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Lukashenko and Putin are meeting today in Sochi to hammer whatever it is they are going to hammer out.

I assume that the Kremlin denial that the talks will focus on “mergers” is an obfuscation. There were two valid approaches to Lukashenko’s recent problems in Belarus:

  • Non-interference based on sanctity of the (Soviet) state borders, i.e. the international law principle.
  • Reunification into common national home, i.e. the national self-determination principle.

But any return to the status quo at this point would just imply that the kremlins see Lukashenko, even despite all his slights towards them, as a fellow feudal potentate, whose common caste interests trump both Belarusian democratic aspirations and All-Russian national aspirations. This is especially relevant, since one of the critical factors why the “Minsk Maidan” failed* was – apart from Lukashenko’s decisiveness – the implied threat by Putin to send in the “reserve OMON” in case things got too hot for Luka.

There are 30% of Belorussians who support Lukashenko (mostly but not all pro-Russian, and another 15% who are hardcore anti-Russian zmagars (most but far from all of whom are anti-Lukashenko). In between, constituting at least half the population, there is an overlap between anti-Luka but pro-Russian Belorussians. After effectively bailing Luka out, leaving those people would be a betrayal, basically cartoon level villainy, and would surely ensure that the next color revolution attempt will carry a much heavier Russophobic tilt than the current one. And it would also not be undeserved – the weak deserve to get NATO brigades at their borders.

But while it’s a bad idea to counting chickens before they hatch, there are some modest reasons to be optimistic that Moscow doesn’t intend to go on this ruinous path:

* On September 1, in one of his typical volte faces between stroking and triggering Russian nationalists, Lukashenko began speaking of a “common Fatherland” that stretches from “Brest to Vladivostok.”

* More concretely, he also replaced the head of KGB Valery Vakulchik, a soft zmagarist who had a history of quietly torpedoing cooperation with Russian intelligence, with Ivan Tertel, with is said to have a more pro-Russian outlook.

* PM Mishustin was in Minsk on September 3 along with much of the Russian government. There is scant information on concrete agreements, but plenty of rhetoric about accelerating integration within the framework of the Union State. There was one slightly cringy scene in which Luka “reported” the interception of Polish-German communications which purported to show that the latter had falsified Navalny’s poisoning claims. Mishustin seemed to struggle to keep a calm face.

* There has been a collapse in relations between Belarus and the more Polonic-tilted “Intermarium” countries. In the most radical step, Lithuania has recognized Tikhanovskaya as the legitimate President of Belarus. (This would presumably imply that it will not recognize any subsequent change in political status with respect to Belarus and Russia). Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia have all been especially energetic about pressing for EU sanctions. Poland has also started enticing Belorussian IT companies to move to Poland (presumably in a bid to drain it of human capital).

* Perhaps most amusingly, Kiev has put Lukashenko Karaev on its “Peacekeeper list” on September 4, labeling them as enemies of Ukraine and barring him entry. Its Foreign Minister Kuleba has threatened Minsk with “severe sanctions.” The formal cause of this is Belarus handing over the detained Wagnerites who were Russian citizens to Russia, as opposed to extraditing them to the Ukraine to face charges. The Ukrainians are clearly not happy with the failure of their intelligence operation, jointly organized with the Americans, which it is now clear was an attempt to drive a wedge between Minsk and Moscow the on the eve of the color revolution attempt.

* Russian Ambassador in Minsk presented Lukashenko with a historical atlas with a map of Vitebsk, Grodno, Minsk, Mogilev provinces in 1866, portraying them as a confirmation of historicism and legality of modern borders. Luka’s reaction was like that crying Wojak behind a smiling mask meme.

On a separate note, it has been observed that pretty much all of the high-profile zmagarist activist journalists on Anglophone Twitter – Franak Viačorka, Tadeusz Giczan, Vlad Davidzon – have been snapped up by the Atlantic Council, NATO’s propaganda army funded by the US State Department and military contractors like Raytheon & Lockheed Martin, over the past month or so.

