21 October 2017, Saturday, 17:02

Natallia Radzina: Special Forces Resist Lukashenka


What does stand behind an invitation to Vladimir Solovyev's program?

Editor-in-chief of charter97.org Natallia Razdina told in the interview to Belsat.

- Stanislau Shushkevich, Arseny Sivitsky, Aliaksandr Zimouski and you were invited to the program of Vladimir Solovyev on Russia TV channel and to debate on who would replace Aliaksandr Lukashenka and what would wait for Belarus. You did not accept the invitation. However, Solovyev denied such topic of his show. Who does stand behind these letters?

-The process of Lukashenka's ousting from power has been launched by Russia. All the recent events prove it. This letter perfectly fits into a general picture. In the end of November Lukashenka visited Putin and later Russia drastically reduced subsidies to the Belarusian regime. Oil supply to Belarus sharply reduced - from 24-25 million to 18 million tons (more than 20%). The gas dispute is still urgent. Deliveries of Belarusian and re-exported production from Europe are permanently blocked on the Russian border.

-The last time Lukashenka ignored visit to Russia...

- Yes, Lukashenka ignored the summit in St. Petersburg. And the same time we now observe personnel "cleansing" in Minsk, shifts, arrests of pro-Russian journalists, "hybrid" fighters.

It all proves that now Lukashenka is afraid of the coup and, perhaps, he has ignored St. Petersburg to prevent it.

- It turns out that on the one hand we can see fake letters. On the other hand, they can be real, but this is a preparation work - let's call a spade a spade - of annexation of Belarus.

- It may be games of special services of Russia and Belarus against Lukashenka. He is bankrupt and again, the process of Lukashenka's ousting from power has been launched.

And I am still not aware of whether this program will be launched or not. I looked through Twitter of Vladimir Solovyev. He did not deny the program. He wrote: "What a pack of lies" and referred to "Nasha Niva", it was written that the information about this program was a fake. Fake means lies? Or is it about the program? There is no clear answer.

- The Belarusian issue has been voiced in Russia many times. This is not accidental. Is Lukashenka so weak and useless that the Russian authorities and propaganda have actively got into the process?

- He is weak and he is useless. He is not able to withhold the situation in the country. The domestic crisis is unprecedented one. Any day Belarus may declare default - all economists including pro-government ones say it. Now bureaucrats and Lukashenka's advisers ring the alarm. In this situation, a puppet they placed on the throne over twenty-two years ago in Belarus, now is not able to control the situation, and at any moment the Lukashenka's regime may collapse. So they try to replace him quickly.

- But there are a lot of articles on the Internet that Lukashenka is some kind of guarantor of independence of Belarus.

- He cannot be the guarantor, because he has made Belarus dependent on Russia in political, economic and military way. And all his power completely depends on the Kremlin. We can observe pro-Russian bureaucrats in the country.

I'd like to recall that all these arrests of bureaucrats are based on the list of Russian agents. Lukashenka dismissed the Head of his Administration, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Deputy Interior Minister and Chief of Security Service. Directors, bankers, pro-Russian "journalists" are being arrested.

And this is only the peak of the iceberg. In reality the scale of arrests may differ. Lukashenka makes it by some reason and he understands that his power is under enormous threat.

- Does it mean that the "Russian world" turns to be a common enemy of the democratic community and Lukashenka?

- It is reasonable, but Lukashenka has another enemy - the democratic world.

- Can Lukashenka take a stand with the democratic world against this enemy?

- I'd like it would be as that. But in this case he loses power, and he knows it very well. Political scientist Andrei Parotnikau says that these authorities will not take steps towards Europe, they do not accept Western values.

-What does Lukashenka do with Brussels and other European capitals?

- It is only a negotiation level. In fact, Lukashenka does not take any specific steps. The main requirement of Europe is to hold fair and free elections.

- The EU takes specific steps like cuts of financing of independent media in Belarus.

-This is a big mistake. In this situation, on the contrary, there is a need to boost support to the democratic opposition, independent media and civil society, because the West is not interested in Belarus under Russian protectorate, the way it is under the administration of Lukashenka or will be under another pro-Russian leader, if any is appointed. The security of the European Union will be safe only if Belarus has the new democratic power. The assistance to the democratic opposition is required then.

- Who will do it but Belsat, Charter97, Nasha Niva, Radio Racyja?

- Russian media, of course. Today we can see how they have taken over all the information space of Belarus. Things Belsat, Charter97, Racyja, Euroradio do are extremely important, because we face the Belarusian dictatorship, the Russian world and Putin's regime. In this situation, it is a mistake to deprive independent media of support.

- We can observe now that the "Russian world" comes on all fronts. Russian propaganda is really influential, but the Russian Orthodox Church has recently stepped up its activity in Belarus.

- Yes, we constantly receive information that the Russian Orthodox Church, in fact, creates paramilitary groups and trains militias. I looked through the lists of priests in Belarus and in most cases they are former members of special services, military men, border guards, customs officials. They may be the station.

- There is evidence that Belarusian kids were sent to camps to be trained by so-called terrorists of LPR and DPR.

-It is true. This is what Belarusian special services should deal with. If they are true patriots and if Lukashenka now rally tries to resist the "Russian world", let him deal with the Russian Orthodox Church, Cossacks and other pro-Russian factions which are being created in Belarus. This is the problem. However, he criticizes Belsat and other independent media at the meeting with Polish officials.

- Is this the situation of no way out for Lukashenka? On the one hand, if he addresses to democrats it means his last day, on the other hand, the "Russian world" means his last day as well.

- The situation is a desperate one. And he is the one to blame. I am sure that the Lukashenka's regime has no future, and 2017 year may be the last for him. He himself has reached the point of no return.

- Let's return to programs of the Russian propaganda. Some well-known Belarusians have already gone there and then regretted it. You've also agreed to take part in such a program on Skype. To take part or not to take part?

- Of course, I will not leave for Russia now. It is dangerous today. Moscow arrests leaders of the Belarusian opposition the way it happened to Ihar Alinevich and blogger Edward Palchis. I cannot go there, of course. The main thing is to provide information. If there was such opportunity, I would agree. Although, the debate level on Russian television is the lowest of the low.

But the main thing is that Russia wages a hybrid war which, I guess, to be continued.

- Against Belarus as well. All the time Belarusians say that they are "our brothers", "there is a conflict in Ukraine", but "this is not our business".

- This is our business, of course. And this is the right time for Belarusians to defend the independence of their country and, finally, to become involved in the situation, because the future of Belarus does not depend on Lukashenka, not on Putin, but on us. And we should fight for free and fair elections in the country, for us to have a free democratic government and return to Europe we lived in for many centuries.

- Is it possible to reach by peaceful means? Is Lukashenka kind enough to say - let's take free elections?

- Various variants are possible, including not peaceful ones. We need to be ready for everything. We can observe the situation in the world, our region, but again, it's time to make a difference in our country. Mikalai Statkevich is right that we won't get a chance to sit it out. Now it's our time to build the country - we are those responsible for our future and the future of our children.

- There is a SMS about Lukashenka's shifts in his circle: "Let him dismiss or appoint everyone he wants, but the end is about to come." Anatol writes from Homel.

- I totally agree.

- I believe that Lukashenka's shifts in power are useless.

- It will not work. It is clear that today he is afraid of nomenclature coup, because bureaucrats are dissatisfied as well and are ready to oust him at any time.

- The fake nature of these letters is questionable, because the situation can be real. Thank you for the interview.