Belarus

Er......Not for the people person hit by them.
Well, if you're going to be a pedant about the cited article. 'Shoot to kill' policy; only one fatality (allegedly), ergo only one person).
 
The Polish government has to tread carefully here. The Kremlin holds the best cards. Any whiff of Polish revanchism will play straight into their hands. The substantial Polish minority in Belarus knows this. The Kremlin would dearly love to see the nationalists in the PiS government in Warsaw embroil themselves in Belarus. There are parallels here with Ukraine where several years ago Moscow would have happily ceded the far-western part of it (with all its attendant issues) to Warsaw if it meant providing a great excuse for Russian annexation of the rest. Note how the recently linked pro-Moscow blogger casually dismissed far-western Ukraine (i.e. Galicia) as unfeasible for Moscow to recover anyway. They would far rather have what they call the "Banderite" problem given over to Poland, if Warsaw were blinkered enough to take it. They were hoping to gain another "what-about factor" like the short-sighted Polish Teschen annexation in 1939.
Prior to WWII, western Ukraine had belonged to Poland and Romania. Prior to the end of WWI, it had belonged to Austria-Hungary. Soviet control was limited to a 50 year period at most (less if we take into account the German occupation).

Western Belarus had been ceded to Poland by the Soviets in 1921.

Taken together, a Russian nationalist could make a reasonable case for limiting revanchist claims to areas which had historically been part of the Russian Empire, minus Poland and territory later ceded to Poland.

Of course that doesn't take into account the opinions of the Ukrainians or Belarusians, but we're talking about pre-1945 style diplomacy when forcible carve ups of other peoples' territory was a normal part of international relations.
 
Prior to WWII, western Ukraine had belonged to Poland and Romania. Prior to the end of WWI, it had belonged to Austria-Hungary. Soviet control was limited to a 50 year period at most (less if we take into account the German occupation).

Western Belarus had been ceded to Poland by the Soviets in 1921.

Taken together, a Russian nationalist could make a reasonable case for limiting revanchist claims to areas which had historically been part of the Russian Empire, minus Poland and territory later ceded to Poland.

Of course that doesn't take into account the opinions of the Ukrainians or Belarusians, but we're talking about pre-1945 style diplomacy when forcible carve ups of other peoples' territory was a normal part of international relations.
My like is in agreement with your postulated premise not with the premise itself. This is the Muscovite version of self-restraint, consistent with the “Muscovite Mentality”.

As for Poland, it has achieved a certain geographic and demographic stability which it should not jeopardise by coveting its former eastern territories. This from a scion of the “Kresy” who was brought up on stories of family life in what is now western Belarus.
 
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Lukashenko is done for, if the RT news piece I’ve just seen is an indicator.

It compared parts of the protests with those in Ukraine and one of their Russian RT journalists recounting his arrest as well as giving the impression the protests are being ‘organised’. Overall, an unfavourable characterisation of Lukashenko and his leadership I thought and possibly a lead up or preparing the ground for more ‘interest’ by Russia in ‘helping’ calm the unrest.

One RT piece like this isn’t a trend, but I was intrigued that they did show it.
 
My like is in agreement with your postulated premise not with the premise itself. This is the Muscovite version of self-restraint, consistent with the “Muscovite Mentality”.

As for Poland, it has achieved a certain geographic and demographic stability which it should not jeopardise by coveting its former eastern territories. This from a scion of the “Kresy” who was brought up on stories of family life in what is now western Belarus.
(My Bold) I agree with you about the geographic and demographic stability. I think the danger is that an emboldened PiS (Governing Polish Political party) coupled with that folk memory of the "Kresy" and the ethnic Poles "trapped" in Belarus may make for an interesting Autumn.
Polish TV is showing protests against Lukashenko within Poland in border cities and towns like Bialystok and the situation in Minsk is overtaking Covid as the lead talking point.
As always I hope good sense prevails - I'm sure that NATO and the EU already know that they will have to provide a steadying hand with Poland should Belarus continue on the current path or if those "little green men" make an appearance again.
Should the mood of the country swing to we must help the Poles in Belarus then as I say it will make for an interesting Autumn.
 
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There was a window of opportunity to start building a free, democratic and independent Belarus after the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 when a weakened, confused and demoralised Muscovite central authority was completely on the back foot (when there was then actually and amazingly even a flicker of possibility that "all the Russias" could be freed of the overbearing "Muscovite Mindset"). In Belarus, for various historic reasons, this window of opportunity was never taken advantage of and then it was firmly bricked up and blocked off with Lukashenko's accession to power in 1994.

Currently with the neo-Tsar Vladimir Putin in charge at the Kremlin and a revanchist authoritarian Russia well on the resurgent, there is little realistic room for Belarus to manoeuvre in. The best possible outcome would be Lukashenko stepping down from power and genuine free elections being held. Alas the first is something Lukashenko cannot countenance and the second is something that Moscow will not abide (even, as is likely, a leader and a government friendly to Moscow would be elected). So it is increasingly likely that there will be a direct Muscovite intervention in Belarus with a spectrum of outcomes from a more pliant puppet leader and a nominally independent country (in the way the Warsaw Pact countries were nominally independent of Moscow) to complete annexation back into Muscovite Russia.

Unfortunately, there is not much that the rest of the world can do to support the aspirations of the average Belarusian "cheloviyek na ulitsi" against the will of the Kremlin. The outlook for the Belarusian nation (which is not even recognised in the "Muscovite Mindset" of the proponents of a greater "Rossiya") appears grim.

