Hopes of Ukrainian authorities on Lukashenka endanger region’s security.
Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma called Aliaksandr Lukashenka yesterday and, according to the dictator’s press-service, asked for his “support in preserving Ukraine’s territorial integrity and preventing bloodshed”. By fact he has called Lukashenka to act as an intermediary between Ukraine and Russia.
At first this news seemed absurd. It is supreme idiotism to ask the Kremlin’s puppet for help.
Does not Kuchma know that Belarus is a springboard for Russian troops? Today there are not only the Russian troops, serving at the observation stations in Baranavichy and Vilejka.
As early as in May last year the charter97.org web-site raised the alarm. Soldiers and officers of Russian army serve in Belarus: pilots, paratroopers, tank crew members, missilemen. They do not manifest their belonging to the army of the Russian Federation. Russian soldiers wear the uniform of Belarusian armed forces, serving in their own military units. They submit to Russian command.
Then the total number of Russian militarymen, who unofficially stayed in Belarus, accounted up to 3 thousand men. It is known that they belong to at least five Belarusian garrisons. Supposedly, there much more of them today.
On 8 December 2013, when there still was the Euromaidan, a flight of fighter jets Su-27P of the 159th fighter jet aviation regiment of guard of the 105th mixed aviation division of the 1st air defense and air forces Command Office of Russian Armed forces’ Western Military Region relocated to the airdrome of the 61st fighter jet aviation base of Belarus’ armed forces in Baranavichy.
Already on 10 December the Russians went on combat duty. Belarusians are on duty on MiG-29 fighter jets, while Russians are enforcing and supplementing the forces on duty with their Su-27P of a long range of operation
One does not have to be a military strategist to understand: in case an order comes to attack Ukraine, Russians will strike the country, including from the North – from the territory of Belarus.
It would be naïve to think that Lukashenka would object that. He has already allowed for de facto losing Belarus’ independence, having allowed to deploy such a number of Russian soldiers in its territory. Moreover, during joint military practice with Russia nuclear strikes at Warsaw were practiced and a breakthrough to Kaliningrad through the territory of Lithuania. According to the plan of another military exercise the Taman division was supposed to block the border with Poland, in case mass disturbances take place in the territory of Belarus.
This means that Russian troops will be called to protect the Lukashenka regime during popular uprisings, which are inevitable due to the catastrophic state of the economy.
Another aspect. I am afraid that especially crafty eurobureaucrats may be standing behind Kuchma, who may again try to solve the regional problem in the way of elementary buying off the Belarusian dictator. Instead of diversifying gas and oil sources by cooperating with Arab allies, Norway and the USA and be down with dictatorships in Europe forever, they quite possibly may do everything for preserving the dictatorial “stability” in the region.
Lukashenka will use another chance with pleasure and ask Europe for money to support his regime. In the state of crisis Russia would also benefit from such a play: it will be Europe who will be feeding its watchdog.
I would like to remind Ukrainian neighbors that in the conditions of Russia’s war on Georgia Lukashenka completely supported the Kremlin’s actions. Then he craftily played the European concern over the independence of South Osetia and Abkhazia, did not recognize their independence and got multibillion loans from the West.
Then came the touching friendship between a democrat Saakashvili and a dictator Lukashenka, the voyages of Georgian politicians and businessmen to Belarus, complete defamation of Georgia’s new authorities and its collapse in the end.
If Kuchma is an emissary of new Ukrainian authorities, then this is beyond moral. You fought Kuchma in 2004 during the Orange revolution and today, after defeating another dictator Yanukovych you send the former as a negotiator? It is obvious that in the conditions of a war emotions are sometimes above logic, but not to such an extent.
Yanukovych’s partner was Putin, who captured the Crimea today. Lukashenka’s partners are the same Yanukovych and Putin. Why would anyone thing that the Belarusian dictator will become an ally of the new Ukraine?
Of course, it is possible that Kuchma in this case is an envoy of the Ukrainian oligarchs, who are afraid to lose their businesses with Lukashenka. Then the new democratic authorities of Ukraine should dissociate themselves from this initiative. No one is urging you to fully cease the relations with the neighboring country, but you should realize that if you keep hoping on the Belarusian dictator as your savior – you will endanger your country’s security.
One also should not forget that Lukashenka’s Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makej claimed that Belarus like Russia was ready to provide asylum for criminal Yanukovych and his henchmen.
You get a feeling that politicians keep triggering the same backlashes. Ukrainians are recollecting 1938 today, Hitler and the Sudeten, while Belarusians remember the friendship of Yushchenko and Lukashenka that save the regime in Belarus and helped Yanukovych come to power.
We hope for the moral strength and strategic thinking of Maidan’s leaders. Only national democratic forces in Belarus can be a reliable partner both for Ukraine and the European Union.
Who was an ally to Ukrainians yesterday during the revolution and remains one today during a war? Belarusian independent media, Belarusian volunteers, who were nip and tuck with you in the Maidan, Belarusian youth, who are thrown to prisons for solidarity with Ukraine.
Be consistent. Remember, that Lukashenka will definitely betray you. Do not count on the dictator with blood on his hands.
To Ukraine the Lukashenka regime will always be a threat from the North
Natalia Radzina, charter97.org web-site’s editor-in-chief