On December 25th, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko made a claim that the protests in Belarus have been fueled from outside, and being supplied with equipment and even weaponry from Ukraine.
This is an open secret, which has been known for a while, the protests being coordinated from Poland was an established fact, this just comes in addition to that.
This is not the first time that such accusations against Ukraine have been heard from the mouth of the Belarusian president.
It all began with accusations that Ukrainian radicals were entering the territory of Belarus, who, joining the participants in anti-government protests, were trying to transfer them into a destructive channel. Today Lukashenka is already talking about the events that the Belarusian security forces qualify as extremism and terrorism. And the main characters in these events are somehow connected with Ukraine.
Of course, there is no absolutely concrete evidence that the internal political crisis developing on the territory of Belarus was provoked from the territory and with the participation of Ukraine. But Lukashenko’s statements that Ukraine has picked up the situation and has been trying to export “Maidan” to Minsk for several months are not groundless.
In late October, Belarusian border guards detained four people in the immediate vicinity of the border with Ukraine. Minsk stated that these people staged a series of arson attacks and attacks on the authorities and tried to cross the border to Ukraine. According to official sources, members of this group set fire to the traffic police building in Mozyr. Earlier, they also organized an attack on the headquarters of the State Committee for Forensic Expertise in Soligorsk and on the district prosecutor’s office. Of course, everyone was armed and well equipped.
On December 8, 2020, the Belarusian security forces reported that they had captured a group that carried out attacks in the Grodno region. They were accused of carrying out the explosion of the car, the arson of the house of an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Acts of violence began in October and were clearly aimed at radicalizing the protest movement.
“Recently we detained Autukhovich’s group. These most recent scoundrels. Now we have opened all their channels. They were carrying tons of weapons across Ukraine. And if our guys (I ordered everyone to receive state awards immediately) they had not been covered, oh, we would have had a New Year … I, frankly, underestimated it. The State Security Committee reported to me. Well, you have to, deal with him … I underestimated,” Lukashenko personally commented on this event.
In addition, Mikalai Autukhovich, although not among the leaders of the Belarusian opposition, has a rather interesting biography.
Convicted in 2006 for tax evasion, Autukhovich somehow unexpectedly for everyone received the status of a political prisoner, and officials of the European Union and the United States began to insist on his release. When he was released in 2010, Autukhovich was soon arrested again and imprisoned for illegal possession of weapons, now for four years.
In retrospect it is difficult to judge what actually caused Autukhovich’s misadventures – his entrepreneurial activities or connections with the opposition, but he was released, having a clear belief that the Lukashenka regime can only be removed by force.
It really doesn’t matter why Autukhovich entered the protests, but rather if he has any ties to Ukraine.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, after Lukashenko’s statements, began to actively refute them, and the speaker of the department, Oleg Nikolenko, even wrote a tweet with the following content:
“We categorically reject the next insinuations of Alexander Lukashenko. The rhetoric about interference, the mantra about “weapons from Ukraine” clearly fit into Lukashenka’s policy of intimidating the Belarusian people,” the diplomat said.
It’s likely that nobody believes that Autukhovich received support from representatives of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. It also is of little difference, schemes such as these are quite trivial.
The situation is quite simple with Autukhovich. He was recently in Kiev and met with Elena Vasilyeva, the head of the Ukrainian charitable foundation “Belaruski Maidan”. Yes, such a fund really works on the territory of Ukraine, moreover, on November 24, 2020, it was registered as a legal entity, which suggests that the current government simply cannot but know about its existence.
“The task of our foundation is to help promote Belarusian national leaders,” Elena Vasilyeva said in an interview with the Crimean Tatar ATR channel. Apparently, certain hopes were also pinned on Autukhovich, referring him to the promising oppositionists of the new wave.
In general, the cards have been revealed, and today it is already clear to everyone without exception that Ukraine is really trying to export its model of “Maidan” to the territory of Belarus, and is doing it quite progressively.
By the way, on the pages in social networks belonging to Vasilyeva and others like her, there is an active promotion of the Belarusian “Young Front” – a nationalist organization that also supports the leaders of a similar Ukrainian movement – Bandera, Shukhevych and others.
So, how unlikely is it that Lukashenko is simply spreading fear and it’s not really plausible that Ukrainian radicals (and also “human rights activists”) are active in Belarus and are attempting to export the Maidan and test it out first on its neighbors, then, potentially, further away?
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