Continued Protests in Belarus – week 9

Photo: AP.
This is from Monday, Oct. 12, 2020.

Another week of protests in Belarus. Things are starting to take a more serious and darker turn. The EU has imposed sanctions directly on Lukashenko, Russia has put the Belarussian opposition leader (Svetlana Tikhanovskaya) on their wanted list, based upon charges against her by Belarus. She is currently residing in Lithuania, an EU and NATO member. Belarus is now threatening to use deadly force against the protestors and on Sunday detained/arrested over 700, which is more than they have done in the previous weeks. It appears that they are starting to get more heavy handed. I gather yesterday at least three Molotov cocktails were thrown by protestors. There were tens of thousands on the street Sunday and Monday (see picture above). The pensioners (older retired people) came out in force on Monday to protest. Some were tear gassed.

This is still not making a lot of the American news channels, which I think is pretty damn embarrassing.

The danger is that as Lukashenko ramps up the pressure on the protests, it is going to invigorate the protesters (which is what happened early in the protests, and why he backed off). This could get worse.

Meantime, the developments in the rest of the FSU (Former Soviet Union) include:

  1. Continued protests in the Siberian city of Khabarovsk (pop. 618,150). They have a strong anti-Putin sentiment and have been going on for three months.
  2. There has been a shaky cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. We shall see how long this holds.
  3. Continued protests and governmental disruption in Kyrgyzstan going into the second week..
  4. Oh yea, and they don’t really have the Coronavirus under control, even with their Sputnik V vaccine (which is not approved for widespread use until 1 January 2021). They are reporting 13K cases for each of the last two days, the highest daily figures they have ever recorded (if you believe the reporting) and are now recording the fourth highest number of cases in the world (only exceeded by the U.S., India and Brazil).

Things remain interesting in the FSU.

 

P.S. It turns out that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya issued out a statement this morning. It says in part:

“The regime has 13 days to fulfill three prerequisites:

  1. Lukashenko must announce his resignation.

  2. Street violence must stop completely.

  3. All political prisoners must be released.

If our demands are not met by October 25, the whole country will peacefully take to the streets with the People’s Ultimatum. And on October 26, a national strike of all enterprises will begin, all roads will be blocked, sales in state stores will collapse.”

Translation cribbed from retweet from twitter account @XSovietNews

It looks like this will be coming to a head in the next two weeks.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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