The Baltics: should Britain be rushing to their defence?

While we are distracted by the threat to the Baltic States, I believe that Belarus may be a more imminent target.
Belarus is not Ukraine. There is no real history of independence, apart from a brief period of 6 months in 1918. Many Belarusians would not be unhappy to be reunited with the Rodina.
 
Belarus is not Ukraine. There is no real history of independence, apart from a brief period of 6 months in 1918. Many Belarusians would not be unhappy to be reunited with the Rodina.
they certainly kept the very Soviet era big caps
 
Moscow Times from a year ago:
Even if the majority of Belarusians support a union with Russia, they don’t see it as a future merger of the two countries. Polls show that 55–75 percent of people steadily support the country’s current level of integration with Russia. But when asked to choose between Belarus’s unification with Russia and the country’s sovereignty, only 15–20 percent are willing to support deeper integration, and less than 5 percent would want to see Belarus as a part of Russia
There is of course the ‘99 Union State of Russia and Belarus

Or maybe the other way round? That Russia becomes a part of Belarus?
“The simplest option that Russia and Belarus will accept in terms of a union state: You join Belarus,” Lukashenko said in an interview with Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio station.

“Why are some of you inviting us to join Russia? Why aren’t you considering this [other] possibility?” he asked. “Take a listen: Russia is a part of Belarus.”
 
Moscow Times from a year ago:


There is of course the ‘99 Union State of Russia and Belarus

Or maybe the other way round? That Russia becomes a part of Belarus?
Big brother has a way of making little brother know what is good for them... it might be terminal for little brother, but, it will help to encourage the others.
 
I’ve been to Belarus in the early 1990s. Stayed with a family in Minsk. It was the night that Yeltsin’s Russian tanks were shelling the “White House”. The family were very distressed, at the pictures on the TV.

Meetings with the Automotive Ministry. Ministers “hamstrung” what they can/not do.

The ordinary folk, as lovely as normal/ordinary Russians.

+ + + + + +

It is only a few years ago . . . 5 or 6, maybe ?! . . . that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, wanted his country to be incorporated into the Russian Federation.

Back then, Putin said “No!” . . . Why, I do not know!

I have always considered Belarus and Russia to be inseparable, indistinguishable, one-and-the-same. Why would anyone think otherwise?!
Anyone who has an in-depth knowledge of the history of this part of Europe would disagree with your last paragraph.
The geopolitical, cultural and linguistic development of what is now Belarus (and Ukraine)diverged from the eastern Russian principalities with the Mongol/Tatar invasions in the 13C.
Belarus was only briefly overrun and then came under Lithuanian overlordship and later became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until the end of the 18C. So for half a millenium it escaped the baleful influence of first the Mongols then the Muscovites (who got their break as tax collectors for the Golden Horde). The Mongols and Muscovy remade the former lands of Rus in their autocratic image. But were very late in applying their methods to the western areas of the former “Kievan Rus”. Thus their societies developed separately and more liberally.

Since the forced integration of the Belarusian lands into the Tsarist Empire, there has been an ongoing campaign of Russification. However the Belarusian language is quite different (just as Scots is different from English), though Moscow disparagingly sees it as a peasant dialect.
 
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Anyone who has an in-depth knowledge of the history of this part of Europe would disagree with your last paragraph.
The geopolitical, cultural and linguistic development of what is now Belarus (and Ukraine) is diverged from the eastern Russian principalities with the Mongol/Tatar invasions in the 13C.
Belarus was only briefly overrun and then came under Lithuanian overlordship and later became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until the end of the 18C. So for half a millenium it escaped the baleful influence of first the Mongols then the Muscovites (who got their break as tax collectors for the Golden Horde). The Mongols and Muscovy remade the former lands of Rus in their autocratic image. But were very late in applying their methods to the western areas of the former “Kievan Rus”. Thus their societies developed separately and more liberally.

Since the forced integration of the Belarusian lands into the Tsarist Empire, there has been an ongoing campaign of Russification. However the Belarusian language is quite different (just as Scots is different from English), though Moscow disparagingly sees it as a peasant dialect.
You are @Domovoy and I claim my five roubles!! ;) .
 
Belarus is not Ukraine. There is no real history of independence, apart from a brief period of 6 months in 1918. Many Belarusians would not be unhappy to be reunited with the Rodina.
Independence, not since the lands of current Belarus were part of independent Ruthenian principalities before the Mongol onslaught on Rus/ Ruthenia in the 13C. But until the end of the 18C the lands of Belarus developed quite separately from the Mongol then Muscovite dominated lands to the East.

Belarusian evolved as a separate language. It is still in existence despite intense efforts at Russification under the Tsars and the Red Tsars. A Belarusian separate national identity really began to gain influence in the 19C.

I do not argue that many in Belarus identify as Russian, either due to being assimilated Belarusians or descendants of implanted Russian colonists and that there is an affiliation between Russia and Belarus both of which would facilitate (and provide a glib excuse for) Muscovite expansion.

However, there is a considerable part of the population which considers itself to be Belarusian and would like to be masters of their own destiny, particularly in the younger generations.
 
