The message to the parliament and the people of his country, which President Alexander Lukashenko addressed last Tuesday, did not leave indifferent experts either in Belarus itself or in Russia.
“Is it possible that Lukashenko threw us to the bottom deeper than the 90s, and the deputies, other representatives of Belarusians are in convulsive fear, afraid to tell the truth and identify themselves as people? It seemed that until the very end of the speech, the audience wondered: (y) whether the orator would fall from the podium. The numbness in the hall was interrupted only after the end of the message, when Lukashenko was leaving the podium (the TV cameras did not show the steps of the departing person), and those present burst into applause, as in the DPRK. Those assembled according to a strict order clapped for a long time, but everyone had gloomy, unhappy faces...”, - writes the Belarusian journalist Igor Rynkevich.
Political analyst Aleksey Makarkin believes that Lukashenko's message is an election document addressed to a vacillating voter:
“Such a voter wants change, but is even more afraid of chaos. Lukashenko portrays Belarus as an island of stability in a turbulent world, showing an impressive picture of general turmoil. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Belarusian cities, protesting against the authoritarian regime - but hundreds of thousands are sitting at home, watching TV, surfing the Internet and have not yet made a final decision on how they will vote. And the usual resentment against the new generation, with whom it is not possible to establish a common language, despite all the good deeds (here Lukashenko is a bit like Comrade Dynin from "Welcome, or No Unauthorized Entry", who ran into children eager to swim freely in the river). And, of course, playing on fears of the "dashing nineties" and crime and opposing them to a strong vertical - in this respect Lukashenko is not original, similar formulations have already become familiar to Russian television.
But despite similar motives in rhetoric, Lukashenko is increasingly moving away from Russia - not only in political practice, but also publicly. Of course, she is the closest ally, but, according to Lukashenko, Russia has turned from a friend into a partner. Moreover, the Belarusian president considers both China and the United States to be partners - that is, the closest ally no longer has exclusivity, and the words about alliance look more and more on duty. Moreover, he estimated the losses from the "oil showdown" with Russia at 1.5 billion Belarusian rubles (about 45.4 billion rubles). The leaders of digitalization are the United States and China, we need to cooperate with them (Lukashenko "forgot" about Russian digitalization)... Thanks for the help in the production of masks - also to China.
But at the same time, a significant part of the message is an extremely tough, albeit impersonal (in the style of Lukashenko) polemics with the Russian leadership in connection with the Wagnerites, including the story about the second redeployed detachment, which the Belarusian president also promises to catch. And the key point about the arrested Wagnerites is “they told everything”. Lukashenka makes it clear that he has compromising evidence that he can use if the conflict continues. And almost openly about the connection of the Belarusian opposition with Moscow - although it is very difficult to imagine Nikolai Statkevich as a Russian agent, this is something surreal.
And at the same time with the message - the training camp, the actual urgent mobilization for 25 days. The stakes have been raised to an unprecedented high - and the way back to cool Russian-Belarusian relations, masked by inertial confessions of friendship and brotherhood, is no longer in sight..."
After listening to Lukashenko's speech, journalist Vasily Alenin was very skeptical about the future prospects of Russian-Belarusian relations:
“Russia’s family is getting smaller. First, because of South Ossetia, they finally fell out with Georgia, then because of the Crimea they lost their Ukrainian brothers. Now, because of the Russian “tourists” in camouflage stuck in Minsk, who actually flew to admire the Hagia Sophia in the status of a mosque, they are Belarusian.
Russia "has changed fraternal relations with us for partnerships - in vain", - Lukashenko said and added that Moscow "has no truly close allies left".
Well, how is it? It is not for nothing that Putin likes to quote Alexander III that Russia has only two loyal allies - the army and the navy.
Lukashenko told the city and the world about the results of voting in the elections on August 9: “I will tell you today for the whole world. We, the authorities, and I, first of all, as the current president, will accept any of your decisions".
For those who seriously believe that Sasha 3% will put up with the victory of another candidate, for example, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is gathering thousands of rallies, we advise you to recall the famous Ford phrase: "The color of a car can be any provided that it is black".
