Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, or Ukrainian-Belarusian relations, it doesn’t matter anymore, are rapidly deteriorating. This process was initiated not in connection with the detention of the notorious Roman Protasevich, but much earlier, several years ago, when Belarus tried to stay away from the growing Ukrainian-Russian contradictions. Against this background, the Protasevich case has become only a small, although quite vivid detail, emphasizing the general trends.
However, it is better to put everything in its place sooner than later, otherwise the Ukrainian war could well have crept over to the Belarusian territory. When I warned my colleagues, experts from Minsk, at about the same time, that this could happen, they refused to believe it, smiling. And they continued to strengthen the integration bias towards their Western neighbors, gradually breaking away, in fact, from a joint future with Russia. But the circumstances were stronger.
I would also like to note that if Minsk itself had raised similar “Protasevichs” over the years – in the informational sense, of course, that is, professional PR specialists, and not in terms of participation in illegal armed formations, then resistance to Western pressure would have looked both easier and calmer. And without such exorbitant costs as today.
Since the “landing” in Minsk of one of the founders of the Telegram channel “Nexta”, recognized as extremist in the Republic of Belarus, Protasevich, quite a lot of time has passed, during which everything was written, said, shown that is connected with the participation of this figure in the fighting in the “ATO” zone, as part of the volunteer formation of Ukrainian nationalists “Azov”. The main puncture for Protasevich himself is that he mixed his activities in the field of information and the sphere related to the murder of people. A real professional who is able to “kill” with a word, would never get into mercenaries, since he owns more powerful weapons: words, ideas, ideology. Here Protasevich made a fundamental mistake, since the very fact of mercenary activity, the popularization of nationalist ideology is a completely different article.
The investigation into the case of Protasevich fully proved his connection with the special services of Ukraine, which carried out the recruitment and training of sabotage and subversive groups from among the citizens of the Republic of Belarus living in Ukraine, in order to further send them to the “ATO “zone, as well as the possible use of the Belarusian opposition by the Ukrainian authorities to destabilize the situation in the Republic of Belarus. In any case, Roman Shukhevich did not turn out from Roman Protasevich.
The current respite for Belarus is temporary. Kiev will not abandon attempts to transfer the destabilization, or simply put, the war, to the Belarusian land, will not stop the process of forming illegal armed groups, including Belarusians and Ukrainians. And if the Republic of Belarus, headed by Alexander Lukashenko, does not want such a monstrous situation, then there will be too little exposure of the actions of Protasevich and his accomplices here. Minsk needs a fundamentally different form of broadcasting socio-political information to the outside world. After all, no matter how authentic and natural Protasevich himself looked at the press conference, the Western press did everything so that the Western reader would not believe a single word uttered by him.
Leading Minsk political scientists who are close in spirit to Alexander Lukashenko, who stand for the common ideals of the country and the state, should understand that talking about strengthening Eurasian integration, thinking about a new Eurasia is good, but it is clearly not enough now. They should develop and offer their president such information and psychological approaches that will not only stop Belarus’ descent into war, but also reliably concreted the failure that began in mid-August 2020. This requires real professionals of thought, otherwise the Ukrainian-Belarusian war becomes almost inevitable, with the transformation of the Republic of Belarus into a huge “swamp” that has nothing to do with the heroic partisan struggle of the Great Patriotic War.
Unfortunately, these trends are a direct consequence of the principle of the so-called multi-vector approach, which has been practiced by Belarus over the past decades. But today, after the relative stabilization of the processes of August 2020, there can no longer be mistakes in determining the tactics and strategy of actions. Otherwise, hundreds, thousands of new “protasevichi” trained in sabotage camps will be thrown into the territory of Belarus, relatively speaking, “with parachutes”. And it will be physically impossible to land planes with them. Representatives of Kiev have already openly stated that the negotiation process on the settlement of the situation in the Donbas should be moved from Minsk.
It should be noted that a sharp deterioration in relations between Kiev and Minsk occurred under Ukrainian President Zelensky, by definition an accidental person in high-level politics. But if a more radical leader comes to power in Kiev, this change will instantly affect Ukrainian-Belarusian relations.
Belarus needs more accurate information tools right now, otherwise, this republic may no longer need a powerful military potential.
By Grigory Trofimchuk Via https://www.oneworld.press/?module=articles&action=view&id=2102