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Don't they say the same about Ukranian?
Yes.

I would not like to say Russophiles but people like @Condottiere might be able to help as Russointeresants (?) Kiev boasts as being the birthplace of the Rus language... I shall await the forthcoming education! :)
There used to be many separate Russian principalities in various fluctuating states of association. With Kiev and later Novgorod emerging as the main powers and centres of influence. Moscow was an unimportant little town. The Mongols destroyed that “Kievan Rus” polity. But they also facilitated the development of Moscow, which became the Golden Horde’s proxy tax enforcer. Muscovy, having learned from its tutor, eventually shook off the overlordship of the Khans and then over the next centuries gradually assimilated the other Russian principalities or their successors into the Muscovite Borg.

Without the baleful influence of either the Mongols or their local stooge, we would likely have seen the development of an entirely different geo-political landscape in the lands populated by the “Rus”.
 
Published by: eng.lsm.lv (Latvian Public Broadcasting), on Monday 27 January 2020.

Video: 'The Keys' traces the time of the barricades

Latvian Television has made a new history show looking at the times of the barricades, when Latvia and the other Baltic states defended their reborn independence in 1991.

Titled "The Keys" the first in the season is online and available for your to view, complete with English subtitles. It concentrates in particular on the attitudes of foreign governments and leaders during this period, some of which showed great support to the Baltic states - and some of which unfortunately did not.

According to LTV "The Keys" will tell about the most important or "key" events, personalities and turning points in the history of the Latvian state from 1918 to the present. The purpose is to reveal each selected event from an unusual point of view, as if "unlocking the door" to lesser known and therefore particularly intriguing facts.

 
It is reference to the pollster - The Levada center.
1580395396462.png

The graph shows how many representatives of different age groups in Russia answered yes or rather yes to the question - do they wish to emigrate?
Though the level of emigration in real life is not huge - a few tens thousands maximum and number of immigrants is measured in hundreds thousands.
 
The graph shows how many representatives of different age groups in Russia answered yes or rather yes to the question - do they wish to emigrate?.
And your point is?
 
.........Though the level of emigration in real life is not huge - a few tens thousands maximum and number of immigrants is measured in hundreds thousands.
Maybe, then again, maybe not:
“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security counted six times more Russians arriving in 2017 than Rosstat recorded [leaving],” Proekt said. “Six times more people left Russia for 24 OECD countries, where foreign data is available, for 2016.”

OECD, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, groups 34 of the world’s leading economies.
 
Maybe, then again, maybe not:
It is a hard task to separate those who really emigrated and who left country for certain period.
The director general of the firm where I work was born in Crimea, was Ukrainian citizen but left Ukraine many years ago and became Israeli citizen (btw, served in IDF). Well he is apparently an emigrant. But last 10 years he lives in Moscow with his Russian wife and angel looking daughter. Did he emigrated again? In fact yes but he remains Israeli citizen. So from formal point of view he is just an expat. It is only an example that shows that emigration is not so easy matter.
But anyway all estimates of number of emigrants from Russia range from 10 thousands annually (according to strict methodology used by RosStat) to 60 thousands according alternative estimates . At the same time millions of Ukrainians left the country and many forever. On this background emigration from Russia looks as insignificant. Just compare it from immigration from Latvia (not absolute numbers, but % of emigrants).

1580416963572.png

You may see here difference
10,876 emigrants according to RosStat and
63,075 received a residence permit.
But not all of them are emigrants. Many Russian business people use to buy property in Europe just to get residence permit to visit Europe without visa (and to have a shelter in times of political turbulence).

Also I would like to comment your source
Rosstat estimates 377,000 Russians left the country in 2017, the latest period for which figures are available and a six-year record.
377 thousands? Yes, the number is correct but not all of them are Russian citizens. The number includes Ukrainian, Uzbek, Tajik, Chinese and so on citizens who got residence permit in Russia and returned home.
 
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It is a hard task to separate those who really emigrated and who left country for certain period.
The director general of the firm where I work was born in Crimea, was Ukrainian citizen but left Ukraine many years ago and became Israeli citizen (btw, served in IDF). Well he is apparently an emigrant. But last 10 years he lives in Moscow with his Russian wife and angel looking daughter. Did he emigrated again? In fact yes but he remains Israeli citizen. So from formal point of view he is just an expat. It is only an example that shows that emigration is not so easy matter.
But anyway all estimates of number of emigrants from Russia range from 10 thousands annually (according to strict methodology used by RosStat) to 60 thousands according alternative estimates . At the same time millions of Ukrainians left the country and many forever. On this background emigration from Russia looks as insignificant. Just compare it from immigration from Latvia (not absolute numbers, but % of emigrants).
I’m not doubting that some who say they left, have in fact returned. More that emigration is in fact higher than your govt statistics. As the linked article says:
90% of Russian citizens who go abroad for long periods are not removed from the migration register and do not fall into statistics

90% российских граждан, которые уезжают за рубеж на длительные сроки, не снимаются с миграционного учета и не попадают в статистику
 

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