It seems to us that by "any decision" the "last dictator of Europe" running for the 6th time meant himself and only himself".
Network analyst Anatoly Nesmiyan took his skepticism even further, quoting these words of Lukashenko:
“Belarusian fighters are flying along the border with Russia, heavy equipment is being pulled up, a call for military training has been announced. Tell me, is it really a union state for them?"
Yesterday's speech by Lukashenko and the concentration of troops near the Belarusian-Russian border is a continuation of the story with the detained private military.
It should be noted that relations between the two regimes have sharply deteriorated. Naturally, the aggravation was caused by the elections on August 9, but how many real threats it contains, how many ballet and theater to the public, is still difficult to understand.
The fact that for both regimes now an external threat is an excellent reason to distract the population from internal problems, and there is nothing to think about. If only because both permanent presidents cannot offer anything intelligible.
Lukashenko, like Putin, could not clearly say why he desperately needs to go for a new term.
Actually, this is just understandable - in dictatorships, power is given only along with life, and no other explanation is needed. Any dictatorship is built on an inseparable, literally complementary, power-property pair. Property is acquired exclusively with the help of power and is retained by power. Lost one - they will take away the second. And if we consider that a dictator is a representative of an entire clan or even a conglomerate of clans, then power is a guarantee of the safety of the property of a very significant part of people and structures.
It is clear that this state of affairs cannot last long. More precisely, maybe, but for this it is necessary to plunge the country and society into savagery, the Middle Ages and archaism. Return to the class principle, which itself sanctifies the current state of affairs.
But the degradation of the country in the modern world is a double-edged thing. Solving the selfish tasks of the ruling stratum, it also makes it extremely vulnerable to a huge number of challenges.
But so far all this is extremely abstract and far from it. The complete absence of a strategy is the calling card of the dictatorship. What can be a strategy if the planning horizon is tonight. We lived - it's already good, we will plan for tomorrow. That is why both dictators - Putin and Lukashenko - are solving immediate problems.
Today Lukashenko has only one task - to fix the "victory" in the elections and keep the result. Which will be extremely difficult.
Both Putin and Lukashenko are already frankly hot underfoot. Their legitimacy is not only low, but also declining, and they do not understand how to stop the dynamics of the decline. The usual methods - distribution of handouts - no longer work in a crisis and a severe shortage of resources. No reforms in the dictatorship are possible. Dictatorship is a kind of ideal. Perfect abomination, but perfect. That is, she simply has nowhere to develop further.
Since the ground under your feet is on fire, it means that the social temperature must be reduced. For such regimes, there are not so many recipes for reducing this temperature - either terror or war. Civil or with an external enemy - no difference. It allows solving a number of tasks, although, like any war, it carries significant risks.
The risks of not losing (this is of little concern to the dictator - for example, in Syria, Putin lost miserably back in 15, but they forgot to tell the Russian population about it) - the risks of losing control.
War is always a social lift, and those who bury the dictator, hoping to take his place, can break through to the top. And it is very difficult to control this process.
Terror is the same story. The performers have to untie their hands, and they themselves begin to press the buttons in this elevator. No approval from senior management. The threat is serious, and therefore is perceived by dictators especially sharply.
Most likely, the sum of all these considerations will lead to the fact that all threats from both sides will remain threats. Although at a much higher level than before. And more risky, since moving the military along the border is already quite serious business. Even if it's just a show..."
Experts from the Kremlin washerwoman telegram channel, however, urge not to dramatize the situation, revealing, in their opinion, Lukashenko's true intentions:
“Regarding the numerous reports about Lukashenko’s speech, let us calmly recall that such behavior of the Belarusian leader is quite typical for him, and similar escapades were noticed for him before. If we ignore the emotions of the commentators, then it is clear that in the bottom line of Alexander Grigorievich's speech, only two messages will remain.
