Uncovering Faces Of Belarusian Opposition

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Uncovering Faces Of Belarusian Opposition

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The crisis in Belarus does not seem coming to the end but rather deepening with opposition forces actively creating structures alternative to the existing governing system of the country.

The Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition, formed under the brand of former presidential candidate Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya hiding in Lithuania, released on August 19 demanding the Lukashenko government to annul the result of the presidential election, release all ‘political prisoners’, and hold a new ‘fair’ presidential election.

The ‘coordination council’ presidium includes the following persons:

Svetlana Alexievich is a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature received thanks to her hardcore anti-Soviet and anti-Russian views.

Lilia Vlasova and Maxim Znak are ‘lawyers’ affiliated with Western-funded network of ‘non-government organizations’ and influence groups created in Belarus.

Sergei Dylevsky is a member of the Minsk Tractor Works’ strike committee. The psychological pressure on workers and the sabotage of work of large Belarusian plants are among the key goals of the ongoing anti-government campaign.

Olga Kovalkova is former presidential candidate Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya’s authorized representative. Maria Kolesnikova is one of Tikhanovskaya’s associates. They represent the formal link between the ‘Belarusian opposition’ and the ‘presidential candidate’ hiding in Lithuania.

Pavel Latushko is the former director general of the Janka Kupala National Theater, well known for his active participation in the Lukashenko-initiated Belarusization campaign in Belarus designed to push out the Russian language and culture from Belarus. An overwhelming majority (over 90%) of the Belarusian population speaks Russian as a main language and self-identify themselves as Russian-speaking people or ethnic Russians.

Belarus entered the August 9 presidential election and the days following it amid the peak of protest sentiments. The cornerstone of this situation is the existing economic and social problems, the general dissatisfaction of the population with the ruling of Alexander Lukashenko and apparent falsifications during the election (80.10% of votes gained by Lukashenko is at least unlikely). As the recent weeks demonstrated, this situation was successfully exploited by forces that destroyed Ukraine and earlier Serbia.

Besides the obvious demands of the full political surrender of Alexander Lukashenko, the August 19 statement of the opposition includes an interesting part regarding the constitutional system and foreign policy course of Belarus.

“The Coordinating Council does not aim to change the constitutional order and foreign policy course,” the statement said.

A person that knows little about the internal political situation in Belarus and the real foreign policy course of the Lukashenko administration may consider this as a signal of the supposed intention of the opposition to keep constructive and allied relations with Russia, the main military ally and economic sponsor of Belarus. In fact, the Belarusian state exists in the current form only thanks to a constant flow of Russian economic support, trade preferences and even direct donations. Nonetheless, the Lukashenko regime has been providing a consistent hostile policy towards Russia for decades.

The video below demonstrates how ‘Belarusian patriots’ use Polsih flags during the opposition rally in Grodno. The work Polish propaganda structures in support of the opposition is not even a secret.

The ‘pro-Russian’ Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has become an initiator of a wide-scale campaign against pro-Russian media, pro-Russian political activists and even against the Russian language and culture. The forceful Belarusization (while a majority of the population barely speaks ‘thousand-year’ Belarusian language) of the media and political sphere provided by the Lukashenko regime created a foothold for the creation of a strong network of various anti-Russian and pro-Western influence groups and non-government organizations. They formal ideology varies from the radical Belarusian nationalism (like Ukrainian neo-Nazi ‘patriots’) to the Western mainstream neo-liberal agenda, but all they are united by the anti-Russian, anti-Soviet and pro-Western sentiments.

Lukashenko and his circle cultivated these ideologies and influence groups as a bogeyman for the Kremlin and used them to prevent the growth of ‘Russian influence’ that he saw as a threat to his political regime. The work of Western-funded ‘non-government organizations’ and psychological operations of Euro-Atlantic structures were in fact allowed in Belarus, while any pro-Russian organization was immediately suppressed and destroyed.

