BELARUSALERT – DAY 17

Date: 26 August 2020

First sentences, intriguer Lavrov, little green men

SOURCE: МАКСИМ ШИКУНЕЦ (CC BY-SA 4.0)

After many days, the Belarusian security forces began to detain the demonstrators again. Single arrests took place after a rally of several thousand people in the center of Minsk on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Belarus. At the same time, also in the center of the city, the rally in support of Lukashenko took place. Earlier on Tuesday, August 25, a court in Minsk sentenced two members of the opposition’s Coordination Council to 10 days of imprisonment for the “organization of illegal gatherings.” Meanwhile, the Eastern Human Rights Group – a Ukrainian NGO, alerts that in the part of Donbass, occupied by Russia, there is a recruitment of “volunteers” who claim to be going to Belarus. The recruitment is to be handled by the administration of the “People’s Republics” in Donetsk and Luhansk. This suggests that Moscow is preparing for a scenario in which the “little green men” will have to be transferred to Belarus in order to help Lukashenko or to influence the development of the situation in case of Lukashenko’s fall and a revolutionary chaos. The radical rhetoric of the head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs draws attention. A few days ago, Sergey Lavrov said that the leaders of the Belarusian opposition want bloodshed. On Tuesday, August 25, he stated that the opposition is “led” by Western countries – which ones, he did not specify. But on the same day he met in Moscow with the US Deputy Secretary of State – Stephen Biegun. They talked about Belarus, among others, whilst Lavrov tried to drive a wedge between the members of the western community. He said that Russia urges the US and the leaders of the European Union to “pay attention to those circles that, for example in Poland or Lithuania, express their dissatisfaction with the normalization of the situation in Belarus in every possible way.”

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