Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Most interesting are reports of Lukashenko being given bad advice by alleged pro-Russian senior security personnel. Attached Belarusian humour – Starship Troopers sendup with Lukashenko defending Belarus against the giant Colorado beetle representing Russia.
ON MY MIND Two specters are haunting Belarus: the specter of Russia and the specter of Ukraine. As Belarus witnesses its largest protests in years and President Alyaksandr Lukashenka tries to weather the worst crisis his regime has faced, nightmare scenarios of war, revolution, and Russian intervention are increasingly being invoked. And in the process, we appear to be getting a rare glimpse into the palace intrigue afoot Lukashenka’s inner circle. Three pieces featured below illustrate this. A report by the Minsk Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Research and an article by journalist Dmitry Galko claim that a faction of security service officials led by Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich are trying to frighten Lukashenka into cracking down on the protests by claiming that they are being orchestrated by elements from Ukraine. The goal, according to these reports, is to cut off any possibility of the regime getting closer to the West and forcing it into Putin’s embrace. And in a report in Regnum, Yuriy Baranchyk claims that a faction led by Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei is trying to persuade Lukashenka to negotiate with the protesters. The reason, Baranchyk argues, is that Makei is scheming to be Lukashenka’s successor. It’s hard to judge — let alone confirm — any of this. But it all seems to suggest that the curtain is being pulled back — just a bit — on clan warfare inside the black box of Lukashenka’s opaque regime.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 15 – Russian agents in the Belarusian security services along with Russian agents in the blogosphere are calling on Alyaksandr Lukashenka not to make any concessions to the protesters but rather to crack down hard as he did in 2010, according to Minsk analysts. Such an action would not only completely block any possibility that Lukashenka could achieve a further rapprochement with the West and thus force Minsk back into Moscow’s tight embrace but also spark the kind of clashes that the Russian government could use to justify armed intervention in Belarus. Analysts at the Minsk Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Research have released a new study arguing that “the special services are misinforming [Lukashenka] by playing on his fears of ‘a Ukrainian trace’ in the protests” and thus blocking any concessions and pushing him toward a crackdown. (For the Center’s Crisis Watch report on this subject, see csfps.by/new-research/ukrainskiy-sled-i-otkrytaya-dezinformaciya; for a discussion of its content and other actions by pro-Moscow forces inside Belarus, see Dmitry Galko’s survey on the BelarusPartisan portal at belaruspartisan.org/politic/373563/.) According to Galko, one can conclude on the basis of the center’s report that Lukashenka “is ready to make some wise steps and concessions in the existing situation to lower social tension. But there exists a certain force which is leading him in the opposite direction by suggesting the fake danger in the form of ‘a Ukrainian scenario.’” Some of these people are located in the Belarusian force structures. Others are involved at the edges of the protests. But the fundamental message is the same as it was in December 2010 when pro-Moscow groups told Lukashenka that he had no choice but to crack down given when Moscow would do if he didn’t. This message, the center suggests and Galko confirms, is “direct disinformation” intended to push Lukashenka toward the abyss because a crackdown of the kind the pro-Moscow forces want would lead to one of several disasters ranging from violence inside the country to Russian intervention. Avoiding those outcomes, Galko says, is in the interest not only of Lukashenka but also of the opposition because “an attempt to repeat the scenario of December 2010 this time can grow into a Romanian scenario” and then to “hybrid aggression” by Russia of the kind it has been using in Ukraine’s Donbass. “This scenario is being prepared,” he says. Galko makes an additional contribution by analyzing posts on the Tuneyadets.by social group (ok.ru/group/53457858920638). That is a pro-Moscow group consisting largely or exclusively of Russians from Russia that is pushing Moscow’s line at the expense of Belarus and adding to the pressures on Lukashenka. But the far greater threat comes from Russian agents inside the Belarusian government, he and the center’s report suggest. “If one considers that in the leadership of the Belarusian special services are certain overt or covert agents of the Kremlin, the situation is becoming extremely explosive.” “It is possible,” Galko says, “that we are standing at the brink of attempts to carry out hybrid aggression against our country.” And he ends by concluding with the words of Maksim Filipovich, the opposition figure who was arrested in full view of the television audience: “Aleksandr Grigoryevich [Lukashenka] what are you creating?”
