They are still in power, but they do not play any role.
It is terrible to live in the CSTO. Especially when it is flooded with a lot of guards. The fighting community seems to be getting stronger. And at night, something it still moans and rumbles. And it is impossible to understand whether this is the owl is terrorizing, or someone's green men are digging their way under the sacred foundation. Of course, there is a union treaty. And there is no reason for midnight fears - they are our people! However, even the most reliable partners play such a long game: who will be unseated?
It is much easier regarding external enemies. During recent West-2017 exercises the restless Vejshnoriya was ruined. Of course, the enemy was only conditional. But has anyone doubts who it precisely was? In late September the victory was celebrated. However, the life has remained terrible. And in the cold December darkness, something terrible, unidentified, appears again. No wonder that at the previous, quite ritual summit of defenders of the Soviet legacy, the governor suddenly became alarmed: the security was already knocking on our door! However, no details were revealed. And somehow the public response to this alarm was poor. Everyone remained calm. Everything slipped through a crack.
And the most forward-minded of especially frightened ones gathered in Minsk. To participate in other, jubilee summit of the same CSTO. This time senior-most officials represented Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The summit was expected to be so phased that it required the arrival of Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers of those countries prior to the event.
Very like a whale! The CSTO is not some get-together of losers who have failed to escape after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This, in fact, is a military alliance of defenders of peace and a bright future. Iron shield of progressive mankind, which opposes America and NATO countries. Happy warriors against terrorism and color revolutions. To be sure, they are knights without fear and beyond reproach.
They are those mentioned in a solemn speech of the ruler about results of the watershed meeting. He was so excited that even ignored his paper. "It was an open and principled conversation between the world's closest states. There are no closer ones but those sitting at this table. !"
It seems to be an ordinary panegyric voiced in the light of the moment. And how exact was the ruler's notice about the essence of the commonwealth that emerged on the Soviet wreckage - "sitting at the table". And what was decided during those pompous gatherings in Minsk?
First of all, they agreed on a single list of terrorist organizations. How was it before? Sound inconsistencies. In one country someone was considered an inveterate terrorist, and in the other he was known as a humble inhabitant. And he could even be found somewhere among dear guests. It's disorder and a mess. And now there is a complete unity and mutual understanding. According to the list.
They also approved Russia's actions in Syria. Thus, Putin was convinced of the professionalism of this group of claquers. They are reliable. They act unanimously. In the future, perhaps, they will be useful. Their support is poor, but there are times not to choose or to be fastidious.
They also agreed to launch the Mercenary operation next year and to hold maneuvers. Not to let the people have a long rest from green men. It will be a long hunting for militants who fought in the Middle East and other flashpoint areas. And now they are dispersed all over the world. If the special operation does not help to eradicate them, at least then they will give a hard time to other undesirable persons.
It can't but notice that all these decisions are, first of all, meet the interests of Russia. And they have nothing to do with Belarus. The country faces other issues to solve. These are the safety issues and the best ways to solve them. However, the local ruler, as well as his eastern colleagues, has a hard nut to crack: how to retain the power.
He himself perfectly knows the value of all these post-Soviet sit-rounds, but what else can one hope for in this alarming, crescent darkness. When a night bird whoos eerily somewhere, and something big and puffing is scraping underground. It's just hard times. He also observed how the most reliable guards betrayed their dictators. And no special services are able to stop angry people. Of course, the CSTO with all its special forces are also nothing to write home about. But still there is some kind of hope. And suddenly they will come in an hour of need and will rescue. They will hold the chair.
A terrible motley crew of persistent enemies has long followed him. He has debts beyond payments. The unemployment which has long passed into a forbidding stage. Poverty, when more than a quarter of citizens of the country who live below poverty line. And so on. And he still sees someone wearing camouflage and persistently making his way to his personal chair.
And he really wants to see glorious CSTO troops are smashing down one of his main enemy in the open field. And he and Putin are watching a righteous battle from a concrete bunker. All the other allies stand aside, being aware of who is in charge here. And why it is necessary to remain silent at this historic moment.
But this day has not come yet. And ritual meetings of potential winners of terrorism, suppressors of color revolutions and other nightmares of their age related insomnia increasingly resemble meetings of obsolete bureaucrats waiting for resignation. Their time is over. The possibilities have run dry. And they have no secrets. They are still in power, but they do not play any role. Quite different people make a difference in the world.
Sitting at the table. And they do it correct.
Uladzimir Khalip for Charter97.org