It is the desire to get more oil at a higher discount and the intention to severely punish any opposition that wants to break what he has built. Earlier, as an argument for bargaining with Moscow, Lukashenko used the intention to turn his gaze to other countries as a threat. These statements in the public space should be treated in the same way as his previously voiced desire to buy oil from Venezuela, and not from Russia.
The call for military training takes place throughout the territory of Belarus and is timed to coincide with the end of the voting for the presidential elections. This is regarded as an unambiguous sign to those wishing to organize riots after the vote.
Regarding Lukashenko's statement that the final destination of the detained Russians was Belarus, we ironically note that these people are not mercenaries at all, but an ordinary private VOKHR and weapons should be given to them by the employer. It turns out that the authorities of the Republic of Belarus themselves had to arm them".
Experts from another telegram channel, Boilernaya, are confident that the Belarusian leader is taking a great risk by making statements hostile to Russia:
“The general consensus was that Lukashenko would crush the protest and survive the elections, and then everything would somehow be forgotten. But after the speech of the President of Belarus, many had doubts about it. The President looked very sickly, was in an extreme degree of agitation and was clearly close to a nervous breakdown.
All the generals saw today Lukashenko’s hysteria and inadequacy. All the officers who must issue orders to arrest and disperse Belarusians. The performance was seen by all the soldiers and ordinary cops who must wave clubs at their fellow countrymen for the obviously inadequate president whom everyone hates. But it may happen that you have to shoot. For whom, and for what?
In his speech, Luke greatly fawned at the officials. He said in an apologetic tone that despite the criticism of the state apparatus, most of the employees are hard-working and honest people. For many years, Lukashenko gained his rating at the expense of officials and heads of state enterprises, about whom he often wiped his feet publicly for negligence. Now the president felt that in a period of political crisis, a response could come from those very officials - they could simply drain it in favor of the insurgent people.
It got to the point that Luke said that the president has too much authority, and it is impossible to bring a new person to this place, because he can do anything with the country. It sounded unconvincing. According to the majority of Belarusians, Alexander Grigorievich has already done the worst thing with the country.
Lukashenko also committed another reckless act - an unambiguous attack on Russian officials. Luka said that Belarusian civil servants do not have such luxury as their colleagues from neighboring countries. By making such harsh statements, he runs the risk of being in Navalny's new video. In Russia, officials, to put it mildly, consider Lukashenko a blackmailer.
Owning a business empire the size of an entire country, one of the largest money laundering workshops in Europe, Lukashenko shouldn't have looked for a speck in someone else's eye..."
And journalist Kirill Shulika is not at all sure that Lukashenko will last long in power:
“In fact, any autocrat (he cannot call Lukashenko a dictator, especially if we remember that Pinochet was a dictator, for example) gives up very sharply and does not notice it himself. In a sense, he can pass both physically and politically, and maybe at the same time.
Look how sorry Lukashenko looks. They didn’t show him going up to the podium, going down, the audience clapped to the empty stage, everyone heard that he couldn’t pronounce half of the letters of the alphabet, he was sweating. Literally looks like a hunted beast.
But he could have left. Moreover, to leave in a civilized manner and literally today. But Babariko and Tsepkalo didn’t let this into the elections, with whom it was possible to negotiate a state residence and a nurse, that is, a quiet old age, and that the sons who had stolen Belarus should not be pinched too much. I have no doubt that both potential candidates are quite negotiable in this regard. However, now Lukashenko is left alone with the square and has no one to negotiate with.
And, of course, he will cling to power with his teeth, raise any bayonets, arrest any Russians, even agree with the devil. Because otherwise the Timisoara-89 festival awaits him. Therefore, of course, he will accelerate and crush. But this does not guarantee him a calm old age, but rather the opposite. He will be dependent on the security officials, who will certainly take advantage of even the leader's temporary weakness.
Lukashenko missed the last chance to transfer power in a civilized manner a couple of months ago, when he refused to register the moderate Babariko and Tsepkalo. Now or "Timisoara-89", or a dungeon, or a snuffbox. Not necessarily right now, but time will play against the defeated autocrat. Maybe from the realization of this mistake two months ago, his kondrashka was enough..."