Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has made repeated calls for Vladimir Putin to intervene and save his 26-year-old regime.
Lukashenko said in a speech, ” Lithuania, Latvia Poland and our native Ukraine, their leadership are ordering us to hold new elections”, also added that, “if we follow their lead, we will go into a tailspin, we will perish as a people, as a state, as a nation.”
“Moscow stood ready to provide help in accordance with a collective military pact. It also said that Belarus was under external pressure, ” Kremlin said in a statement.
Lukashenko is facing the gravest of crisis of his career, but Putin has stopped short of offering support or an endorsement. It may be that Moscow will wait and see whether Lukashenko can survive the next week, as protests and labour strikes grow and pressure mounts on him to leave office.
Even if the Belarusian leader does limp through this crisis, Suslov said, his model of president-for-life probably will not. people around Lukashenko are reported to have already sounded out the Kremlin on fleeing to Russia if he deposed.
A professor and foreign affairs expert at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, Dmitry Suslov, said, “Now its clear that Lukashenko’s era is over and I think that is clear for everyone in Moscow, including in the Kremlin”.
Analysts told the Guardian that a Russian military intervention was very unlikely because Belarus appeared unified against Lukashenko, there was no foothold or wedge issue for Russia to exploit as in Crimea, and an armed intervention could backfire, turning a protest against Lukashenko into one against Putin too.
slov said, “There is no way for Russia to influence the internal situation in Belarus in a way that it would be peacefully resolved, that is for Lukashenko to do it himself.”
An estimated 200,000 opponents of Lukashenko flooded downtown Minsk on Sunday in a wave of red and white, the colours of the pre-Lukashenko flag. Protest against the government have focused on the excess of the Lukashenko government, in particular the torture of jailed protesters following last week’s rigged elections.
Vadim Mojeiko, of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, said , “Russia is not at all a topic of these protests”, he also added, noting that opposition candidates also avoids topics such as EU integration, ” There are protests against Lukashenko, its not pro-Russia or pro-Europe”.
The country lacks the exploitable divisions of Ukraine, and the Kremlin recognizes that there are few advocates for an intervention besides Lukashenko himself. Belarus is different in its own way.
Sceptics of a Russian intervention have also pointed to the 2018 American revolution, when the protest leader turned PM Nikol Pashiyan earned Moscow’s support by pledging to strengthen political and military ties with Moscow.
Belaru is seen as a crucial ally for the Kremlin, a country that many Russians believe shares a common culture and history, and one whose economy and military is closely intertwined with Russia’s. It also shares a direct border with Russia and three Nato states, making its trajectory a question of national security.
Putin has been surprised, perhaps no less than Lukashenko himself, about what happened, said by Gould-Davis. and they don’t know how to effectively respond to a rapidly changing and inherently unpredictable situation. no one does, but they will want to control it.