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Lukashenko is preparing for war

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

"We are preparing for war. I speak about this frankly," declared the usurper Lukashenko during his working trip to Hrodna.

Today, Lukashenko's Ministry of Defense announced that military drills of territorial defense forces are being held in four regions of Belarus, in addition to the ongoing military exercises throughout the country. Officially, these troops, known as the people's militia, are only used during military situations or in times of threat to the country.

From April 2 to April 4, a command post exercise is scheduled with the territorial defense forces of the Rahachou and Karmiany districts of the Gomel region. Similar exercises will also take place in the Vialeyka region until April 26.

So, what is Lukashenko preparing for? 

In Belarus, they are now training to implement martial law, which could drastically change the lives of Belarusians. How might this happen? Let's try to figure it out.

  • Only Lukashenko has the authority to impose martial law, and it goes into effect immediately upon his death.

  • Under martial law, citizens are obligated to comply with the demands of government agencies and military authorities. This includes mandatory attendance upon the first request of a government agency. As we already know, individuals can now even be drafted into the army via SMS. Additionally, a curfew may be imposed.

  • Citizens over the age of 16 can be involved in defense work and participate in cleaning up after weapon use and emergency situations.

  • Those registered with the military are prohibited from leaving their place of residence without permission from the military registration and enlistment office or the local KGB department head.

  • Сitizens can be required to surrender their property, including houses or non-residential premises, to government agencies for defense purposes. No compensation is provided for such requisitions.

  • During martial law, rallies, processions, and other public events are prohibited.

  • Military censorship authorities are established, potentially leading to restrictions on printed materials. Inspection of citizens’ personal correspondence is also possible.

  • The regime may also impose limitations on citizens' movement within the country, including restrictions on changing their place of residence.

  • The military's powers will be expanded, granting them the authority to patrol streets, check documents, and detain individuals. In certain circumstances, they may even conduct house inspections. These expanded powers also allow the use of weapons and special equipment.

  • During the implementation of martial law, the National Bank of Belarus may restrict or suspend banking operations, and there may be restrictions on the use of bank cards.

It all raises the question of whether Lukashenko's claims of advocating for peace are genuine.

Despite his attempts to portray himself as a 'guarantor of peace' in Belarus, we have witnessed a growing number of military training, preparation for martial law and other events involving the Armed Forces. Furthermore, the regime has provided territory in Belarus for the Russian army, recruited Wagner militants for the internal troops, and allowed the presence of nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil. The regime even involves children in militaristic activities, arming them and providing weapons training.

All of these actions contradict the principles of peaceful domestic and foreign policies. While the war in Ukraine continues with Russian troops occupying territories, committing war crimes, and causing civilian casualties, Lukashenko, acting as a staunch ally of the Kremlin, claims to be protecting the country from war. However, the reality seems to be quite the opposite.

We are well aware that with Lukashenko's consent, Russian tanks advanced on Kyiv during the initial days of the full-scale invasion. Russian planes took off from Belarusian military bases and conducted raids on Ukrainian cities. Ukrainians did not anticipate that missiles would be launched from Belarusian territory, targeting civilian areas in Ukraine. How many deaths of Ukrainian children are the responsibility of the usurper Lukashenko? Additionally, the regime is involved in transferring Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied territories and subjecting them to re-education for the purpose of anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

Now, as exercises to implement martial law are being conducted in Belarus, tensions are heightened by the increasing activities of Lukashenko's troops on the Lithuanian border and the signing of a decree titled 'On the Transition of Government Agencies to Work in Wartime Conditions.' Also, during his recent working trip to Hrodna, Lukashenko spelled it out loud and clear: “We are preparing for war.”

It is clear that Lukashenko is not the 'dove of peace' he claims to be. He and his regime are complicit in the war against Ukraine. Rather than guaranteeing the safety of the Belarusian people, Lukashenko's actions only serve to increase threats to our country and its population.



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