21 May 2024, Tuesday, 20:30
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‘Putin & Lukashenka May Resort To Provocations In Late April’

‘Putin & Lukashenka May Resort To Provocations In Late April’

The political scientist explained what could be behind the activity of the Belarusian troops on the border with Lithuania.

Monitoring groups say that units of the 19th separate mechanized brigade may be transferred to the border with Lithuania as part of a “combat readiness test.” A checkpoint with equipment had already appeared there.

The Charter97.org website asked Belarusian political scientist Anatol Kotau for a comment:

— At a minimum, this is creating a point of tension for Lithuanian security. Lithuania will have to respond to the transfer of troops almost under its border: move forward its units, perhaps adjust the plan of exercises (which are currently taking place under the auspices of NATO) in order to take measures in case of possible stupid and reckless provocations.

— Western media described scenarios in which, after the elections in the Russian Federation, Putin will try to test NATO’s strength. Do you see the prerequisites for the implementation of such forecasts?

— Certain prerequisites have existed for a long time. All events occurring after 2014 indicate that the Russian leadership has placed its bets on confrontation and an aggravation of the situation in Europe as a whole. And also to reconquer what they consider “their ancestral territories.” You know, it’s difficult to say which year the map in this regard is on Putin’s table.

So they are trying to organize some kind of borderline hybrid actions. For this purpose, migrants who had been absent for almost two months also returned to the external borders. For this purpose, a “combat readiness check” is carried out, directly at the border, and other sabotage and reconnaissance actions.

By the way, understanding the logic of the actions of the Russian regime, they will do all this with somebody else’s hands.

— What role can Lukashenka play in these plans?

— I believe that there is still a small time margin before the implementation of any actions on the outer contour begins. Since the Russian Federation needs to complete internal reconfiguration. It will be completed by placing officials in new places. This will last until about the third ten days of April. After this, anything can happen, but definitely nothing good.

In this situation, Lukashenka, one way or another, plays the role of a person who must provide not only territory to the Russian Federation. This is no longer enough. While Russia is not ready for an open conflict with NATO, it is in somebody else’s hands, and special forces officers come in very handy here. In the current situation, Lukashenka is an ideal ally for implementing some kind of aggressive hybrid actions against neighboring countries. In the “feel it out” format, it’s just perfect.

There may be a test of how the West will respond to hybrid operations. It is clear who will stand behind them, but an adequate, serious military reaction could lead to what the West is trying to avoid to the last — open confrontation in the Russian Federation.

Let me emphasize that from the third ten days of April some internal prerequisites for this will be prepared. Again, NATO exercises will come to an end. Putin’s logic is quite simple — like that of a backstreet thug. Strike when the enemy is least ready.

By the way, another 1-1.5 years and any serious conflict with NATO will mean suicide for Putin.

— Why?

— Europe, during these two years which Ukraine has already gained for it, is putting its economy on a war footing. The military industry is developing successfully. In 2022, Europe was not at all ready to fight in a conflict of this scale.

By the way, I completely agree with the recent statement of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who said that “the times of peace are over and Europe is in a new pre-war era.”

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