***

* It is, I think, completely safe to say that the color revolution failed, given that the protests have continued dwindling, and are now increasingly dominated by marginal zmagarists and various Bioleninist trash from Russia. I guess my “hardcore delusion” (as “Concerned citizen” called it) has panned out.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Belarus, Color Revolution, Russia 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. JL says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me there’s a bit of a conundrum here. Lukashenko wants to retain power and the only way he can do it is by surrendering sovereignty to Russia. Russia wants to integrate Belarus, but the only way it can do so effectively is by getting rid of Lukashenko.

  3. @JL

    Makes you wonder why Putler doesn’t just have Lukashenko novichoked.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  4. Mitleser says:
    @JL

    The right answer would be a transition of power to a successor who is chosen by Lukashenko and the Kremlin, though it would not surprise me that the former still not get it.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  5. @JL

    I don’t think it’s that difficult a problem to solve.

    Russia can make it clear to Luka that these are his last few years in power, during which integration will happen gradually under the union state, but afterward he will be protected from any retribution. I’m pretty sure Luka even said in a speech during the protests that this would be his last term. I would be surprised if he sees it through to the end.

    • Replies: @JL
  6. @Mitleser

    The problem is that credible guarantees of security and wealth might not be sufficient for Lukashenko, since retirement will inevitably entail a loss in status. Putin at least is likely to retire into the role of elder statesman. Lukashenko as senior representative of the Association of Tractor Factories of the Union State lacks a certain gravitas.

  7. JL says:
    @AltSerrice

    I’m not sure a few years is fast enough for Russia to solidify support among the populace. Additionally, besides the question of Luka agreeing to this at all, there’s the risk that he will equivocate, as he has done before, and start courting the West again (who will be more than happy to play along).

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
  8. @JL

    I think it will be considerably more difficult for Luka to try to play ball with the West again after the sanctions and condemnations. The West also demonstrated that it is an unreliable partner given how quickly it turned on Luka — I would be surprised if he was inclined to work with them again, even if they extended a hand.

    • Replies: @JL
  9. Lukashenko can follow what Kazakhstan and Russia have done – create a role for himself on the security council. This can be done via constitutional reform.

    This new role gives him lifetime immunity and some say over future policy and respect as the father of modern day Belarus.

    Constitutional reform must

    – define role and term limits for the president
    – safeguard the Belarus social guarantees
    – cements the union state as part of the constitution

    What ever is going on now in Belarus – the streets are not the place to make policy. I look at who is protesting and they are the same type of young fools jumping on the maidan – who ended up washing toilets in Poland.

    All the people need to engage in what they want in their constitution- and this can be done via a big campaign that shifts the subject away from the fools on the streets and includes those at home who are not on the streets.

    The opposition is Demonstrating once a week
    This is not going to bring change anywhere – it just provides photos for their patrons in the west so they can scream about the dictator

    The west forgets we can see what is happening in France with a yellow vest what has been happening in the USA for three months now

  10. JL says:
    @AltSerrice

    What sanctions? Polish+Baltic barking aside, the West has been incredibly soft on Luka since the elections, wisely keeping the door open to various outcomes. Just like Russia, they have to tread carefully. I’m not sure Luka ever saw either the West or Russia as reliable partners, for him they are merely useful resources. Remember, at the start of the demonstrations, he tried to blame them on Russian interference in a desperate attempt to appeal to their pro-Western elements. His strategy of playing the two against each other hasn’t changed, it’s just become more frantic.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  11. songbird says:

    How to solve the thorny problem of succession?

    Would Luka be satisfied with 10% of his DNA inserted into a 90% Putin clone?

    Or do we have to resort to using the blacks of Ukraine as surrogate mothers for sets of triplets made from the eggs of Putin’s daughters fertilized by Luka’s sons?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  12. Ludwig says:

    About the color revolution having failed: I think it’s too early to say. One thing is that given the US Elections, the main driver of such policies is distracted and the Europeans won’t follow orders unless there is a clear voice from Washington. Certainly post-election a Biden administration will come down hard to push for one with Europeans only too eager to please someone who is not Trump. A second Trump term may also lead to a renewed push from the neocons.

