A very interesting informational input recently came through Deutsche Welle where a former Belarusian SOF operative Yuri Garavsky spoke up, claiming he had been complicit in abducting and assassinating opposition members.
He told how opposition politicians who sought to topple President Alexander Lukashenko were kidnapped and “eliminated” in Belarus. Moreover, it was not only about mediocre opposition figures, but also very high-ranking personas, including the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Yuri Zakharenko, former head of the Central Election Commission, Viktor Gonchar, and others.
Well, human rights violations in Belarus and the authoritarian nature of the current government has long been no secret. Do not forget that until recently, Lukashenko was called the "last dictator of Europe." That was untill 2014, when a much more dangerous and much more hateful dictator, Vladimir Putin, surfaced. But that’s not the point ... Although, to some extent, these two dictators are very related to each other in the context of today's topic.
For example, after reading the piece, I started asking myself about the peculiar timing of Yuri Garavsky's interview with Deutsche Welle, which actually wasn't unique at all. Why was it released now? Why not five or ten years ago?
Yuri Garavsky is now surfacing, I emphasize, on the pages of a German publication, in the context of accusing Lukashenko of sins everyone knows about anyway... Did the man just want to remind anyone of them? I don’t think so.
As you know, Russia is now trying its best to carry out integration into the union state with Belarus before 2024, because the architects behind this process see Vladimir Putin the winner of the ucpoming elections of the union state's leader. This will allow the president of the Russian Federation to count on another two terms in highest office with a different title.
But the thing is that Alexander Lukashenko, anticipating the infringement of his dictatorial and authoritarian rights, impedes the process in every way possible. In almost all areas, integration is being stalled and is unlikely to be implemented before 2024.
Of course, this is not part of the Kremlin’s plans, but Putin hasn’t been able to extend his political life otherwise. At least of all the options available, this is the cheapest and simplest one. And, therefore, Russia is applying its hybrid technologies.
Garavsky's emergence in the media horizon isn't only solving the task of making sure Lukashenko is rejected in the West as a cruel dictator, but also catalyzing opposition protests in Belarus itself.
Moreover, given the fact that a certain part of the Belarusian opposition is under the Kremlin control, radicalization of protests with the subsequent declaration of a threat to the constitutional system can't be ruled out… And under this pretext, we may as well see Russia's notorious “littlw green men” in the eastern regions of Belarus with their own ballot boxes for some referendum.
We will soon learn from the upcoming developments in Belarus if it's indeed the case that senior officials sitting in high offices in various Kremlin towers decided to up their game regarding this country and its president.
Let's keep watching!