Author: Roman Tsymbaliuk
06 February 2017
Three years ago, at the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, 86% of Russians were not the only ones affected by the Kremlin’s propaganda. Due to its free broadcasting in the countries of the so-called post-Soviet space, the “allies” of the Russian Federation, in the first place, the people of Belarus and Kazakhstan, also came under the influence of Moscow’s lies. There is nothing surprising in this. A normal person cannot remain indifferent while listening to some tearful story about the “crucified Slavic boy,” about the “junta”, “punitive squads,” and infringement of the Russian-speaking population.
However, against the background of Russian crimes in Crimea and Donbas, these two countries are gradually starting to wake up. On the one hand, Belarus and Kazakhstan are beginning to understand that, under the guise of “the fight against fascism,” Russia hides an actual punitive operation against Ukraine; on the other hand, the people in these countries are asking, and how long it will take until Russian television starts airing stories about some “Kazakh banderites” or “Belarusian nationalists”. Their fears are not unfounded.
However, the discussion at the Lukashenko-Putin level about who owes whom gave rise to the threats of Russian propagandists: accusations were voiced of anti-Russian rhetoric and… the revival of the Belarusian language
Another dispute between Minsk and Moscow arose, at first glance, solely over the price of Russian energy resources. It is clear that Lukashenko, the leader of an “allied state,” intends to use his relations with the Kremlin to the maximum in order to get the desired bonus. This is not the first time we see this happening in a relationship between the “brotherly” nations. Back in the day, in the midst of winter, Russia, being apparently overwhelmed with brotherly intentions, shut off gas supplies to Belarus, and banned Belarusian agriexports. The carrot and stick method was used to compel Belarus to “loving” Russia and this eventually led to Moscow gaining control of Belarusian gas transport system.
However, the discussion at the Lukashenko-Putin level about who owes whom gave rise to the threats of Russian propagandists: accusations were voiced of anti-Russian rhetoric and… the revival of the Belarusian language . Moscow claimed it did not wish that the Ukrainian scenario repeated itself in Belarus, the country so stubbornly opposing being called “Belorussia.” The “Ukrainian scenario,” in fact, means Russian tanks no one welcomed. By the way, before the attack on Ukraine, there was also an economic dispute with Kyiv. The Kremlin did not like the Ukraine-EU Association. There has been enough said about how many billions of dollars Russia has lost while selling gas to Ukraine at the highest price in Europe. Now the bill has been handed to Belarusians. It turns out that they, too, were “presented” tens of billions of dollars by Moscow. And, as a result, the Russian radicals dream of “reunification” with Belarus, while the FSB is strengthening border control.
Against the background of that bright and emotional speech by Lukashenko, virtually unnoticed remained Russia’s latest territorial claims to Kazakhstan, voiced by deputies from the Liberal Democratic Party, in particular, Pavel Shperov. Who know, how many other deputies, stung by the Russian Spring virus, are out there, seeking glory and more “living space”? Head of the Russian parliament’s committee on international affairs Leonid Slutsky even tried to back this particular “patriot”, accusing the Ukrainian media in “lies” and “pulling his words out of context.” At this remark, Comrade Shperov responded with an argument about a possible “referendum on reunification with Russia”, convincing himself and the others that “borders do not last forever” and “the political map is changing as the time passes by.”
All these statements do not mean that tomorrow the Russian troops will go on vacation en masse and be deployed to save the Russian (or Russian-speaking) population in Belarus or Kazakhstan
So far, the official Kazakhstan tries not to make its indignation public. However, through diplomatic channels, it has called on the Russian “strategic partners” to return “find peace of mind” and remember where Russia ends, recalling the agreement between the countries of the Kazakh-Russian state border. The Russian Foreign Ministry appears not to argue with Astana, explaining that only the president, prime minister and foreign minister are authorize to speak on behalf of the state. But here comes the trick: Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman called territorial claims to Kazakhstan a manifestation of “democracy” and what’s even more amusing – the reflection of the views of the Russian “electorate.” The problem is that the thugs, who have been looting Donbas, are also Russian “electorate,” and this definition applies to the Russian soldiers stationed in Crimea as well.
All these statements do not mean that tomorrow the Russian troops will go on vacation en masse and be deployed to save the Russian (or Russian-speaking) population in Belarus or Kazakhstan. These countries have for many years been ruled by people enjoying ultimate power, those who are well-trained to dance with the Russian bear. But no leaders last forever, and what seems impossible today may be achieved tomorrow. The main thing is that Russia has not given up the idea of reconquering these territories, and it publicly demonstrates this. If need be, Moscow can also dig up some kind of a rationale for why they should no longer stick to the treaties on sovereignty guarantees. It will be enough to just press a button on a remote control of Russian propaganda TV. The war for Ukrainian independence is a perfect example.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow