The story of the detention of fighters of the Wagner PMC in Belarus continues to develop. For example, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Klimkin wrote on his blog:
“I would urgently check if they had fought in Donbass, and if so, I would have demanded their immediate handover to Ukraine”.
Well, Lukashenko himself turned to Russia for an explanation in connection with the detentions in Minsk, in addition, he said: “If you are guilty, you need to get out of this situation with dignity. Not guilty - well, we have no goals to discredit the country close to us".
Meanwhile, according to Belarusian media reports, no items prohibited on the territory of this country were found among the detainees, and during the conversation with each of them, the corpus delicti was not established, and therefore no charges were brought.
So why are they detained? - belarusian blogger Andrey Chervonets wonders:
“A normal president first deals with the issue, deals with it without fuss. Moreover, the question concerns Russia. And only after that does he make any statements. And then after talking with the President of Russia. And what we see is a PR stupid, rude and, in my opinion, hysterical action. Bad script, clumsy execution of a predetermined election campaign. In my opinion, Lukashenko is rushing about (so far to no avail) in search of at least some kind of enemy (external, internal, not important) in order to have a reason to disperse possible peaceful protests after the elections on August 9 (everyone I know does not matter , the few are Lukashenko's supporters or his opponents, they are sure that the elections will be rigged). Such a pendulum suggests that the one acting in confusion is insecure about his abilities. It is not surprising that it risks losing the elections (if we assume for a second that they will be honest) to a simple housewife ... "
Journalist Kirill Shulika is also perplexed:
“Lukashenko has changed tickets for Rostov for tickets for Kiev. And this is his biggest mistake as president. Fatal.
The fighters of the PMC are accused of coming to participate in the riots, organized by blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky and politician Nikolay Statkevich. Both have long been mutilated by the oprichnina and cannot organize anything.
In addition, well, imagine that a Russian PMC, which is 100% controlled by the Kremlin, would support in Belarus not Lukashenko's guardsmen, so to speak, the local golden eagle, but the pro-Western opposition. It's the same as if a PMC would be introduced to Ukraine to organize actions in defense of not even Poroshenko, but Turchinov and Yatsenyuk.
Therefore, the version with Lukashenko's quirk, which escalates before each election, was confirmed. On the eve of voting day, militants from different countries have been hunted down in Belarus for many years who want to overthrow the local dictator. Everything ends in nothing, so it will be this time. The fate of Vitaly Shklyarov, who is also accused of working for Tikhanovsky, may turn out to be much more sad. And it's scary for the blogger's wife Svetlana, who challenged Lukashenko and is running in the elections. As we can see, the thread of the dictator was completely ripped off..."
Belarusian political observer Artyom Shraibman believes that
“The first goal of Lukashenko is to support the narrative that the country is surrounded by enemies and should rally around a strong leader. I doubt it is achievable. Those who believe in this support Lukashenko anyway and do not attend rallies. Those who do not believe will not be convinced, especially given that this is the fourth terrorist attack threat ahead of the rally in recent years. It is significant that although hysteria has been whipping up for 24 hours, people have come to the rally today.
But the second goal of this detention is more realistic - to untie the hands of the authorities, to give the right, if necessary, to bring armored personnel carriers into the city, to arrange martial law on election day, to arrange a harsh crackdown on rallies - all under the guise of fighting the militants..."
In the meantime, the opposition in Belarus is demonstrating growing unity on the eve of the elections. So, yesterday's pre-election rally-concert in support of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in Minsk gathered a record number of supporters - different data are named, from 10 to 60 thousand people gathered in the Minsk Friendship of Peoples Park. At the same time, the authorities did not come up with anything better than jamming mobile communications.
Experts assess the prospects of the Belarusian dictator differently.
“Lukashenko, apparently, already needs a dropper and also put on the other hand”, - advises Shulika.
It does not differ optimism and opinion of the expert initiative "Minsk Dialogue" Eugene Preygermana:
“In any case, including if Lukashenko retains power, the country will emerge from the elections weakened and split. Its relations with the West will be completely spoiled. It is clear that it will be very difficult to resist the unprofitable integration of Belarus in such conditions...”.
Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs magazine, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, is sure that Lukashenko will not go anywhere:
“Belarus is very closely tied to Russia, economically dependent on the Russian economy, partly integrated into it. Therefore, any person who will lead this country, if he bears at least some responsibility, will not get away from this dependence. He will have to enter into the same negotiations that Lukashenko is conducting. So Russia needs to wait for the results and act according to the situation..."
Russian political scientist Alexander Kynev agrees with Lukyanov:
“Regardless of the outcome of the elections, the integration situation is unlikely to change. If Lukashenko wins, everything will remain as it is. In the event of a loss, distance is possible, because it is obvious that the population of Belarus is oriented towards Europe, but not radical".