Today is a hot day in Minsk - in the literal and political sense.
After a week of silence, supporters of Alexander Lukashenko came out to Independence Square. According to our sources, Lukashenko, in a conversation with Putin, convinced him of the people's love for him. To this, Putin asked, and in what, in fact, this support and love is expressed. The dad had to gather supporters all over Belarus. As reported by Belarusian media, 52 buses with state employees left Gomel this morning (video here). Trains from Vitebsk and Brest arrived at the station in Minsk this morning, which were not on the schedule. In the schools of Vitebsk, an order was introduced - 2 people from each school. They promised money and a banquet after the meeting. It was reported that some were threatened with dismissal or deprivation of a place in the hostel if they refused. Someone went voluntarily.
Apparently, in Gomel and Baranovichi, the last followers of Alexander Lukashenko all left for the capital, because in Gomel itself today there was a mass march against falsification of elections with calls for Lukashenko to voluntarily resign from the presidency (video here)
Alexander Lukashenko announced his social contract with the country:
- You asked for a salary of $ 20, you asked not to privatize plants and factories, you asked not to take away the land from the peasants, you asked not to introduce paid medicine, education, you asked to return honor to soldiers and officers who were afraid to go out, you asked me, a completely inexperienced person, to lead the people away from the abyss. We did it.
The fact that in the 21st century the leader of a European country considers a salary of $ 20 an achievement and recalls this a quarter of a century later is striking. The same as the dialogue with the rally participants:
- Do you want freedom?
- Tell me then what!
- Do you want a change?
- Which ones? What are we going to change?
The speech of the head of Belarus left a depressing impression on observers.
- Lukashenko's speech is the speech of a doomed person. Phrases such as “Even if I die, I still will not give up Belarus, you want to ruin the president” - it says, first of all, that he admits his defeat. Therefore, it is impossible to say that this speech is inspiring. Humanly speaking, I even feel sorry for him, - says Russian political scientist, head of the Foundation for the Study of Electoral Processes Andrey Mironov.
The rally was scheduled for one o'clock in the afternoon and began one hour late. During this time, Lukashenko once again spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was to him that he dedicated part of his speech:
- Look out the window: tanks and planes take off 15 minutes from our borders. And it's not in vain! NATO troops clatter their tracks at our gates. There is a build-up of military power on the western borders of our country: Lithuania, Latvia, Poland. And, unfortunately, our native Ukraine and its leadership are ordering us to hold new elections”, - Lukashenko said from the rostrum.
Lukashenko appealed to 50,000 of his supporters. The police counted 65 thousand participants in the pro-government rally. Journalists doubted this figure as well: even if we assume that there were 4 people on every square meter, there were no more than 30 thousand at the rally. But the point is no longer about how many people came to support the president.
- From the point of view of politics, history shows us that any blood of the civilian population sweeps away any regime. There are many such cases: those who died in Vilnius, and those whose blood was spilled on the streets in Tbilisi from blows with sapper shovels, and in Tunisia, even in Moscow in 1991, there were three victims. Any blood sweeps away the regime. Sooner or later. Therefore, it is no longer worth considering Lukashenko as president”, - says Andrey Mironov, head of the Foundation for the Study of Electoral Processes.
- Lukashenko is not trying to convince anyone that he won the elections. For a week now, he has not tried to show his support in a visible form. His emissaries also do not try to prove victory in the elections - their only answer is: "we passed." The chairman of the CEC declares quite bluntly that the candidates' complaints were rejected because if they were accepted, the law would have to hold new elections, and this is unacceptable - “we will lose the country”, notes the philosopher and sociologist, professor of the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences Grigory Yudin.
Lukashenko’s rally was not impressed by Belarus. And not because Lukashenko's speech, contrary to usual practice, was not broadcast on any state channel. People have heard Lukashenko many times, and he did not tell them anything new. The country now has a completely different agenda.