    The difficult for Russia still remains that:

    1. A majority of Belarussians want Lukashenko out.

    2. Lukashenko will not move out under his own accord.

    3. He has a proven two-face record with Russia and cannot be trusted.

    4. The most popular opposition seems pro-West at the least even if not yet overtly anti-Russian.

    5. By recognizing the fraudulent elections and supporting Lukashenko, the Kremlin can only antagonize the Belarussians voters more.

    6. At the moment there seems to be no viable pro-Russian popular politician that Russia can work with.

    Meanwhile, the West has in its cards:

    1. Ability to impose painful sanctions.

    2. Politicians who are – for the moment anyway – popular in Belarus who are essentially working for them.

    3. Information war advantage.

    4. And finally the moral high ground – at least relatively speaking – in this case.

    Russia may have bought itself some time – and the US elections may have helped in this regard – but it still needs a long term active strategy rather than a passive one of hoping the status quo persists and things works themselves out in their favor.

    • Replies: @justiana
    , @Levtraro
  13. @songbird

    Alexander’s funeral games.

    • LOL: songbird
  14. Betabux Putin keeps throwing money at Belarus. These loans will never be repaid.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  15. I don’t know what Putin’s plans are, so this is my personal opinion.

    1. Putin should force greater cooperation and economic integration, but he should not aim for unification. First, a lot of Russians (40-60%, depending who you ask) do not want unification with Belarus, as it is clear that Russia will have to pay (Belarus economy survived only due to Russian financial injections, and integration would be costly for Russia). Second, it’s better to have two votes in international forums than one. Third, absorption of Belarus would give fuel to various Russophobs. So far, their propaganda had to rely mostly on lies, but if Russia absorbs Belarus, they would have one solid true fact to base their propaganda on.

    2. Luka managed something remarkable: his stupid rhetoric made many Russians look at Belarus unfavorably. Luka should be replaced with someone more palatable to Russian and Belarus people as soon as the protests (genuine and globohomo-inspired) quiet down.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @Levtraro
    , @Gerard-Mandela
  16. @The Big Red Scary

    Makes you wonder why Putler doesn’t just have Lukashenko novichoked.

    Maybe for the simple reason that nobody has died of Novichok yet?

    • LOL: Lars Porsena
  17. @AnonFromTN

    A joke isn’t funny once you explain it.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  18. @AnonFromTN

    It’s like the coronavirus of bioweapons.

    Wait, corona is a bioweapon too.

    Fire the bioweapon scientists. These people are incompetent.

    • Agree: anonymous coward
  19. @The Big Red Scary

    A joke isn’t funny once you explain it.

    You are right. Here is a new joke: Russian commenters suggest calling export version of Russian anti-covid vaccine “Novichok”.

  20. @AnonFromTN

    Yes, except the Russian anti-covid vaccine seems to work…

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  21. @The Big Red Scary

    Yes, except the Russian anti-covid vaccine seems to work…

    You mean, in sharp contrast to alleged Novichok?

  22. justiana says:
    @Ludwig

    Russia invested in Belarus around 100 billion dollars in 25 years via economy subsidies, loans etc. West have invested via NGO around 0.5 billion dollars. Mostly for building civic society, human rights, media, watch dogs, promotion of Belarus language etc. West and Russia have similar standing in present Belarus. Russian policy is total failure. Even if Russia win, it will win country which will suck money ad infinum.

    • Agree: Ano4
  23. The distinguishing thing about Belarussian character, I have been told, as compared with say Russian or Little Russian character, is their desire for without-danger. Like all the “Russia is crazy” videos of teenagers doing insane stunts are form Russia or the Ukraine right? Belarus is the “Sweden” of the Soviet world, stability is prized. Maybe in retrospect we can say that when Uncle Sasha brought out the AK-74 and put on the overalls he sent a message to the protestors that they’d have to get their hands dirty, and being Belarussians, they decided it was better to be cautious. Maybe in the move danger-loving Ukraine or Russia this would only have emboldened the rabble.

