Price of hosting Wagner is instability for Lukashenko’s Belarus

So the dictator delivered a blunt reality.

“I said, ‘you know what, you can do what you like. But don’t be upset with me. Our brigade is ready to be deployed to Moscow. And like in 1941 (you read books, you’re an educated, wise man), we will defend Moscow.’”

“Because this situation is not only in Russia. And it’s not only because it is our Fatherland. But because if, God forbid, this turmoil goes all over Russia (and the prerequisites for this were colossal), we’ll be next.”

Whether Lukashenko would actually have despatched the troops that preserve him in energy to die in a Russian civil warfare – in the event that they’d even conform to go – is one other query. But he is principally proper: chaos in Moscow might finally spell hassle in Minsk.

There is another excuse Lukashenko ought to be nervous.

Wagner’s mutiny has proven how a gaggle of decided, armed males can pose a a lot better menace to dictators who’ve successfully crushed peaceable protests.

Lessons for Belarus opposition

It is a lesson some Belarusian opposition activists will likely be greater than prepared to notice.

“We have a reserve in Belarus – military and civilians who are prepared to liberate Belarus from occupation,” the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment, a Belarusian volunteer unit preventing for Ukraine, mentioned in a press release because the mutiny unfolded on Saturday. “Soldiers, reservists, Belarusians, wait for our signal.”

Ms Tsikhanouska issued an analogous enchantment to the Belarusian military “to throw the Russian military out of our country”.

The overthrow of Lukashenko could not occur tomorrow. But the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment has anyplace between a number of hundred and some thousand males within the subject. Over the previous 16 months they’ve acquired severe fight expertise.

If Wagner can march up the M4 to Moscow, the Kalinouski lads can simply march up the M1 to Gomel. It’s just a few hours drive from there to Minsk.

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