The largest demonstration in the history of Belarus took place in Minsk near the stele. 220 thousand people first unfolded the 100-meter banner of the flag banned by Lukashenko. They were going to the rally in columns from all over Minsk (video here) People are chanting: "Go away!", "We believe, we can, we will win!", "Lukashenko is in a paddy wagon!" The only one left in the country from the opposition headquarters of Tikhanovskaya Maria Kolesnikova spoke at the rally (video here). "The more we disagree, the sooner change will come!" - she said. Maria addressed state media journalists, security officials, and officials: "Fight your fear, this is your last chance!"
In Borisov, the march (here) extended over the entire city.
In Brest, people gathered in front of the pre-trial detention center, where protesters are still being held, and chanting: "Let out!"
A large number of people came to the Independence Square. They did not manage to remove the fence, which had been installed for the rally in support of Alexander Lukashenko. If there are siloviki here, it is difficult to consider them due to the large number of those present, the media write. People are chanting: "Long live Belarus!", "Go away!"
Lukashenko is pushing for "foreign intervention" and has appointed the beginning of maneuvers of the Belarusian army on the western border tomorrow. The press service of the Russian president published on its website a message about the second conversation between the Russian president and Lukashenko: "The discussion of the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections was continued, including taking into account the pressure exerted on the republic from outside. The Russian side reaffirmed its readiness to provide the necessary assistance in resolving the problems that have arisen on the basis of the principles of the Treaty on the Establishment of the Union State, as well as, if necessary, through the Collective Security Treaty Organization".
Lukashenko is trying with all his might to retain power. The only support he sees is Russia. Political scientist Valery Solovey wonders why Alexander Lukashenko does not want to talk to his own people: “I think this is a political mistake from the point of view of the president’s interests. He refuses the compromise with early elections that was offered to him. In this case, the reaction of society can be very strong".
“In the next 48 hours, very difficult events will take place for Lukashenko. He still does not control anything. He believes that he will sit out all this, that Moscow will help. I don’t know how Moscow can help. The helicopter is behind the palace, the passenger is also ready. Lukashenko has nothing. lose, he can provoke NATO on the border. We are ready to help him if there is external aggression. But Lukashenko has nothing to lose. He can drag us into a fierce NATO-Russia confrontation. He will go to any provocations to keep power, "the political scientist, political scientist believes Andrey Suzdaltsev, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics.
Georgy Satarov, President of the Indem Foundation, says: “There are versions that there is an agreement on Lukashenko’s resignation. But it assumes control over the next elections. And this is unrealistic, this will not happen. If there are such plans, then they are on the same quicksand. It's not that the Kremlin is losing leverage. It's just that it is counting on the old levers that will no longer work".
There are more positive versions of the development of events. Andrey Mironov says: "Lukashenko is a played card. Whatever he says, he is no longer of interest to the Kremlin. He is only of interest from the point of view of his own security. Most likely, the Kremlin will provide him with security. As a player in elections that, in my opinion, and with a high degree of probability, will take place in the next two months, he will not play. Naturally, given the geopolitical interest, Russia will participate in these elections. I will tell you even more: it is already participating. Tikhanovskaya's victory did not go without the Kremlin. I can explain my position very simply. Who were the leaders of the opposition in Belarus? Babariko is a top manager of Gazprom, the connection with Russia is obvious. Tsepkalo - the connection with Russia is obvious even from his speeches on cooperation with Russia. Tikhanovsky is a blogger who worked for a long time in To Moscow. Then everything was very simple. To catch the dictator on narcissism. Lukashenko's reaction was anti-Russian and the first thing he did was to eliminate these three. Tsepkalo managed to escape and arrested two of them. Tsepkalo fled to Ukraine, then to Poland, and for some reason he sent his family to Moscow. Everything immediately became clear".
So far, the situation has not changed: citizens are taking to the streets and demanding Lukashenko's resignation. Lukashenko refuses to speak to the protesters and hopes for Russia. Russia supports Lukashenko in words and does nothing. How long this situation will last, no one knows.