Fear

Last Friday, April 25, in the run - up to the next anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the Belarusian president, speaking to the residents of the Mogilev region, wished Ukrainians to «survive the presidential election they schedule on May 25». At the same time he noted foreign policy pressure on the official Kiev. Such statements of the Belarusian president mean that the difference in the estimates of the Ukrainian crisis between Moscow and Minsk continues to grow rapidly, especially if we take into account that Russia does not recognize May 25 elections.

It is worth recalling that Ukrainian authorities launched «anti-terrorist» operation in the Eastern regions of Ukraine two weeks ago. During this time there have been several clashes, people were killed, the sides took the captives and hostages, Ukrainian authorities began to blockade the city of Slovyansk. However, to date Minsk has not made ​​an official statement about the using of the Ukrainian army against its own citizens.

Moreover, the official Belarusian media attempts to «format» Moscow's position on this issue: « You can have different attitude towards the words of the Russian president - Putin called special operation  a very serious crime of Kiev against its own people and punitive operation…(http://www.sb.by/post/163013/).  

It seems that the opinion of Moscow – official ally of Minsk, is ignored, and the expedition of the Ukrainian army in Donetsk is perceived by the Belarusian authorities as spring picnic. Belarusian authorities are not worried about Ukrainian civil war. Minsk is quite happy. And we have a base for such a conclusion.

Geneva's failure

It should be noted that last week A. Lukashenko had another conversation with Acting Ukrainian President A. Turchynov. Moreover, the conversation at the highest Belarusian- Ukrainian level took place already after an order to continue the anti-terrorist operation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. In this case, it is worth recalling that, according to the Geneva agreements, the sides involved in the conflict, had to refrain from violence.

In this regard, we have to admit that official Kiev very peculiar understands the phrase «to refrain from violence». Ukrainian government believes that according to Geneva agreements its political opponents in the East of Ukraine should surrender.

At the same time and state-controlled Belarusian newspaper «Respublika» informs Belarusian media space about the opinion of the Ukrainian leadership regarding the Geneva agreement «According to the Geneva Accords, pro-Russian activists had to vacate government buildings and hand over their weapons, but they refused to comply with these requirements». (http://www.respublica.by/5982/planet/article68761/).

Of course, speaking to Alexander Turchynov, Alexander Lukashenko did not remind  a «very religious person», that the phrase «to refrain from violence» refers to all parties of the conflict. After all, «Russian saboteurs» are not trying to block the Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk, but regular units of the Ukrainian army began to blockade the city of Slovyansk, turning it into Ukrainian Stalingrad.

By the way, strange to say, but «Russian saboteurs» who died at checkpoints around Slovyansk, were buried by their relatives in the city.

In addition, to date Kiev did not present the international community evidence of acts of terrorism, organized and conducted by the Donetsk militants against the civilian population, which would justify the use of the term «terrorists» against them.

It is also difficult to agree with the accusations against the supporters of the referendum on the federal structure of Ukraine of «separatism».

It is clear that based on the logic of Kiev and Minsk, it is necessary to use tanks against the people who are demanding a right to decide their own destiny. I think there will be no problems between Kiev and the Eastern regions of Ukraine if the residents of Donetsk want to vote for the European Union.

Of course, we will not discuss the sympathy between the heads of Ukraine and Belarus (Alexander Lukashenko once again highly praised the activities of Alexander Turchynov), but the Belarusian president complained about the fact that «of course, the Ukrainian authorities are very much concerned. And, of course, they are concerned about the external pressure. They say they would cope with the situation if not this pressure». It is clear that Russian troops near the Eastern region of Ukraine to some extent block the desire to hold military operation in Donetsk and Lugansk. In this case Lukashenko hints at Russia.

Indeed, now the relations between official Minsk and Kiev authorities are better than with Moscow. Ukraine has already received from A. Lukashenko small, but important service (map of accommodation of Russian troops in Belarus...).

Belarusian authorities have relied on Petr Poroshenko, as a future president of Ukraine.

On the one hand Minsk hopes that the supporters of federalism will suffer a defeat in Eastern Ukraine, and on the other hand, Russia will kiss a dust in Ukraine and Kiev authorities will defeat its supporters. As a result, A. Lukashenko has clearly stuck in the Ukrainian issue.

 Address

Belarusian president delivered his annual address to the parliament and the people on April 23. It is worth noting that the address of the Belarusian leader appeared strikingly similar to the speech of the protagonist of the film «The Chair» ( 1964 ) Egor Trubnikov before farmers, as it was the most emotional in the last decade. It is clear that the main text, prepared by government analysts (Presidential Administration and Security Council)  was out of place and Alexander Lukashenko faked a line, as they say, without any conceptual reasoning and vital conclusions.

Unfortunately it is difficult to analyze such «address», but at the same time it would be unwise not to use such a colorful monologue as a source of information.

In particular, quite unexpectedly, A. Lukashenko in his address revealed very specific secrets of higher Belarusian nomenclature: «They tell me all kinds of things today. They say Russian tanks are hidden near our borders, as they probably confused our borders with Ukrainian ones, that Ambassador Alexander Surikov (Russian ambassador to Belarus) is getting ready to become a Belarusian president». (http://naviny.by/rubrics/politic/2014/04/22/ic_news_112_435035/).

