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Karpenkov is Ready to Take Power in Belarus

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

Is the Presidential fund to have a competitor?

On May 19th, Nikolai Karpenkov announced the creation of a “charitable” foundation called "Young Guard." This foundation's mission will be to finance 18 "military-patriotic clubs," which Karpenkov himself established previously.

According to Karpenkov, the foundation's board of trustees includes "representatives of all interested parties," including media professionals, business leaders, and politicians.

Politicians? Did he really say that?

Whom does Karpenkov consider a politician? Himself? In Lukashenko's Belarus, there's only one politician who truly matters, and we all know who that is. This statement makes it pretty clear that Karpenkov has his sights set on becoming the next Prigozhin.

Only after Lukashenko the usurper publicly criticized some officials for their admiration of the Wagner Group, the so-called deputy minister, Karpenkov, retreated from the public eye and ceased his praise of Russian mercenaries.

However, he has resurfaced and is now actively establishing an infrastructure capable of challenging for real power in the future. His first move was to establish special forces units, which he then allowed to be infiltrated by Wagner mercenaries. Next, he turned his attention to indoctrinating the younger generation. Now, he is focused on building the financial foundation for his political ambitions.

Don't be fooled by the word "foundation" – what Karpenkov is constructing is a launching pad for a power grab. This devotee, and likely a bona fide agent, of the so-called "Russian world" is seizing his chance and preparing to capitalize on it.

A revealing detail is that the Young Guard Foundation was registered on May 3rd with the legal address at the National Library. This location is no coincidence. The director of the national library is Vadim Gigin, another individual widely believed to be an agent of the "Russian world," just like Karpenkov. Additionally, we've previously highlighted how Karpenkov and his energetic efforts have been heavily promoted by the propagandist Grigory Azarenok, yet another enthusiast of the "spiritual bonds" with the Russian world.

Both Gigin and Azarenok are members of the Political Council, i.e. the leadership of the White Rus' party. This party is essentially a Belarusian version of "United Russia," Putin's party, and, unsurprisingly, it is headed by another promoter of the “Russian world” idea, Oleg Romanov.

Karpenkov and his associates offer a glimpse into the network of pro-Russian agents actively working to ensnare Belarus. Even the name Karpenkov chose for his foundation, "Young Guard," is no accident. It's the same name as the youth wing of Putin's ruling party, "United Russia."

To lead the foundation, "General" Karpenkov appointed a close confidante – his old friend Alla Verush. Many may not be familiar with her, so let's delve into who she is.

Who is Alla Verush, and what makes her so remarkable?

Alla Verush, an associate professor and political scientist, has held positions at various Belarusian universities and now works at the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Additionally, she serves as an analyst at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, an organization known for supplying the Lukashenko administration with biased analysis disguised as expert opinion – in other words, propaganda.

This "associate professor's" research interests include political leadership, national security, anti-drug policy, and, notably, countering extremism. This is where things get interesting.

Despite lacking formal legal credentials, Alla Ivanovna Verush played a key role in establishing the "scientific justification" for the concept of "extremism" in Belarusian law, even before the crackdown on dissent became widespread.

In March 2011, Verush was elected professor of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, a Russian pseudo-NGO, or GONGO, composed primarily of – wait for it – former officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Armed Forces, and the Russian FSB. The current head of this academy is none other than General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, a key architect of Russia's "hybrid warfare" doctrine, and the commander of the so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Furthermore, Alla Verush is a member of the Belarusian branch of this organization, which primarily consists of retired Russian law enforcement officers.

Let's return to Ms. Verush's "scientific interests."

Sometime around 2012, after joining the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, her research began to focus more and more on combating "global threats," particularly "extremism." This concept, unsurprisingly, was already a well-established tool in the legal system of – you guessed it – Russia.

It was around this time that Verush began to actively collaborate with the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs, specifically with Nikolai Karpenkov and Mikhail Bedunkevich from the notorious Main Directorate for Organized Crime and Control (GUBOPiK). Verush even co-authored articles with Bedunkevich on the dangers of extremism in "Belarusian Thought," a magazine published by the Lukashenko administration.

Verush and her associates in the GUBOPiK significantly increased their efforts to promote the "extremist" threat after the 2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine.

Verush provided the theoretical framework, writing articles and speaking at round tables, while Karpenkov and Bedunkevich put it into practice, targeting anarchists and football fans.

As a result of their efforts, liability for "extremism" was formally introduced in Belarus in April 2016, both in criminal and administrative law. This included new legal concepts such as "extremist group," "extremist materials," and "financing of extremist activities."

At the time, these legislative changes and their enforcement primarily impacted football fans and anarchists. The reason is quite clear: the events of 2014 in Ukraine demonstrated the potential threat that organized, politicized movements posed to both the regime and external Russian influence. Such movements played a crucial role in the success of the Ukrainian revolution.

However, the purges of "extremists" began in Belarus in 2016, largely unnoticed by the general public. At the time, the country seemed to be moving toward a period of "soft Belarusization and liberalization," so the true implications of these actions were not fully grasped.

But this repressive legislation started working at full capacity later, which we all eventually witnessed. As the old theater adage goes: a gun that appears on stage must eventually be fired.

The legislative groundwork for mass repression had been meticulously laid by individuals like Karpenkov, Bedunkevich, and Verush long before the events of 2020, tested and refined on fans and anarchists.

To paraphrase another well-known saying: first they came for the anarchists, then they came for the fans, but many of us were neither, so we remained silent. But after 2020, they came for all of us, and they continue to mercilessly destroy everything associated with Belarus, everything free and independent, paving the way for the "Russian world."

And with the stage set, Karpenkov, his foundation, his network of politicians, businessmen, propagandists... and his armed forces, will make their move.

It's evident that Lukashenko is now powerless to stop them. In fact, he has unwittingly facilitated the rise of the "Russian world" in Belarus, allowing it not only to flourish but to solidify its political power.

Yes, for now, Lukashenko remains a useful puppet for Russia, but his future is uncertain.

Karpenkov, on the other hand, appears to have secured guarantees. He has a virtually established military-political bloc and a platform to seize power from the Lukashenko regime when the time is right – a time that aligns with RUSSIA's interests.

This is precisely why we, Belarusians, need our own independent political institutions. We need a political alternative that genuinely reflects Belarusian, not Russian, national interests. We must be prepared to defend the independence of Belarus, a responsibility Lukashenko has already abdicated, his policies paving the way for Karpenkov and his associates to assume control.

We are labeled "extremists." We are prosecuted for "extremism." But if "extremism" means fighting for democracy, for the freedom and independence of our country, then today, we must all become "extremists."

Long live Belarus!



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