Uncovering Faces Of Belarusian Opposition

Vladimir Makei

The personality and scale of influence of Vladimir Makei, who is often called the ‘second person’ in Belarus, are another factor allowing to get a more realistic look at Lukashenko’s Belarus. Makei has served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus since 2012 and kept his position even after the August 9 election. During this period, he become widely known as a supporter of the pro-Western foreign policy course and a person with deep ties with the Euro-Atlantic establishment. The foreign ministry headed by such a person became a tool of influence of Euro-Atlantic structures inside the Belarusian government. The recent public declarations of mid-level foreign policy officials in support of the opposition signals about the ideological characteristics of the ministry’s staff.

Members of the foreign ministry staff declare support to the opposition:

Once again, the history gives a lesson that any strong leader that believes that he can make a deal and develop a fruitful cooperation with the neo-liberal-dominated West leads his country to chaos and often dies himself. The cases of Slobodan Milosevic, Muammar al-Gaddafi and even Saddam Hussein that was destroying his ballistic rockets on cameras in an attempt to please the US-led ‘international community’ appeared to be not enough for Lukashenko.

Therefore, if the opposition says that it has no intention to change the ‘foreign policy course’, it means that it is going to do what Lukashenko is already doing, but better. The aforementioned statement of the coordination council is also attempt to compensate the public damage from the spread of its official national security strategy that presidential candidate Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya was promoting during the campaign. This national security strategy directly states about the need to break ties with Russia, withdraw from ‘Russia-led’ structures and move towards NATO and the EU. This is fully in the framework of statements made publicly by representatives of the opposition leadership on a daily basis.

Rhetoric of Polish and Lithuanian-oriented opposition media and activists have a clear anti-Russian direct despite the fact that Moscow demonstrates that it is not seeking to intervene into the Belarusian internal policy and even became a target of provocations organized by the Lukashenko regime. Despite the fact that these hardcore pro-Western and anti-Russian views are supported less than 5% of the population, this small group receives the direct financial, diplomatic, media and clandestine support from the West.

This anti-Russian rhetoric, revealing the real face of the opposition leadership is needed for the particular purpose: to fuel the anti-Russian hysteria in order to not allow it to intervene when the Western-controlled opposition and Euro-Atlantic structures overthrow Lukashenko and start looting billion-worth industrial facilities of the country. This works like an ordinary corporate raid, when the raider (Euro-Atlantic financiers) exploits the pseudo-ideology and the protest in order to seize properties of a third party. The only party that has means and facilities to prevent this scenario or became a competitor to this raider is Russia. This is why the opposition has already started the nationalist-driven anti-Russian propaganda campaign.

However, the history can make a tough joke on them. Throughout about 30 years of the existence of conditionally independent Belarus, Russia did not interfere in the country’s internal politics, including the ideological policy of Lukashenko, who de facto supported Belarusian nationalism. Nonetheless, the Belarusian nation was among the most affected by the Nazism during the Second World War. The people well know what’s the good and what’s the evil.

The early revelation of the real goals of the ‘forces of democracy’ may give Russia a juridical and moral right to intervene in the situation in Belarus to the extent of the usage of police forces, a limited military force or even a direct annexation of the territory.

As of August 19, the situation in Belarus remains very complicated with contradictory tendencies in the internal political sphere. On the one hand, protests continue and the media, financial and organization support of protests from foreign actors have been growing. On the other hand, almost 2 weeks passed since the August 9 presidential election and the maidan coup scenario failed. Even the national-wide strike remains the mostly propaganda construct rather than the real strike affecting the entire country. If one compares this with the agenda of the Polish Telegram channel NEXTA, the media pillar of pro-Western nationalist agenda of protests, he would find that the opposition goal was to trigger the destructive scenario, including the fall of the Lukashenko regime or at least the start of the civil conflict, by August 12-13. Additionally, supporters of Lukashenko held several rallies in Minsk and other Belarusian cities in the past few days. These rallies collected mostly residents of small towns and villages and was especially strong in eastern Belarus. However, they played an important role demonstrating that the opposition narrative about “3% support” of Lukashenko is a lie.

The fate of Belarus and the outcome of the ongoing crisis will like be determined within a month. At the same time, the danger of a direct civil conflict and chances of a direct military clash of external actors on the territory of Belarus have been increasing. In any scenario, as a result of the crisis, Belarus will lose a part of its sovereignty and suffer a major blow to its industrial potential.

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