Belarusian volunteers are ready to defend the independence of our country, as required by the Constitution.
One of founders of Zubr movement and Kraj organization, and now the volunteer in Ukraine, laureate of the Victor Ivashkevich National Human Rights Award for 2016, Vadzim Kabanchuk said this to Charter97.org commenting on the arrival of Russian troops to Belarus to take part in the military exercises West-2017.
– The Russian-Belarusian military exercises West-2017 are a kind of destabilizing factor in our region, they threaten the national security of Belarus and all neighboring countries. Under the guise of these exercises, the Russian Federation mobilizes great forces and resources, and, as it is called by the military, carries out strategic deployment of forces and assets.
We remember how in 2008, Russia prepared aggression against Georgia under the guise of the military exercises. It is possible that now similar things are happening towards Belarus.
Time will tell whether the Russian troops will remain in Belarus after the exercises or not. But I am sure that if the troops stay here, the Belarusian patriots and our neighbors will act. The Belarusians will defend their independence.
– How do you think, will your volunteer experience in Ukraine be beneficial to you in the case of the struggle for independence of Belarus?
– We, the volunteers, are also a part of the Belarusian people and we defend the independence of Belarus already, but in Ukraine. It's all connected.
If we were ready to go to Ukraine, then, if similar events begin in Belarus we will for sure take actions, directly spelled out in the Constitution of Belarus, to defend our country's independence. God grant that we do not get to the hot phase, but if it comes to the development of the Ukrainian scenario, then, of course, my experience will come in handy and I will use it.
– A Prevention Rally against the West-2017 exercises is planned to be held in Minsk on September 8.What would you like to say to the Belarusians on the eve of the Prevention Rally?
– I want to tell the Belarusians that it is better to take part in a peaceful protest rally than to take part in a war.
It is better to prevent the danger than to have what the Ukrainians are having now in the Donbass.
Important to note, the Russia-Belarus military exercises West-2017 will start in September in the territory of Belarus. A record number of rail cars — more than 4 thousand — was involved to transfer the Russian contingent. Many politicians and military experts believe that Russian troops will remain in Belarus after the exercises.
A number of firing grounds at the territory of Belarus will be involved into the exercises: near Lepel, Barysau, Vitsebsk, Asipovichy, Ruzhany and Damanava. It was also reported that the reids at the “terrain compartment” near Dretun had been planned.
The Prevention Rally demanding the cancellation of the exercises West-2017 will take place at 7 p.m. on September 8 in the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk.