21 June 2024, Friday, 8:48
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Lukashenka Makes Very Serious Blunder

Lukashenka Makes Very Serious Blunder

The kolkhoz-style “geopolitics” confirms the saying “stupidity is worse than treason”.

The self-proclaimed ruler Lukashenka confirmed that he himself asked Putin to “return nuclear weapons to Belarus”. This was pathetically stated during the message “to the parliament and the people”.

Why does he need a nuclear weapon that he can't use? Is a nuclear strike from the territory of Belarus against Poland and Lithuania possible? And what is the “Ukrainian plan” of Minsk?

Svobodnye Novosti talked to Yevhen Magda, director of the Institute of World Politics (Kyiv, Ukraine).

— During the message, it was said: Putin was asked to “return nuclear weapons to Belarus” in order to “guarantee peace to the Belarusian people”...

— Before answering the question why Minsk needs nuclear weapons, I would like to remind you that Lukashenka is not recognized as the “president” of Belarus by most European states. In particular, of its neighbors, only Russia recognizes him politically. Also Armenia, Azerbaijan, China — one cannot speak of complete isolation, no. But the factor of nuclear weapons helps to feel his own importance, to say that he, together with Russia, controls nuclear weapons.

However, this is an illusion. In fact, the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus poses a threat primarily to Belarusians, because either a retaliatory strike or a preventive one (not necessarily with equivalent missiles) will be delivered precisely on the territory of the republic. And in this context, I would like to recall how its ruler rushes about the history of the country and shouts that the losses in the Second World War are huge. It's true, they were huge —nlike the losses of Ukraine, like the losses of Poland. But there is another question: if today Belarus is formally an independent state, then why expose millions of citizens to the prospect of a NATO retaliatory strike? This is a very dangerous adventure.

— How will nuclear weapons change the status of Belarus and the position of Lukashenka himself?

— I think that this question has been thought out for a long time. And Russia actually carried out a nuclear Anschluss of the republic. Paradox: Lukashenka, who since the late 90s has been talking about wanting to create a “union state” of Belarus and Russia, was then pushed aside by Putin, but now Putin simply used him to his advantage. I think this is just the beginning, far from the end of political exercises. The ruler is extremely vulnerable: he showed the whole world that it makes no sense to talk to him, it makes sense to talk about Belarus with other political players. And this is a very serious blunder: even without that, Minsk did not shine with subjectivity, and now it has got a lot of problems.

— Historian Yuri Felshtinsky believes that Putin has been preparing a nuclear attack on Eastern Europe since last March and intends to carry it out from the territory of Belarus. How realistic do you think this scenario is?

In Ukraine, they have already become convinced that Putin is extremely dangerous, he can really raise the stakes. In particular, try to deliver a tactical nuclear strike from the territory of Belarus, but with Russian nuclear weapons. I would not rule out that in this case a propaganda campaign would be launched: they say that nuclear weapons were transferred under the control of Minsk — literally before the strike. And if this happens, the country will simply be thrown out of the system of international relations. If today Belarus remains a member of the OSCE, a member of the UN, then in the event of a nuclear strike from its territory, it is difficult for me to imagine that Belarus will not receive a retaliatory strike from its neighbors.

And there is another question that Mr. Felshtinsky proposes a preventive seizure of Belarus with the overthrow of power. Unfortunately, I am not aware of cases of such operations, especially after the Second World War, especially in the context of the presence of nuclear weapons or future places for their storage.

— Has Lukashenka's position changed in relation to Ukraine, to the war?

— With regard to the Russian-Ukrainian war, Lukashenka's position is absolutely flexible: he broadcasts what the Kremlin dictates to him. And when Lukashenka says that negotiations and a ceasefire are needed right now, this is, in fact, the Russian message; as the same Russian message was voiced by Viktor Orban, another pro-Russian politician, that agreements have almost been reached on the introduction of EU peacekeepers into Ukraine. But the problem is that without a UN decision, such a position looks extremely weak, and it is very difficult to assume that Russia and China will act differently on this issue than Russia needs in the UN Security Council.

Lukashenka criticized Ukraine's possible counter-offensive, saying that it would put an end to attempts at negotiations. Excuse me, but a year ago, when they liberated Bucha from the Russian invaders and found the burial places of killed civilians there, then it was necessary to negotiate, right? Let me remind you that in the first month after the large-scale Russian invasion, Ukrainian and Russian representatives held political consultations on the territory of Belarus. And it is obvious that in Minsk today they are trying to play on this.

But, you see, this kolkhoz-style geopolitics fits very well into the saying “stupidity is worse than treason”. And I would say that stupidity is worse than trading in your own fellow citizens. And today they are traded, and they are not dead souls — we are talking about the lives of millions of Belarusian citizens.

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