“Belarus is occupied.” Interview with an oppositionist

Is an invasion from the territory of Belarus possible now?

Belarus is an occupied territory, and Lukashenka no longer has subjectivity, there is no room for maneuver. Putin achieved his goal there, and he clearly understands it. Everything is quite complicated.

What to expect from the territory of Belarus is still a question. Its occupation began in 1996 and ended on February 20, 2022, when the Russian troops did not withdraw after the exercises. Lukashenko lost his subjectivity in 2020 after the rigged electionsa and a peaceful opposition movement in the country, which he managed to quell.

Can Lukashenko now order an invasion? Maybe yes. But the issue of Belarus and the Belarusian army in Belarus has not been resolved for a long time. Since 2021, Minister of Defence of Belarus has his office in the Kremlin. He received the keys to it after the creation of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization, an international military-political organization controlled by Russia, which includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which are de facto covered by Russia. – Ed.]

It should also be noted that the Belarusian military was not allowed to approach the “Iskanders”, which Russia transferred to the territory of Belarus and from which it fired at Ukraine. All this testifies to the complete occupation of Belarus.

It is often mentioned that Lukashenko did not know about the attack. This is also not true. But whether he is asked or not when something happens is another question. It is also unknown whether he is aware of the course of events.

“Referendum” on the accession of Belarus to Russia

Now in Belarus itself there is a question of holding a “referendum” on joining Russia. Although Russia had already effectively occupied Belarus, this can now be legally established by assigning a certain status. And if so, then a country like Belarus may disappear from the world map. This is a problem. Therefore, we need to be active here and now.

Therefore, on May 18, we held the Forum of Democratic Forces of Belarus in Warsaw. There, we, the opposition forces, signed a declaration that Belarus is an occupied state.

The “smooth” occupation began in 1996 [in 1995 and 1996, Lukashenko illegally held the first and second referendums, which significantly expanded the powers of the president. Parliamentary and civil rallies called “Minsk Spring” were strangled in 1996. Soon after these events, integration into Russia began: the Russian language received the right of the second state language on an equal basis with the Belarusian, the state flag and coat of arms were changed – ed. .] That is why it would be right now to cooperate with the Ukrainian parliamentarians, perhaps, with the Lithuanian parliamentarians, to set a precedent and recognize Belarus as an occupied territory at the State level. Аll this needs to be decided somehow, because Belarus is a co-aggressor.

The Belarusians are now in a dead end: dictatorship, hundreds of thousands of refugees, thousands of political prisoners. Even for a single “No War” picket, you can get two or three years in prison. Calling anything is interpreted by the court as a call to terrorism – and it is a death sentence. For information on the movement of enemy troops, as in the telegram channel «Belarusian Gayan», the Belarusians face up to 20 years in prison. Here’s what we have…

The Kremlin’s plans for Belarus

The fact is that the “special operation” in Donbas continues, Russia is trying to keep the Belarusian-Ukrainian border under tension so that Ukraine cannot move the military to Donbas from the west. This is the first moment. The second point is: an offensive from Belarus was planned in March. Probably, Russia was considering the scenario of capturing Lutsk and Lviv in order to prevent the West from helping the Ukrainian military.

Well, it’s the same site. The troops went from Belarus to the same Bucha and to Kyiv in the direction of Zhytomyr. In addition, there is information that Russia is placing missile systems in Belarus. Whether they will be involved or not is also a question, because the Polish direction and infrastructure in the west of Ukraine are really important. Russia understands that both the United States and Europe help Ukraine a lot. Maybe, Not as required, and perhaps not as quickly as we would like, but still they supply the weapons that Ukraine needs today, like air. Russia may try to break this connection.

I repeat, all that Ukraine needs now is heavy offensive weapons. Russia artificially creates famine and thus terrorizes Europe, forces Ukraine to sit down at the negotiating table, capitulate, conclude a truce – as it pleases, motivated by economic issues.

About the maneuvers of the Russian-Belarusian troops

It is difficult to say whether these maneuvers are shams or whether they are really preparations for an invasion. We have known Lukashenka’s position for six years. His position is blackmail. Perhaps this is also a question of starting a conversation with Lukashenka.

We remember the year 2013, when he succeeded. He “disappeared in the air”, and a new concept appeared in Europe – “former dictator”.

I can say one thing that 86% of the Belarusians are against the war with Ukraine. Most all of Belarus is against the involvement of its citizens in certain military actions. I mean, I am not talking about whether they support Russian aggression. This clearly emphasizes the fact that they are generally against the involvement of the Belarusians in war. This is historically, and, by the way, Lukashenko also uses it. This is a stamp. Therefore, “we are not there” and something like “so that there is no war.” On these “staples” Lukashenko has been in power for 26 years and remains, as they say, afloat. It is supposed to guarantee that the whole world is armed to take this “island of happiness and prosperity”, and it is supposed to guarantee the absence of war.

Media justifying the invasion of Belarus

An invasion of the mass media is also being prepared. Once, they pretended all day that there would be an attack from Belarus at 4 in the morning. I saw it on Ukrainian social networks and received such a message. In addition, they reported a 15-20 km advance, the use of artillery and the destruction of certain objects.

Even the Belarusian-Russian exercises and Lukashenka’s statements that if it were not Russia, Ukraine would have attacked Belarus… He doesn’t just make these statements from time to time. This is all to justify aggression.

Approximation of common victory

In any case, it is very important what we are trying to do with our actions. Volunteers, volunteer battalions, the “Belarusian Hayun” telegram channel – the Belarusians, despite everything and risking their lives, continue to publish information about the movement of Russian troops, do everything to hasten our common victory.

The message that it is necessary to differentiate between the Belarusians and Lukashenkas should be very important now. Because it is the same as the Chechens and Kadyrovs. Needless to say, the Belarusians will attack, or the Belarusians want war. No, that’s what Lukashenko wants! This is completely different, the Belarusians have nothing to do with it. Today, on the contrary, they are on the front line and are doing everything to “split Russia to zero.” Because if we don’t separate, there will be a sad scenario.

Unless the entire civilized world unites, appetites will grow.

Probability of internal protests in Belarus

It is difficult now, because in 2020, the entire civil society, hundreds of thousands of refugees, thousands of political prisoners were wiped out, preventive measures are taken every day to intimidate the actions, arrests and searches take place every day.

Yesterday in Belarus, one more day was called “Black Thursday” because the parents of the activists were arrested. All over Belarus. Therefore, the Belarusians need to unite around Ukraine, do everything for a common victory. Then, at the second stage, resolve the issue of deoccupation of Ukraine, and at the third stage – deoccupation of Belarus.

Now I am in Prague, submitting an application and organizing an action here for the first of June. We are coordinating our actions – the same actions will take place in Berlin, Poland and Lithuania on Children’s Day. We are doing this in order to ask the world community to hand over heavy offensive weapons to Ukraine.

We signed it at the forum in Warsaw. They declared that Belarus is an occupied territory, that Belarusians will fight side by side with Ukraine against the common enemy – Russia. We appeal to the world community to disconnect Russia from SWIFT and impose a full economic embargo. The Belarusians need help, because we can’t do it ourselves, we won’t gain the will.