    Belarussians want security and stability. The RF can give them this much better than Luka or the west.

  24. Levtraro says:
    @Ludwig

    1. A majority of Belarussians want Lukashenko out.

    How do you know this?

  25. Levtraro says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Firstly, the Russians I know are in favour for historical reasons (I don’t know about any serious polling for your percentages but I could be informed if you quote your sources). Secondly, cost considerations are important but they are not the main factor in the matter of creating a larger nation or preserving your culture, language, and race. Thirdly, the loss of one vote in the general assembly of the UN is not really a good reason. Important decisions are taken in the Security Council. Fourthly, people with phobias don’t need true events to feed their hatred.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  26. @Levtraro

    If you can read Russian, here is the link for ~40%
    https://www.ritmeurasia.org/news–2020-09-13–rossijane-vyskazalis-ob-obedinenii-rossii-i-belarusi-50874
    Mind you, the numbers for unification were a lot higher even 5 years ago. Russians learned the lesson of Ukraine: “no good deed ever goes unpunished”.

    • Agree: Ano4
  27. Aedib says:

    The Western propaganda bullhorns are on “hysteria-mode” about the hypothetical Union-State. Ironically Putin and Luka didn’t talk (openly) about this issue. Probably there were some discussions behind the doors but they are using the phantom of Soviet Mordor to scare the Western populace about “the Russian(s) threat”.

    An example

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/14/alexander-lukashenko-vladimir-putin-sochi-belarus-russia

  28. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Maybe they will be repaid with future loans. 😉

  29. This is the Orange Revolution of 2004. Spontaneous, seekng the end of sovietism. Russia took a side, the outnumbered one and enhanced the polarization. So the big battalions moved away from Russia. The continuity ellite did not respond adequately. The Russian stooge couldn’t even get support. from Russia. We are heading for a replay. The only smart thing to do for Russia was acknowledge the election was polluted beyond redemption and live with the democratic result whatever that finally turned out to be. Inside of which, the shadow of the OMON was used. Stupidity on steroids. Win the battle that didn’t have to be fought, lose the war.

    • Disagree: Daniel Chieh
    • LOL: maz10
  30. @AnonFromTN

    BTW, did you see any of Lukashenko’s interview with Russian journalists last week?

    It was quite amusing when they asked what mistakes he had made . His body language suggested he was about to do an honest, analytical , even objective answer………..then he opened his mouth! Basically he said he was a victim of his own success and that the main problem for him was being too good.

    He was clever in that he classified these events not as a typical colour revolution, but identical to those in Moscow in 2011/12 i.e relatively newly created young middle class created by the authorities being ungrateful and self-centred pricks. He focused particularly on those in the successful IT industry as effectively his creation and success….and that they were leading a “bourgeois” group of people protesting who wouldn’t exist if not for him or the authorities.

    He’s not entirely wrong , but it did make him appear even more power-mad, although not a lunatic.

    On integration he was his usual subversive bastard/clown act. To me he was making it superficially sound like he was advocating increased integration, but the actual content of his words were not arguing that at all – except more of the same (economic parasitism and no real integration on the policies promoted by Russia.

    On the positive side he was right to mention that Belarus’s economic performance for this year has been better than most because they did not close the economy down…..and that the health policy on coronavirus has been relatively successful ( opposition not exactly harming his claims on that with the protests)

  31. Beckow says:
    @Philip Owen

    …Win the battle that didn’t have to be fought, lose the war.

    Belarus is not the war. Belarus is one of the escalation paths to a possible war – opening it up would make a war more likely.

    And about the ‘stooges‘, aren’t they all? Isn’t Zelensky a stooge, or the Lithuanian leader? When you start with the selective sloganeering you lose credibilty.

