Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Lukashenka’s strange illness can become for Putin as ordered – Will Kremlin change the leadership of Belarus?


Alexander Lukashenka’s illness is a turning point that could soon lead to surprising developments within Belarus and regarding the war in Ukraine.

Ilta-sanomat julkasi artikkelita venjaksy ukrainian sodan vuksi, nyt myos telegramisa. IS publishes articles in the Russian language regarding the war in Ukraine, which is now also in the Telegram channel.

Artikkelin alkupraenan edition suomaxi loyati test linkista. The original version of the article in Finnish is at this link.

Tallinn, Estonia

What is the real state of health of Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko and will he be able to continue leading his country?

The issue was also hotly debated over the weekend in Tallinn, where the annual Lennart Meri (LMC) Security Conference took place.

At the moment, it is only known for certain that Lukashenka was hospitalized, and his illness was also confirmed by a representative of the Russian Duma. All this has been made public that we are not talking about corona virus.

However, rumors about Lukashenka’s fate differ greatly.

The wildest rumors say that Lukashenka may even have been poisoned, other sources speak of heart problems, and still others claim that he underwent surgery because of prostate problems. However, according to official Belarusian sources, this is an ordinary winter.

According to Andrei Sannikov, a strong figure in the Belarusian opposition, a Ukrainian victory in the war could mean a new revolution for Belarus as well.

According to Andrei Sannikov, a strong figure in the Belarusian opposition, a Ukrainian victory in the war could mean a new revolution for Belarus as well. Kuva: Arj Paananen

Andrei Sannikov, a Belarusian opposition leader and Lukashenka’s opponent in the 2010 presidential election who is now living in exile, is certain of at least one thing:

– Lukashenka is seriously ill and has been for a long time. This can be seen simply by the way he looks now and how he looked a year ago, commented Sannikov IS.

In international circles, Sannikou is presented as Sannikov, a transliteration of his surname. He is well aware of Lukashenka’s machinations, having himself been imprisoned and tortured for criticizing the Lukashenko regime’s dishonesty and suppression of the opposition during the 2010 presidential election.

According to Sannikov, Lukashenka is considered a coronavirus denier, but his health problems may be related to the coronavirus.

He is at least aware of kidney problem and diabetes. Apart from this, there is also a problem in his joints.

According to Harry O'Hara-Aho, Alexander Lukashenko's illness caused a stir even in the Kremlin.

According to Harry O’Hara-Aho, Alexander Lukashenko’s illness caused a stir even in the Kremlin. Kuva: Arj Paananen

Whatever the cause of Lukashenka’s illness, it opens up an entirely new situation that could have radical consequences in terms of future events of the war within Belarus and in Ukraine.

Harry O’Hara-Aho, the former chief of intelligence for the defense forces and now a member of the Defense Ministry, is confident that Lukashenko’s illness has also stirred up Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration.

The Kremlin is now preparing for a situation where Lukashenka will no longer be in power. Russia will probably try to capture Belarus in some way, and this could completely change the situation in the Ukrainian war, Ohra-Aho told IS in Tallinn.

Until now, the general opinion was that Lukashenko managed to slow down Putin’s desire to use Belarusian lands in the war against Ukraine. If Lukashenka resigns from power, the situation could turn in Putin’s favor – at least if a leader more loyal to the Kremlin than Lukashenka comes to power in Belarus.

– Then Ukraine’s northern front could be under Putin’s full control, Okhra-Aho believes.

If Lukashenka dies unexpectedly, the Kremlin could use it, for example, to justify the need for Russian troops to defend Belarus from an alleged threat from the West and Ukraine. However, this would not be a risk-free move for Putin, as the Belarusian military and the Belarusian people are very reluctant to support Putin’s war effort.

— Lukashenka has so far had to consider the possibility that his own military will not obey him. What would be the reaction of the Belarusian people and soldiers if Russia tries to completely take over Belarus? Miracle ohara-aho.

British expert on Russia Keir Giles (right) does not exclude the possibility that the Kremlin would like to get rid of Alexander Lukashenko.  The picture shows Giles giving an interview to a Swedish newspaper in Tallinn over the weekend.

British expert on Russia Keir Giles (right) does not exclude the possibility that the Kremlin would like to get rid of Alexander Lukashenko. The picture shows Giles giving an interview to a Swedish newspaper in Tallinn over the weekend. Kuva: Arj Paananen

Lukashenka’s apparent unwellness at the victory parade on Red Square on 9 May immediately gave rise to rumors that he might even have been poisoned. In particular, the poisoning theory is supported by Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon.

British Russia expert Keir Giles told IS that at this stage all options should be considered as knowing the Kremlin all options are possible.

Giles said, “Russia has never before hesitated to remove obstacles in its way, so that could be an option for Lukashenka as well.”

The sudden death of 64-year-old Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei last November is still fresh in the memory. The official cause of death was a heart attack, but persistent rumors claim that Mecki may actually have been poisoned by the FSB.

Mecki reportedly held secret talks with the West on how to prevent Belarus from falling under full Russian control, which is why Russia allegedly sidelined him. Others claim that the moderate Mecki allegedly committed suicide.

Sannikov says that from Russia’s point of view, it is not clear how to act towards Belarus.

If and when Ukraine launches a major offensive against Russian troops, Russia may benefit from being as stable as possible with respect to Belarus. On the other hand, a sudden change of power in Belarus would be a new twist and blow for the West – and perhaps give the Kremlin an opportunity to turn the entire war game in Ukraine to its advantage.

Russia will certainly try to intervene in some way or the other. Sannikov said that there are leaders in Belarus who are more loyal to the Kremlin than Lukashenka and one of them is the current Security Council Secretary Alexander Valfovich.

– On the other hand, the upcoming major invasion by Ukraine may be the very factor that will not allow Russia to do anything radical in Belarus. Putin knows that the people and the army of Belarus are against the war, so he has to be careful in his actions.

According to Sannikov, the Belarusian opposition is also closely monitoring Lukashenka’s health and the chain reaction that could lead to his departure. If Lukashenka were to resign or die, the opposition’s scope for activity would still be limited, with most of its leaders either in prison or in exile.

– In any case, some dynamics can be traced in relation to this (disease). And if Ukraine had successfully avoided the war, it would certainly have led to a new revolution in Belarus, Sannikov said.

The Kremlin has long-term plans for Belarus, which include further expansion of Moscow’s influence, even if Moscow does not seek to completely annex the country.

More information about the Kremlin’s plans was recently leaked. According to the documents, Russia plans to take full control of Belarus by 2030.

Translation of the article into Russian by Eliza Ivonne, proofreading of the translation by Arja Paananen. Artist Eliza Ivonen, Kanoxen Tarkistanat Arja Paananen.

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