Of course, in this case we can only thank the Belarusian

President for his openness and frankness. By the way, it's easy to identify the sources of this information due to the sincerity of the Belarusian president.

Of course, it would be dishonest to pretend that there are no different kinds of rumors about the appearance of certain candidates for the presidency among government officials and law enforcement agencies.

It would be strange if such conversations did not appear, taking into account that the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko is in a natural and obviously prolonged stage of collapse.

As a rule, stage of collapse is characterized by mandatory split and defragmentation of the ruling elite, different groups in the nomenclature, which struggle against each other, and natural degradation of law enforcement agencies. So, as they say, the Belarusian president has not opened America, but I would like to understand the nature of such a hysterical statements: «No one would topple our country, if it would not be done by us. And economy is the foundation of that. If our enterprises would work somehow, we don’t have to be afraid of tanks». What has frightened Alexander Lukashenko so much?

Fear

The address is very emotional. This is a monologue of a person, who receives «poor-quality» analytics and is extremely intimidated by the prospect of losing his power as a result of local Maidan or the intervention of external forces. It should be noted that despite some hysteria, Alexander Lukashenko correctly builds a cascade of events.

It is worth noting that Alexander Lukashenko still caught the main causes of the civil conflict in Ukraine: “ So, let’s work, restore our economy to the highest standards, pay people salaries, pension and benefits, and then we will always be stable”. In other words, we are talking about the failure of Ukrainian economic model.

Alexander Lukashenko, who recalled in his address overstocked warehouses, clearly understood that the situation in the Belarusian economy was not better. That's why he intuitively used the word «restore» (!). In general, there is no longer that post-Soviet Belarusian economy, which was left without investment and new technologies for nearly two decades. It is necessary to «restore» now...

It is clear that the Belarusian Maidan is impossible in Kiev's format, but the difference in living standards with neighbors in 2-3 times is dangerous. Such situation was in Crimea. And this difference is the reason of conflict between Kiev and Eastern Ukraine today. Russian flags on the buildings in Donetsk and barricades in Slovyansk are not so much «the desire to enter Russia», but more a demonstration of other economic model. According to the militants, this model is more effective... It is worth recalling that a massive labor migration is an economic ground for the political instability in Belarus today.

And this neighboring economic model will bring the Belarusian authoritarian regime to the collapse. Alexander Lukashenko is not able to prevent the impending catastrophe as real structural reforms and Eurasian integration will sooner or later destroy this Belarusian corrupt socialism. The country that survives only with the support of loans has no other choice. 

Hence the whole train of fears in respect of certain factors that may break the old order in Belarus: federalization, the rise of national consciousness among «Russian community» of Belarus (the author advises to remember an article »Russian street», 2003, http://politoboz.com/content/russkaya-ulitsa-2003-2006-gg-statya-iz-arkhiva-nashego-mneniya) and the threat of open armed intervention of Russia.

Alexander Lukashenko has found in the country «Russian saboteurs», who were outraged by the fact that in a country, where Russian is a second official language, there are no many signs in Russian. It is worth recalling that the Belarusian president is always very sensitive about the Russian diaspora in Belarus, seeing it as a potential political threat. About two years ago over the KGB finished the operation on the defeat of Russian public organizations, which, in principle, dealt only with Russian culture. But the mere fact of their existence was dangerous for the Belarusian authorities .

Now, after the Crimea, the suspicion of Russian community and its activists is paranoid: «I say to the KGB - treat such people as saboteurs». In this case, there is a «school of Kiev» ...

Horror

It seems that Russian flags on public buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk regions made ​​an impression both on official Minsk and Astana. So, according to the address,  the biggest fears of Alexander Lukashenko are connected with Russia. Belarusian president expects that the Russian army will occupy Belarus: «They are trying to intimidate us: tomorrow Putin will come here and capture us. If they come, we will fight». And, judging by the emotional format, Alexander Lukashenko really thinks about the war with Russia and this thought does not allow him to sleep well.

It is clear that in this situation the Belarusian president will put on a brave face and even say that «It is yet to be seen, whose side Russian soldiers will be on, if they come to Belarus. I know on whose. So do not intimidate». However, it is doubtful that the Russian soldiers will rush to defend the Belarusian Mezhigorie (Palace of Independence).

But the fact is that even if we imagine that the Russian army established control over the republic, most of the military units of the Belarusian army would immediately follow the example of the Ukrainian army in the Crimea and changed the flag. And the situation would have ended without a single shot. Alexander Lukashenko perfectly knows it ...

Certainly, there is no need to analyze the horrors of the Belarusian president and his fantasies that Russian tanks are going to occupy  Minsk as it was in 1944. Of course, it is impossible and improbable scenario, but an interesting question arises: What did the Belarusian president do behind the only ally if he is so shaking with fright and waiting for the inevitable retaliation?

А. Suzdaltsev, Moscow,  28.04.14

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