  32. Exile says:

    I’ll happy concede the loss of my wager that Luka was on his way out due to waffling on constitutional reforms, etc… For the short term I’d rather have him than another Rainbow Revo gay government led from D.C. and Jerusalem.

    But moving forward I hope there is some plan by more responsible operators such as Putler to replace Shank with someone more capable of functioning in modern politics. That bit about interception of info on Navalny is Soviet-era Bulgarian State Security-tier. Oafish and even more obvious than the recent NATO gay-ops.

    Luka’s past his sell-by date but let’s get him out on pro-Russian (and therefore pro-Belarussian) terms and on a schedule the partners select rather than NATO.

    • Agree: Ano4, AnonFromTN
  33. utu says:
    @Philip Owen

    “Win the battle that didn’t have to be fought, lose the war.” – The longer Lukashenko stays in in power by depending on brutal repressions and more and more on Putin the population of Belarus will develop stronger anti-Putin and anti-Russian sentiments. If Putin wants to keep Belarus in his sphere he must orchestrate Lukachenko removal asap by replacing him with some figure, I am sure FSB has many figures in their deck of Belarusina cards, who could meet Belarusians half-way. I am afraid that the genie is out of the bottle and Belarusians will not be satisfied with half measures and they will only get more radical.

    And the West should keep putting pressure on Russia. While prying off Belarus from Russia is not as important as prying off Taiwan from China still it would be geopolitically good outcome for the West.

  34. @Philip Owen

    …seeking the end of sovietism.

    Sovietism ended 30 years ago, bro. Are you writing from a Nigerian jail? I can send you some newspapers to get you up to date if you want.

  35. Ano4 says:
    @utu

    it would be geopolitically good outcome for the West.

    Why?

  36. @utu

    Errr… no. Belarus’s economy and health system has or will perform better than most European countries this year after the coronavirus problems, so he deserves to stay.
    What he needs to do is cut out the sh*t where it looks like he is only half-joking when giving the impression that his son may become President one day. Any impression of inherited dictatorship is disgraceful

    Baltic, Polish, western scum have involved themselves in this situation unnecessarily so it is not like the Armenian or Kyrgyz revolutions which had zero geopolitical interest and Russia and everyone could relax and wait for what occurs. If scenario was like it was for those countries then he should probably go…. but as its not, it becomes important he stays.

    Anyway he is correct, this is not like a normal colour revolution but very similar to the “bourgeois” liberast scum protesting in Russia in 2011/12 – they deserve to be shot and beaten up.

    Putin should make clear that he won’t have any communication with the opposition in Belarus until they start doing the same type of OTT, sucking-off praising of Russia that most of the main US politicians have had to do to Israel every year at some business meeting or conference (like AIPAC) so that they can make any progress in their political career.
    These clowns never say anything positive about Russia, when there is a million things they could – only staying at position that Russia is brotherly nation and must keep business links with them….. as if describing a painful medical surgery that is required

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  37. Does any western country want to pay for Belarus? At this point Germany is the only country out of the five largest western European economies (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain) that has a sustainable economy. The others are running consistent high budget deficits with large trade deficits (except Italy which actually has positive trade balance). Look at the debt forecasts for 2020 and compare to the 2007 numbers. UK from 40% to 105%, France from 65% to 120%, Spain from 40% to 125%.

    Historically at least France and UK used to look decent but it’s just Germany now. UK imports 45% than it exports. France imports 20% more than it exports. How long can these countries live above their means with borrowed money?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  38. @Gerard.Gerard

    Why do you care what they say, more so than what they do?

    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  39. @Shortsword

    At this point Germany is the only country out of the five largest western European economies (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain) that has a sustainable economy.

    If the Empire manages to block Nord Stream 2, Germany is going to join the club of unsustainable economies. RIP Europe. I think it was the purpose of the imperial elites all along.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  40. @Daniel Chieh

    Your summary of my position is incorrect.