Analysts at the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies came to the conclusion that the special services misinformed the president, imposing fear on him on the “Ukrainian track” in protest actions, thereby pushing him to commit “further gross political mistakes.”According to the analysts of the Center, Lukashenko is now being pushed to repeat the scenario of December 2010 – that is, to brutal crackdown of protest actions and rout of civil society structures. Which, naturally, will lead to the curtailment of liberalization, make further rapprochement with the West impossible and again turn Belarus into an international outcast, tightly bound to Russia. From the analytical report, we can conclude that the president himself is ready to take reasonable steps and make concessions in the current situation in order to reduce social tension. But there is a certain force that leads him to the opposite side, poking the fake danger in the form of a “Ukrainian scenario.” And this force was entrenched in the power bloc. It is their analysts of the Center who are considered to be the authors of the rude propaganda propaganda “Call to a friend” , based on the worst examples of Russian propaganda. Which scares the Belarusians with the repetition of “Khatyn and Odessa” by Belarusian and Ukrainian “Bandera”. Some evidence of a “Moscow hand” behind the protests in Belarus, past and present, seems strained. The authors of the analytical report see Russian agents not only in the civil campaign “Tell the Truth”, but also in anarchists, and in Nikolai Statkevich. Although to me personally during the detention on the night of 19 to 20 December 2010, the head of the Minsk OMON said: “Do not you understand what Russia did?” With absolute certainty in own words. And despite the absence of such an arrangement on the part of state propagandists, they were just broadcasting the Polish and German tracks.
The struggle of the security apparatus with Westernizers in Belarus is exacerbating. Overview of the Blogosphere. n the past two or three weeks in Belarus, the most relevant political subjects are, firstly, the loudly marched past marches of “parasites”, as a result of which the government was forced to suspend the act of odious Decree No. 3, and secondly, the ongoing conflict with Russia. The second story was discussed in detail in the last review of the blogosphere. ” Lukashenka launched the Maidan script, and he knows it.” As for the first story, in spite of the disproportionately large number of analysts in Belarus on this topic, in our opinion, it is too early to say something certain following the results of the first part of the “Marlezon Ballet”. So far we have only a “run on the ruble” (there are no questions, few expected such protest activity from Belarusian citizens, especially in the province), but whether there will be a similar protest “blow to the ruble, and not to a penny” – this we can only estimate By results of protest actions on March 15 and 25. At the same time, in addition to the rather understandable and open for the majority of observers Belarusian subjects, the more complex plot, connected with the sharp aggravation of the opposition between pro-Western and pro-Lukashenka groups in power, continues to develop in the republic. And I consider him to be the main one. So how exactly will the marches of the “parasites” continue to be promoted, how exactly will the conflict with Moscow be resolved in Minsk? Will Belarus remain in the Union State with Russia and the EAPC, or will it join, for example, GUAM, the next summit at the level of the heads Of the governments will be held on March 27 in Kiev, depends solely on which of the two groups – pro-Lukashenka or pro-Western – will win in the entourage of Lukashenka himself.
The editor in chief of Russia's Regnum news agency, Belarusian citizen Yuriy Baranchyk, has been detained in Moscow on Minsk's request. The Belarusian Investigative Committee says Baranchy…
MINSK — Protesters in Belarus took to the streets of several cities on March 15 for the latest in a series of demonstrations against a tax on the unemployed in the tightly controlled former Sovie…
The leader of the Belarusian National Congress invited diplomats to the action which is to be held in Minsk on March 25. One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich met with the Ambassador of Great Britain and the US Charge d’Affaires in Belarus upon their invitation, Radio Svaboda informs. Mikalai Statkevich can not disclose the details of the meeting with the ambassadors, but he said that he told the ambassadors about the action planned for March 25 and about the intention to take all possible measures to make the protest peaceful and non-violent. Statkevich invited representatives of embassies to watch the action. “I consider this important for two reasons, – Mikalai Statkevich said to journalists. – The Belarusian society turned out to be in such a situation when its protest is growing but it is being strangled with various brutal methods. It is clear that we are not left alone to deal with the Belarusian regime, the sympathy of the international community is on our side. And the regime should know that it is being watched and that it can’t do away with doing everything it wants, that the consequences in relations with democratic countries will follow.” Statkevich is outraged by yesterday’s violent detentions: in spite of the fact that the action in Minsk was authorized and passed along the agreed route, 35-40 people were detained. Detentions took place also in Mahilyou and Hrodna. “Despite the fact that the action was held completely within the wishes of the authorities, they brutally detained young people, – Statkevich says. – They beat up our children! If we tolerate this, then what kind of people are we? Even animals protect their offspring.” Mikalai Statkevich repeated his call to take to the streets of Minsk on Freedom Day, as “this cannot be tolerated”.
It was really hot at the Marches of Non-Parasites on March 15.
Belarusians focused on the protests on Freedom Day.
More than 500 Mahilyou residents came to the protest march against the tax on “parasitism”.
Hrodna held the protest march against the tax on “parasitism”.
Belarusians have again got a chance to change the course of history.
Participants of March of Non-Parasites in Minsk treated the issue creatively.
Belarusians have actively joined the preparation of the action, which to be held in Minsk onMarch 25.
Even those who didn’t participate in the March expressed their solidarity.
Editor-in-Chief of the website <b>Charter97.org</b> Natallia Radzina has addressed to the audience.