprise that set the pace for technological development in the post war years and tout the obvious superiority of capitalist innovation, but that would be a shallow interpretation of reality. In fact AT&T/Bell in the post war years was a massive monopoly that was allowed to exist by the more enlightened public of that period on the condition that it was very heavily regulated. This regulation of AT&T/Bell was so extreme that it would be better described as micromanagement by the federal government. For all intents and purposes, AT&T/Bell was operated like a State Owned Enterprise, with the private management having little say in how the enterprise was run.

AT&T/Bell absolutely was not a neoliberal "Free Market™" capitalist enterprise. Quite the opposite. Yet it was this virtual SOE that developed such revolutionary technologies as the transistor and the laser, as well as laid the foundations for the operating systems of all contemporary smartphones. Since the breakup of AT&T/Bell in the 1980s (which was done to "free" the corporation from direct control by the US government) there have been no technological breakthroughs on par with those. Since the 1990s, technological "innovation" in the capitalist West has largely been gradual and incremental engineering improvements.

We needn't even mention that DARPA (brought us the Interwebs) and Apollo (brought us Tang and Velcro) were communist public sector operations and not neoliberal "Free Market™" ones.

Now, it could be that Putin believes that it takes neoliberalism to be innovative, but then he would be wrong and not even the slightest attentive to his own country's history.


Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 16 2020 17:47 utc | 80

This is bullshit. What you can know about the people living under the Russian partition until 1981 When there was no bread and the only food was vinegar and fish. People are fed up with poverty and dictatorships tell you how to live. You sound like a Russian troll.

Posted by: Kentackis | Aug 16 2020 18:19 utc | 81

@Kentackis
I have been reading this guy for years. He has never failed me once in his analyses.
When writing you can at least be polite. It would also help when you don't agree with what is written to post a source that can confirm what you claim. Otherwise, you will be regarded as an ordinary mindless troll - you know, the thing you accused the author of

Posted by: Appollo | Aug 16 2020 19:16 utc | 82

Related to the pact of no agression Pompeo-Duda...and why the Belarusian color revolution is a provocation amongst more to come..

The US will build in Poland an outpost, training centers, port and airport facilities for the movement of equipment and troops, and facilities for an armored combat brigade. Washington has defined the pact as a "deterrent to Russia."

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1294733997403254788

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 20:08 utc | 83

Apart from the Belarusian Ambassador to France, Ambassador to Slovakia also supports the "protesters"....It seesm that the MFA was full of moles...Also "Minister of Culture" passes himself to the other side....

As a proof that any coup intend needs traitors from inside who open the doors to the occupant...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 20:14 utc | 84

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 20:14 utc | 85

Makei, Latushko, Leshchenya...wait for two more and this is the vengeance for the Cambridge Five...en diferido....

It is said that psychopats could kept a vengeance aim intact for ages...Well, there you have...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 20:55 utc | 85

F24 filed an extraordinarily lap-doggish Belarus report this morning.
It began with shots of the 100,000 anti-Lukashenko protest and talked about a "smaller" pro-Lukashenko demo a km or so away. They then crossed to commentary from one Franack Viak, a member of that paragon of virtuous impartiality - the Atlantic Council. Mr Viak assured F24 viewers that Lukashenko's time in office will be numbered in weeks, at most.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16 2020 21:12 utc | 86

Why nobody ahs taked about this yet...

Belarusian opposition "The Program"...because, eventhough they seem to only pretend "reforms" and ( now that the police has shown absolute restraint, an error for R. Ischenko....), "dialogue", the program of "reforms" that will be applied in case they achieve overthrowing Lukashenko is well prepared in advance...

And how that program looks like? Well, it is a carbon copy of that of the Ukraine Maidan, thus guess the authors...Summarizing, it goes about building a new Russophobic entity in the borders of Russia...

Russophobia & Collapse: The Puppeteers of the Protests in Belarus Do Not Hide Their Plans

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 16 2020 22:16 utc | 87

@ Appollo | Aug 16 2020 19:16 utc | 83.. exactly.. thank you..

Posted by: james | Aug 16 2020 22:49 utc | 88

@steven t johnson | Aug 16 2020 14:57 utc | 71

Cyril@66 covers a multitude of sins with the word "average."

I didn't do anything you weren't doing.

In "steven t johnson | Aug 15 2020 21:56 utc | 27", you stated that Russian per capita GDP has never really recovered from its peak in 2010 and implied that Russian living standards have been falling catastrophically under Putin. By definition, "per capita GDP" is an average; and I cited the World Bank to prove you wrong about Russian living standards.

The remainder of your comment @71 is a diversion that I'll not address.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 16 2020 23:30 utc | 89

Ben Norton @BenjaminNorton
https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1295010932553404416

Belarus has almost defeated poverty. Even though it is much poorer than superpowers like the US and Russia, it has a lower poverty level: 0.8%

Belarus has one of the highest levels of state ownership of the economy in Europe. Capitalist oligarchs desperately want to privatize it

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EfjMfU4XoAEE2Cc.png

Posted by: Mao | Aug 17 2020 1:00 utc | 90

Craig Murray was ambassador in another Russian satellite state and has a well informed view on Belarus here: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/08/belarus/

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 17 2020 1:41 utc | 91

Belarus: Beware of Canada...

These two tweets. First by Canadian Foreign Minister F-P Champagne:

https://twitter.com/FP_Champagne/status/1294692245870870529

"I just spoke with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, opposition leader of Belarus. I reaffirmed Canada's commitment to the people of Belarus and that we are closely monitoring the situation on the ground as we consider next steps..."