    However, in a world of freakshow western apparatus lying about modern Russia, Putin and Russian history intensively (which directly affects foreign investment – so making the words important and an action itself) you have elites,general population and oppositionists in Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova manouvered into a position where they have to separate the aspirational aspect they have to the west, from the western BS about Russia….. something various parts of the societies in those states, except Armenia, have failed to do.

    Soft power is important, and there is no point giving billions to other states, cynically exploiting the “brotherly nations” concept to become Western prostitutes….. if they are not going to promote a positive image of Russian state and society that will further filtrate into general consciousness of society.

    Navalny case is classic example – at a time when protest movement in Belarus was falling, this non-incident occurs – effectively making those in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine forced into either believing west or believing Russia. If years of propaganda is only “our neighbour” or “brotherly nation” slogan against “killing opposition” and “authoritarianism” BS – then it is much easier for those countries to believe west ….. which then makes it easier for corrupt people to implement cultural and geopolitical policies that are not pro-russian.

  41. @utu

    And the West should keep putting pressure on Russia. While prying off Belarus from Russia is not as important as prying off Taiwan from China still it would be geopolitically good outcome for the West.

    For “the West”, geopolitically yes. Not for the internal stability of European vassal states.

    Even if one serves the interests of “the West”, one will still be stabbed in the back by spiritual Trotskyist émigrés.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/polands-clash-with-brussels-dampens-push-for-reform-in-belarus/

    This applies as a general rule:

    Too hot to handle in his home country, the gaunt looking Pavlensky, 35, fled to France where he has caused uproar by putting a sex video online which forced President Emmanuel Macron’s candidate for Paris mayor, Benjamin Griveaux, to withdraw from the race.

    […]

    In October 2017, he set fire to offices of the Bank of France on Place Bastille, site of the attack on the infamous fortress at the start of the French revolution in 1789.

    The bank’s presence on such hallowed revolutionary ground was “historically shameful,” Pavlensky said.

    Ultimately, he was sentenced to three years jail, two suspended, for the destruction of other people’s property.

    Jail time only proved, however, that prisoners were “treated like animals,” he said.

    […]

    Asked in 2017 why he chose to come to France without being able to speak the language — nor English — he said: “France is the alma mater of the Russian revolution… Everything that is worthwhile in Russia came from France.”

    A graduate of the Academy of Art and Industry in Saint Petersburg and father of two children, Pavlensky on several occasions has demanded that he should be charged with terrorist acts.

    https://www.rfi.fr/en/wires/20200214-pavlensky-artist-provocateur-claims-top-french-political-scalp

    While Ai insists he has no illusions about Britain, he still thinks it will be better for his family. “In Britain they are colonial. They are polite at least. But in Germany, they don’t have this politeness. They would say in Germany you have to speak German. They have been very rude in daily situations. They deeply don’t like foreigners.” If Britain does let him down, he assures me he’ll let us all know.

    […]

    He slurps his tea and smiles. “Germany is a very precise society. Its people love the comfort of being oppressed. In China, too, you see that. Once you’re used to it, it can be very enjoyable. And you can see the efficiency, the show, the sense of their power being extended through the connected-mind condition.” You mean there is no room for individuality? “Yes. They have a different kind of suit: it doesn’t look like what they wore in the 1930s, but it still has the same kind of function. They identify with the cult of that authoritarian mindset.”

    […]

    Ai believes the country has become indifferent to the suffering of others, both within Germany and outside. He says it doesn’t care about what is happening in Hong Kong because keeping in with China’s markets is the priority.

    Is he comparing today’s Germany with Nazi Germany? “Fascism is to think one ideology is higher than others and to try to purify that ideology by dismissing other types of thinking. That’s Nazism. And that Nazism perfectly exists in German daily life today.”

