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Lukashenko knows when war will come to Belarus


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

Lukashenko's statement that he is preparing for war has made a lot of noise. How to assess it? Are these empty threats or is there really a threat of war for Belarus? Let's try to understand.

First of all, this is not the first such statement of the usurper. He already said something similar in late February at a meeting with the leadership of his security forces. Then he said: 

"We don't need war, so we must be prepared for it both mentally and strategically. <...> We all, first of all people in uniform, simply have to be ready to repel any threats." 

At that time, he posed the NATO Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise as a threat. But can Lukashenko really believe that NATO will attack Belarus under the cover of the exercises?

I think it is worth recalling here who did exactly that in February 2022. Who made a full-scale invasion of Ukraine under the cover of the exercise "Union Resolve 2022". The answer is Russia and the Lukashenko regime, which secured the invasion of Ukraine from the territory of our country. And despite this, neither Ukraine nor NATO has committed a single military response against Belarus. Not a single bomb, not a single missile flew to Belarus, despite more than 800 hundred missile strikes that were carried out on Ukraine from the territory of our country. 

So what kind of war is Lukashenko preparing for?

I suggest going back a couple of months before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and remember what Lukashenko said at a meeting with his activists in Vitebsk region on December 15, 2021:

"No war has passed us by in the past, nor will it pass us by now. God forbid it will be unleashed. Therefore, my task is to protect the state and the people from war. <...> I do not want our people to find themselves once again on the fault line and God forbid in the center of some war. And in order for us not to be there, we must be prepared for it. That is why the new governor, chairmen of district executive committees, city executive committees, you know that we have territorial defense and territorial troops. Look at the facilities that you will have to defend on the ground in case of what happens. Sort everything out."

Just a month earlier, the updated Military Doctrine of the so-called Union State had been signed. A joint regional grouping of troops of Belarus and Russia was created. And 2 months after Lukashenko's statement, a full-scale war against Ukraine began. In which Lukashenko's regime became a co-aggressor. 

That is, any talk that Lukashenko did not know, did not expect such a development of events is, excuse me, utter nonsense. He knew and he was preparing.

The only thing he was wrong about was the response of Ukraine. Ukraine decided not to respond with blows to blows, not to transfer the war to the territory of Belarus. 

And this is solely the merit of Ukraine itself. All Lukashenko's words that he is "protecting Belarus from war" and all the claims of the supporters of this narrative are the same nonsense as the fact that Lukashenko allegedly did not expect that the war in Ukraine would come from the territory of Belarus. 

Lukashenko dragged Belarus into war. He committed an act of aggression. And nothing can undo this fact. Lukashenko did not protect anyone, did not save anyone. And, no matter how harsh it sounds, Ukraine had the right to respond. Russian military facilities, military-industrial complex facilities at the moment when war came from Belarus to Ukraine, when missiles flew from Belarus to Ukraine — all these became legitimate targets for Ukraine. But Ukraine did not use this right. And it still doesn't to this day. While Ukraine's strikes against legitimate targets in Russia are becoming more and more active. 

Ukraine is now methodically hitting Russian refineries, depriving Russia of fuel for the war. Belarusian refineries, which will obviously be used to compensate for some of Russia's losses, again, remain untouched. 

And now Lukashenko once again declares that he is preparing for war. At the same time, Russia announced a spring draft, during which 150 thousand people will be called up for service. This is the largest draft in Russia for the last 8 years. 

How should we understand Lukashenko's statement?

This is a case where his words should be taken literally. He is indeed preparing for war, just as he did in December 2021. Moreover, just like then, he surely knows when it will happen. And he knows that this time no one will tolerate aggression from the territory of Belarus — and there will be military retaliation. 

Lukashenko knows that war will come to Belarus. And he knows it because, as in February 2022, he is not going to do anything to prevent this war. As then, so now he obediently follows orders from the Kremlin. As then, so now he is no master in the house, but a puppet who will do whatever his master demands. 

Lukashenko's regime has been living on borrowed time for dozens of years, feeding off the Russian hand for dozens of years. It is only thanks to Russia's support that he stayed in power after 2020. And it is us who are paying for it. And we are paying a terrible price. 

The actions of Lukashenko's regime have already brought Belarus to the brink of losing its independence. They have already led to an act of aggression in the sense of international law. And now they are leading to the fact that the war going on our country's doorstep may cross it. 

And when Lukashenko says that he is preparing for war but actually wants peace, that he doesn't really want war — he is lying. Because if he really doesn't want war — he knows what needs to be done. 

Lukashenko must go. Because he and his dependence on Russia are the reason why our country is threatened with war. Lukashenko's departure and holding democratic elections are the most reliable defense against this threat. The people of Belarus are for independence, for democracy and against war. And that is why it is the Belarusian people, not the usurper, who thinks only about how to sit in his chair, who should be the subject that determines policy, makes decisions and preserves peace on their land.

 


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