Second by Paul Grod, President of the World Ukrainian Congress, (UWC) a Banderite ultranationalist organization, closely aligned with the Atlantic Council, which, along with Canada's deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, will be pushing the Belarus file and potential confrontation with Russia, for all its worth.

"UWC calls on the international community to stand with the people of Belarus who have clearly expressed their desire for change, just as the people of Ukraine did during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014."

https://twitter.com/UWCongress/status/1293153781308424192

PS "[Kamala] Harris has committed herself to confronting Russia's aggression if elected." - WaPo

I hope b's contention 'this color revolution is dead' is right. In any case, something tells me Russian problems are only just beginning.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 17 2020 2:42 utc | 92

Russian Mafia money is substantial

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 17 2020 9:58 utc | 93

Love him or hate him, Lukashenko is the only person who can guarantee Belorussian independence. Without him Belarus either has to be integrated into the Russian Federation or it will end up like Ukraine and be taken over by a NATO occupation regime.

Belorussians have already decided that they want Lukashenko to be president for life. Therefore there is little point in holding elections. The so-called opposition candidates never intended to challenge Lukashenko for the popular vote. Instead they acted as stooges in a Western coup attempt.

The plan was that same as practiced in Venezuela, Bolivia and Libya. 1) Declare the elections illegitimate even before they are held. 2) Run a coordinated fake news operation in all Western media labeling Lukashenko an "evil dictator" killing his own people. 3) Wage economic war with seizures and sanctions. 4) Declare a Western stooge as the legitimate president. 5) Send terrorists to infiltrate the country. 6) Start air war in support of the terrorists. Call it a "no-fly-zone".

Ukraine had a role of vital importance to European security. It served as a buffer between Russia and NATO. This did not fit the fools in European leadership. Now Europe wants to escalate World War 4 to a new front in Belarus.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 17 2020 12:27 utc | 94

Tikhanovskaya is the Guaido of Belarus. EU looks to be in full color revolution mode at the moment, so perhaps they rather than Trump will crown her president of Belarus

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 12:33 utc | 95

EU are spending far more on getting rid of Lukashenko than they offered Lebanon after the disaster.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-election-eu-sanctions/eu-leaders-virtual-summit-to-support-belarusian-protesters-idUSKCN25D13L?il=0
"European Union leaders will send a message of solidarity to Belarusian protesters during an emergency video conference on Wednesday about the situation in the ex-Soviet republic, their chairman said on Monday.

The EU has launched a process of imposing sanctions on Belarusian officials it deems responsible for election fraud and a crackdown on mass protests that followed an Aug. 9 vote in which veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory. His opponents say the election was rigged."

"The 27 will discuss what specific support they can extend to Belarus, where hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting non-stop since the election to demand that Lukashenko quit, in the biggest challenge yet to his 26-year-old rule.

Lithuania, which borders Belarus, has proposed an EU fund for victims of the crackdown. It says 50 million euros already earmarked for Belarus should be rerouted to bypass state institutions and support civil society."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 12:40 utc | 96

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 12:33 utc | 96

Guaido, President of Belarus

I don't usually read Shamir, but this was illuminating. I was surprised he said the Germans were in this, but it seems they are. So are Putin's oligarchs. Lukashenko has no friends but his own people, if he has them. I think that's the question.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 17 2020 12:51 utc | 97

https://tass.com/world/1190499
"Members of the European Parliament do not recognize the results of the Belarusian presidential election, considering Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a persona non grata in the EU, the joint statement by European Parliament’s parties published on Monday informs."

Venezuela 2.0

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 12:53 utc | 98

Lukashenko badly overplayed his hand. He picked a fight with Russia, refused further integration and lost the fuel subsidy which dealt a blow to the economy. Then he dissed the Covid-19 crisis and didn't respond effectively. Then he held a show election assuming there would be no effective opposition, jailed his (rather weak) opponents, and claimed an overwhelming mandate. When people took to the streets to object (whether or not there were provocateurs) the police arrested and beat a large number of protesters including many that did nothing other than participate in the protest. Then these people were shown on state TV looking visible brutalized. The wife of the opposition candidate was 'helped' to flee to Lithuania. Whatever went on behind the scenes, this is what the general population could see. Then during further demonstrations a protestor died. The state said he was holding an explosive device that malfunctioned and killed him, but bystander videos show that this explanation is not true and it appears more likely he was shot buy security forces (or someone) and the protesters have a martyr. State TV commentators resign in protest and the Ambassador to Slovakia gives an interview to BBC and while generally cautious in his assessment calls the election "unfair" - a true statement. Now the protests have spread and it appears that a good portion of the population is simply tired of the the offer from Lukashenko of "more of the same" or status quo - no acknowledgement of problems, no vision except for "I am the President". He spoke to Putin and (belatedly) agreed on security cooperation with Russia, but this does nothing to answer the discontent in the street.

Fairly widespread popular discontent, no leader, no specific agenda, a situation ripe for manipulation.

Does Russia have an effective plan to protect her interests? Can it be sold in Belorussia to a majority of the population?

What about the army and the police and the KGB?

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

Posted by: the pessimist | Aug 17 2020 13:23 utc | 99

the pessimist

have you got links to the bystander videos? the one I saw wasn't real clear, but something flashed in his right hand and he didn't look so good after that.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 17 2020 13:38 utc | 100

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