The lessons learned for the people in Europe who want to defend their way of life is to ensure that no further expansion eastwards of the Muscovite menace will be tolerated and that the borders of member states of the EU and NATO are inviolate. And then wait for the self-destructive nature of the "Muscovite Mindset" to fully reassert itself and make way for another period of weakness in the authoritarian system it imposes. Unfortunately the peoples under Muscovite rule will be the ones that will suffer the most in the meantime.
 
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Previously Moscow didn't try to interfere into Belorussian elections directly. But this time mr.Babariko - apparent pro-Moscow candidate decided to run for the presidency. He is a chairman of BelGazpromBank - Belorussian subsidiary of Russian major state run GazpromBank. But he was not allowed to run and even was jailed. So pres.Lukashenko showed to his 'friend' Putin who is da mastah in da haus. So Moscow doesn't try to advance another candidate. At the same time pres.Lukashenko cleared electoral list from pro-Western candidates. Some were jailed, some had to flee. Only wife of opposition blogger mrs.Tikhanovskaya was registered as a candidate.
Of course so called presidential elections in Belarus are sham. 42% of voters reportedly 'voted' before the day of elections - unprecedently high number. Independent observers were not allowed to enter voting stations.
But the scale of the protests in Belarus surprised Moscow and now Putin's agitprop machine works full steam in support of Lukashenko's regime.
Free, fair and transparent elections in Belarus are unacceptable for Putin just because the Russians would demand free, fair and transparent elections in Russia. Two dictators realise that they both are in the same boat.
 
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I have no idea how she managed to keep a straight face:

“We note unprecedented pressure that is being exerted by individual foreign partners on the Belarusian authorities,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“We can see clear attempts of outside meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state to create a rift in society and destabilise the situation,” she told reporters at a briefing.
 
I have no idea how she managed to keep a straight face:

“We note unprecedented pressure that is being exerted by individual foreign partners on the Belarusian authorities,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“We can see clear attempts of outside meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state to create a rift in society and destabilise the situation,” she told reporters at a briefing.
Here we go again...........
 
Great imagination they seem to have / how gullible they must think people are.
A notably flimsy face-saver. For internal consumption, more than anything.

Oh and for the likes of fellow-travellers like Jeremy Corbyn to cling to.
 
Just in time for the weekend.


A lot of bosses got into their factories this morning too to find the workforce have gone on strike.
More coverage on this from Moscow Times (Independent)
Belarus Sees Walkouts, Protest Calls After 'Bloody' Vote Crackdown
By Valery Kalinovsky for AFP
31 minutes ago
Belarus Sees Walkouts, Protest Calls After 'Bloody' Vote Crackdown - The Moscow Times

MT give some examples of how the proests are being written about by Russian media. Interesting and not like the days of Pravda.
Russian Media Responds to Belarus Protest Crackdown
2 hours ago
Russian Media Responds to Belarus Protest Crackdown - The Moscow Times
 
This from a Polish-based site. It will be very interesting to see what this all looks like by the time of return to work on Monday morning. It seems almost anything could happen, including Lukashenko's cronies giving him the shove to safe their own careers.

'All of the demonstrations that took place on were Thursday were entirely peaceful. They took the forms of living ‘solidarity chains’, marches of groups of demonstrators along city streets and pickets in front of detention centres.

<snip>

'A gradual change has been seen in the government’s actions and narrative with regard to the protesting opponents of the regime. The Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Karayeu, in an interview for state television, claimed responsibility for all injuries sustained by random individuals during the post-election demonstrations. He also assured that the authorities would not use violence against those protests taking the form of solidarity chains. In turn, the deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Alyaksandr Barsukou, declared that all demonstrators would be released from detention by the morning of 14 August. Similar conciliatory statements accompanied by apologies were also heard yesterday from representatives of the lower ranks of the nomenklatura. This is a sign that the regime has adopted a new narrative. Subsequently, Lukashenka’s confidante, Natalia Kachanava, who serves as the speaker of the Council of the Republic (the upper house of parliament), informed that the president had taken into consideration the “opinions of factory workers” and ordered the circumstances behind the dramatic events of the past few days to be cleared up. She also added that the government did not want a “war” and, as a token of its peaceful intentions, announced the release of over 1,000 protestors detained on Thursday. Lukashenka did not respond personally to any of the demonstrators’ demands on that day.'


 
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....
Of course so called presidential elections in Belarus are sham. 42% of voters reportedly 'voted' before the day of elections - unprecedently high number. Independent observers were not allowed to enter voting stations.....
As early voting is an official part of the election that’s nothing to do with your allegations of it being a sham.
The Belarus elections took place from 4-9 August with the 9th being ‘election day’ and 4-8 being ‘early voting’

This enables more people to participate in an election rather than being restricted to accessing their polling stations on one day.
I have been doing ‘early voting’ by post for 15 years or more
 
Ooo, I feel it in mi waters that it could get nastier. But I could be wrong of course.


According to this piece, and apologies if posted, I haven't read through the latest pages, but it seems that both Putin and Lukashenko are not sure which way they need to lean to make sure they don't trip up with each other.

 
As an aside, today the 15th of August is the anniversary of the defeat of the Red Army at the Battle of Warsaw. It is exactly 100 years ago that Pilsudski smashed the advancing Muscovite horde who were confident that their offensive would carry them into the heart of a war-weary Europe to support the revolutions of the German, French and Italian proletariats and extend the empire of the new Red Tsars.
 

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