The dictator wakes up every morning with a sense of danger.
Vadzim Kabanchuk, Deputy Commander of the Kalinouski Regiment, believes that Lukashenka will go to war against Ukraine in the next 1-2 months. Olesya Yakhno, a Ukrainian political scientist and journalist, commented on the possibility of such a scenario for the Charter97.org website.
— Putin, of course, is making every effort to open another front from the territory of Belarus. Any front from the territory of another country is advantageous to him. We can see that he has made considerable efforts, judging by Lukashenka’s statements, who said that the West allegedly wants to attack Russia from the territory of Ukraine and Belarus. This implicitly indicates that such statements will be used as an excuse for possible military actions by Belarus.
This risk exists. I do not think that Lukashenka is very keen to provide the territory of Belarus again for the war, because he understands the consequences. On the other hand, since the dictator is under the complete control of the Kremlin, there is a real risk. We have recently heard that Russia has taken another airport in Belarus for the deployment of a new military base. They are preparing for this; therefore, the risk of the appearance of this sequential front exists.
It is Lukashenka’s own fault. On the one hand, he is also afraid of Putin, who can remove him at any time. On the other hand, he understands that there will be a response from the West, and then there will be no return for Lukashenka.
So there is such a possibility, based on the statements that we hear, based on the Russian intentions that we see and the anger that Putin demonstrates. After all, his phrase that ‘they did not begin anything serious yet” was not only a bluff but also a threat. Russia is accustomed to using threats. There is also hatred towards Ukraine and the desire to even destroy it if it is impossible to conquer it.
— Does Lukashenka need to be ‘pressed’ in general? Sometimes, according to his statement, it seems that he is running into the war ahead of Putin on his own.
— I don’t think he’s ahead. It’s just that Lukashenka performs such a propaganda function, sometimes voicing what even Russia does not say. Everyone knows his phrases about ‘four positions’, ‘we did not attack — we were attacked’, that ‘he knows where the attack was being prepared from’, as well as some other nonsense. Lukashenka is proactive, but he is doing it in order to please the Kremlin, being completely economically dependent. Therefore, the dictator does not so much initiate any decisions as he voices them in order to receive preferences in this way.
Lukashenka is not personally interested to wage this war, realizing that Belarus is not Russia. There is a difference that Russian society is very sensitive to the topic of the war, in the case of Belarus – no. I believe that there are few militaries who are willing to go to war, but they understand how it will end. Unless they are pro-Russian agents or direct agents of the Russian Federation. All others – no. If it is possible to avoid war, then they will try to avoid it.
However, Lukashenka is absolutely dependent on Putin and the Kremlin. Basically, he’ll do what he’s told.
— The head of the National Security and Defence Council Danilov said that Ukraine did not expect an attack from the territory of Belarus. Has the situation changed? What does await Belorussian servicemen, if they do cross-boundary with Ukraine?
— They will be accomplices of crimes, as well as Lukashenka. He is already an accomplice to Putin’s crime. Generals who will support the war, and directly participate in it, will be held responsible as accomplices.
Some military support the war with Ukraine but not all. I think that Lukashenka understands that he is becoming a target for his military, and that he has an additional risk within the country. Many do not want war and understand that in the future they can be brought to trial and, perhaps, they will try to somehow change this situation. It can only be changed by changing the regime that exists in Belarus.
Therefore Lukashenka will neglect the processes of the more rapid change of regime if he enters this war. Those who support him will become accomplices, their names will be known to everyone. In the modern world, it is not so difficult to determine who gave the orders. Therefore, they will be condemned as accomplices if they survive.
— What work could be done with the Belarusian military in order to attract them to the side of Ukraine if an order is given to cross the border?
— It is necessary to show the futility of war. Obviously, Russia cannot win this war, Belarus will not win either. Actually, Moody’s has defaulted on Belarus, as well as Russia. It shows the prospects.
None of the post-Soviet states, members of the CSTO, supported the war. Don’t you hear statements from Kazakhstan? This is an important sign and an indicator that no one believes in the prospect of Russia’s victory in this war. Moreover, everyone understands how it could end.
A hopeless war can lead to a dead end not only in Russia but also in Belarus. Even if there have been positive developments in some areas, this war will nullify everything.
Let’s also add responsibility. There will be trials for all of them. Moreover, there is a specific inside of Belarus. Belarus is not a belligerent country, it is not a nation that lives in war. Therefore, it is worth working not only with the military but in general with all those who do not support the war.
However, if we are talking only about the military, then there must be some kind of order blocking actions or complicating decision-making. In addition, there should be some guarantees for those who agree to work against this war. Such cooperation and joint coordination with Ukraine is not for publicity.
In general, the fate of Russia and Belarus largely depends on how this war ends.
Of course, it will be more difficult for Russia, because there is such a ‘collective Putin’, the disease of war. This is not the case in Belarus, but there is a problem with the political regime and the direct strong influence of the Russian Federation. The Belarusian people will live differently without it. These people understand how they want to live and definitely do not want to live in war.
Therefore, we can distinguish several areas of influence on the situation at once: there is information, it is non-public, and there is an influence in relation to working with people.
Also, servicemen simply must understand that this is war. They could be killed as witnesses by the Russians themselves. If at some point Russia wants to change Lukashenka’s regime, they will remove many iconic figures. Either the Belarusian military will be held accountable, or they will be under sanctions. Their way is very limited: either you are completely restricted to travel abroad, or you fall under international responsibility, or you will simply be removed. If you are completely dependent on the power of another state, if this power inclines you to crime, then you definitely cannot have any positive way out in the future.
There are Russian FSB agents in Belarus, but there is also a part of the military who are against the war. Therefore, there is a possibility to change the regime in Belarus.
Lukashenka feels in danger every day. Every time he wakes up, he realizes that he can be displaced by both. No one wants to completely cross out their perspective and the perspective of their children because there are two crazy people, Putin and Lukashenka. Therefore, it is not worth excluding the possibility of an internal coup.
— If Putin is often compared to Hitler, then Lukashenka is put on a par with Mussolini. Will the Belarusian dictator end up like the Italian Duce?
— It is obvious that Lukashenka will end badly, just like Putin. But there’s another story. Let’s not put Lukashenka on the same level as Mussolini, his level is lower in terms of the same ideology. Mussolini had more independence from Germany. Lukashenka just wants to be in power all the time at any cost.
He cannot imagine himself without power and is ready to sacrifice his own country in order to continue to be in power. Lukashenka’s prospects for the power of the country, so there is no ideology and no independence.
Lukashenka, for example, could conduct secret negotiations in order not to provide territories for war and leave with some kind of guarantee. However, he loves power so much that he will use every opportunity to stay. Lukashenka cannot succeed, because international war crimes have been added to those crimes that were and are inside the country – arrests, and suppression of any opposition activity. In particular, by providing its territory for missile attacks on Ukraine, Belarus has done a lot.
At some point, Lukashenka may become absolutely unacceptable to everyone. Putin will simply remove him if he doesn’t follow Russian orders. Some Belarusian citizens will understand that Lukashenka is killing their future if he will provide his territory for the next phase of the war. Therefore the dictator may lose any favour. You cannot succeed if you do not have favour. There will be no positive outcome. Lukashenka destroyed any opportunities with his own hands.