Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting
Russia will either invade to restore peace and stability or “Belarus” or a “proxy government” will invite them to assist. The story won’t change from the Soviet times and early Russian days, only the uniforms and leaders.
Belarus appears to be slowly and spontaneously drifting into a popular revolt, with a demographic increasingly including former supporters of the Lukashenko regime. Belarus govt MSM churning out anti-Maidan propaganda attacking Ukraine, which may go down very poorly in the Kiev Rada and Ukrainian MSM. The Belarus opposition movement is pouring kerosene into the argument.
It is unclear whether the Lukashenko regime has the ability to suppress a Maidan-like mass public revolt, let alone remain in control longer term.
So the remaining question is exactly when and how the Russians invade Belarus, and whether this is supported or opposed by the incumbent regime.
There is no evidence of the West warning the Russians to stay out – not that Moscow would pay any attention to such beyond declaring it to be yet another Nazi Junta Putsch orchestrated out of Langley, this time by President Trump rather than Obama.
Tensions between Moscow and Minsk have increased dramatically in the last two years as the countries’ tenuous relationship has deteriorated to the point of a regional crisis.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 8 – The most dangerous moment for any authoritarian regime is when its population ceases to be afraid of its rulers and recognizes that it has within itself the strength to organize civic resistance to them. According to three Moscow experts, such a mental revolution has now taken place in Belarus. Andrey Suzdaltsev of the Higher School of Economics says that the protests in Belarus reflect the increasingly difficult economic situation that country finds itself in and the sense of people there that without Russian help things will only get worse (eadaily.com/ru/news/2017/03/07/u-belorusskogo-obshchestva-ischez-strah-pered-vlastyu). But instead of sinking into angry passivity, Belarusians have taken to the streets, a remarkable development given Lukashenka’s history. Indeed, it represents “almost a revolution.” Fear of the powers that be has dissipated and “the population by some sixth sense understands that the authorities can’t control them and are afraid of the protests.” The reason for this change, Suzdaltsev suggests, is that Belarusians can see that Lukashenka is waiting for a loan from the IMF and knows very well that if he uses his typical methods against the protests, “the chance to receive such credits will be reduced and the situation in the economy will become still worse.”
Paul Goble Staunton, March 8 – Vladimir Putin based his invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea on the notion that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev illegally handed over the peninsula from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 and that all the current Russian leader has been doing is rectifying that historical injustice. That argument repeated over and over again by Russian media has played a key role in the “Crimea is Ours” movement among Russians; and its potency makes a report this week about another Khrushchevian action, this time involving handing over Russian territory to Belarus in 1964 potentially important. Shortly before he was ousted from power in that year, Khrushchev agreed to transfer seven villages from Russia to Belarus. The action was so late during his rule that it took final form only after he was gone when Anastas Mikoyan signed the decree on November 17, 1964 (charter97.org/ru/news/2017/3/7/243076/). The Charter97 portal embeds a seven-minute television program produced by the Belarusian Service of Radio Liberty about the residents of these seven isolated and impoverished villages, some of whom have changed their national identity with the change in borders and others of whom have not. On the one hand, such transfers of territory among union republics were no rarity in Soviet times: they happened more than 200 times with lines shifting to reflect economic and political needs. (For a listing of the more important of these, see my “Can Republic Borders Be Changed?” RFE/RL Report on the USSR, September 28, 1990.) But on the other hand, given the increasing salience of borders in Russian thinking and Putin’s willingness to exploit perceived slights against Russia by Soviet leaders like Khrushchev, any such attention raises the possibility that these seven villages could be a flashpoint in Russian-Belarusian relations – and even a Belarusian variant of Crimea.
The authorities didn’t expect such level of organization at the Marches against the “social parasites” decree.
The rule of vertukhais* in Belarus is coming to an end. The Belarusian Television showed a propagandistic movie dedicated to the Outraged Belarusians’ Marches yesterday. One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich, leaders of the “European Belarus” civil campaign Andrei Sannikov, Dzmitry Bandarenka, Yauhen Afnahel, Maxim Viniarski, and the charter97.org Editor-in-Chief Natallia Radzina were named as organizers of the protest actions. The Charter97.org has addressed to one of the characters of the “movie” Dzmitry Bandarenka for a comment:
Belarusians understand that they cannot waste time any longer.
Hundreds of stickers with an appeal to come to protest on Freedom Day appeared in the capital of Belarus.
Belarusians To Davydzka: When Regime Collapses, BT To Answer For Its Lies – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk“Grateful” viewers responded to Hennadz Davydzka’s congratulations on March 8.
Homel resident Dzmitry Saburau, who has filed a lawsuit against the tax office, is sure that people should participate in protest marches.
Several impressive photos from the protest rally, which was held yesterday in Brest.
The struggle against the decree on “parasites” united citizens and taught them self-organization.
A creative action took place near the Independence Palace of Minsk.
Former Belarusian Presidential candidate and pro-democracy opposition leader, Andrei Sannikov, says that Western support for opposition is critical.
The issues in the relations with Russia have an impact on Belarus’ participation in the integration processes in the EEU, Andrei Kobyakov said at a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council on 7 March.
Economic disputes, trade restrictions and public tirades are not usually the stuff of strong, bilateral partnerships. But that&rsquo;s the nature of relations between Russia and Belarus these days, two geopolitical partners who have experienced an unusually bitter falling-out in recent months.
Lukashenka regards ideological sustainability of society and state institutions as the key factor in ensuring national security. As Russia has ‘privatised’ the Soviet history, Belarus is prompted to anchor in her own cultural and historical heritage, regardless of its essentially anti-Soviet nature.
Even the dictator’s former electorate – women of retirement age, – rose against him.
The average Belarusian woman is 42.5 years old. Women living in cities are much younger than female rural dwellers (41 and 47.8 years old respectively).
The Ukrainian media reacted to the slander movie shown on the Belarusian Television.
The Belarusian authorities insulted the memory of those who died in Maidan, and the whole Ukrainian people.