30 September 2022, Friday, 11:48
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Andrei Sannikov: Lukashenka Became A "Stooge" Of The Kremlin's Crime Bosses

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Andrei Sannikov: Lukashenka Became A "Stooge" Of The Kremlin's Crime Bosses
ANDREI SANNIKOV

Only we can protect ourselves today.

Andrei Sannikov, the leader of the European Belarus civil campaign, commented about Putin's recognition of the puppet Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LPR and DPR) in an interview with the website Charter97.org:

— The worst fears, including Putin's adequacy, have come true. The fact that the current Kremlin's leadership is ready for the most aggressive actions has been proved, the actions that are not restricted to Ukraine “hated” by them, but have the goal to undermine international peace and security.

We see a very dangerous development that threatens us, including Belarusians.

— Is Belarus under occupation today?

— Yes, certainly. Yesterday, February 21, two events took place that radically altered the situation in the region: Russia recognized terrorists, and status of the Russian troops in the territory of Belarus' also changed.

Even if we blink at the true nature of the "Russian-Belarusian exercises", they ended on February 20. According to all international treaties, agreements on confidence-building measures, the troops were to be withdrawn on this day or their withdrawal was to start. It did not happen, so we must qualify the presence of Russian troops as the presence of the occupying forces of a foreign state on the territory of Belarus.

— How should the West react to these events?

— The West has made quite a lot of statements with promises of a tough response. I would like to see that it is in effect. The most serious sanctions are needed, primarily in the economic and financial areas, including disconnection from SWIFT, stopping talks about continuing the Nord Stream 2 project. Such things could stop an aggressor who threatens not only us and Ukraine, but also international peace.

Very good statements were made by President Biden, who recently and once again brought the United States to a leading position in the defense of peace and democracy. I would like to see the continuation of this line.

— Should Ukraine correct its position in relation to the Lukashenka's regime?

— I think that it was necessary to correct the position in relation to the Lukashenka's regime a long time ago. I can even be more specific, if we talk about backstory, then starting from 2009, when the Zapad-2009 exercises took place. It was obvious that all these “Wests” were nothing but preparations for aggression, including from the territory of Belarus. The presence of the Russian troops in Belarus is not only the occupation of the territory of the country, but also participation in the aggression of Russia against Ukraine. Their presence creates the tension of military nature and must be qualified as the part of the military operation of Russia against Ukraine from the territory of a sovereign state.

— How serious is the threat to the NATO countries from Russia nowadays?

— It goes without saying, yesterday's inadequate speech, in which Putin taught everyone fictional history, was extremely dangerous. Putin actually repeated his previous theses that the collapse of the USSR was the worst catastrophe. He again thinks in terms of the boundaries of the former Soviet empire, the Russian empire.

— What should we, Belarusians, do in the current situation?

- It is quite clear that Lukashenka is not just illegitimate currently, he simply became a "stooge" of the Kremlin's crime bosses. Today, he has no right to vote: he and his camarilla, all of them, including Makei, do whatever they are told.

They tried to pose as independent: "exercises, nothing more, all troops will be withdrawn". No one asks them now, and even for the sake of formality, they are not even asked for their view.

We need to understand that this situation is extremely dangerous for our independence, extremely dangerous for people, but we can prevent even more negative developments. We must deprive the regime of every kind of support, deny the slightest right to influence our lives. First of all, we are to take care of ourselves and people around us. For example, to create savings in foreign currency, as the ruble will fall rapidly. To perform acts of civil disobedience where it is possible. It is possible in any situation, even, probably in the most difficult. You should not obey idiotic orders, disposals, everything that this illegitimate government does in order to put even more pressure on people.

Only we can protect ourselves today. No Lukashenka's regime, which has completely become a servant of inadequate rulers in the Kremlin, will do this, and will not be able to.

Protecting the independence of the country from the occupiers and their accomplices is both the right and the duty of every citizen of Belarus, which are guaranteed to us by international treaties and agreements, including the UN Charter, where Article 51 is about individual and collective self-defense to repel an armed attack.