    […]

    Ai enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy and studied animation – one of many courses he failed to complete. He then became one of the first of his generation allowed to study in the US. He was told by his tutor that his drawings lacked heart. He never drew again. (Ai shows me a drawing of a forest he did as a student, which his father used to illustrate a book of poems. It is exceptionally beautiful). He did all sort of jobs to support himself: collecting rubbish, factory work, carpentry, babysitting and barbering.

    He befriended beat poet Allen Ginsberg, went to the same parties as Andy Warhol, whose work he adored, discovered Marcel Duchamp and dadaism, and began transforming readymade objects into art (including Hanging Man, a homage to Duchamp made from a wire coat hanger).

    Ai returned to Beijing in 1993. Since then there is little he hasn’t done in the name of art, protest and fun – often in the same work. So we have the 100m hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds that filled the floor of the Turbine Hall in London’s Tate Modern; the gorgeous Forever Bicycles sculpture composed of 1,254 stainless steel bikes; and Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, in which he smashes a 2,000-year-old vase. His art delivers social critique as visual puns. With the sunflower seeds he suggests we are all different despite appearances; with the vase he destroys history just as Mao did; and with the bikes he comments on cultural uniformity.

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jan/21/ai-weiwei-on-his-new-life-in-britain-germany-virtual-reality-film

    Provocateurs who “[destroy] history just as Mao did”, an unintentionally revealing and apt remark.

    • Replies: @utu
  42. Coconuts says:
    @Philip Owen

    There is some difference in that a lot of the opposition is still centred on Lukashenko himself, as long as he is around it is much easier for them. When he goes or if his role shrinks and different options for the future without him are discussed it’s harder to say what will happen.

    One of the issues with the official election results was that they were crudely falsified, someone told me that the Grodno region is supposed to have given Luka 90% support. If Luka wasn’t the way he is he could probably have done something more creative.

  43. utu says:
    @Hyperborean

    Thanks. I would not worry too much about provocateur opportunist like Pavlesky and Ai Wewei. They really sound boring even though they think they are on the cutting edge. Everything what they are doing was done and said before. Nothing original. Duchamp would be the first to tell them to shut up. The only problem is with the sponsors who use them as tools to mess up minds of young people but I am concerned more about young people minds being messed up by the old cynical libertarians who are the real nihilists.

  44. Mr. XYZ says:

    Reunification into common national home, i.e. the national self-determination principle.

    Technically speaking, it would only be REAL national self-determination if the Belarusian people themselves will consent to this arrangement.

  45. @AnonFromTN

    That’s a large exaggeration. Germany imports gas for about $15-25B per year. It’s not something that makes or breaks the German economy, even if would be preferable for them to not have to buy it from more expensive sources.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  46. @Shortsword

    The issue is competitiveness of German industrial products. Even if they buy 20% of their gas from more expensive sources, they are going to lose to South Korea and Taiwan with high tech, and to everybody and his brother with low tech.

  47. Matra says:
    @Mikhail

    In your link Luka’s Christian name is ‘Alyaksandr’ instead of ‘Alexander’. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed that before. Is that Belarusian spelling? If so, I guess it’s a political statement by RFERL.

  48. Wolfar says:

    Today a small number of private Belarusian companies are joining a “Day of Solidarity” against police violence (they are late by over a month) and in support of striking workers (of which there are almost none, the strike aspect of the color revolution fizzled out weeks ago).

    They are pretending it’s mid August yet, LOL.

    Minsk clothing store joined in:

    View this post on Instagram

    МЫ РАЗАМ!⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Друзья, завтра, 16 сентября, мы присоединимся к Дню солидарности в Беларуси, чтобы поддержать бастующие заводы и предприятия нашей страны. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ В этот день магазин ZNWR по адресу: Немига, 3, работать не будет! ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Таким образом мы хотим высказать своё несогласие с насилием и поддержать бастующих рабочих государственных предприятий, которые проявили свою гражданскую позицию.⠀ ⠀ Вы неверагодныя!⠀ ⠀⠀ МЫ РАЗАМ!

    A post shared by Z N W R (@znwr.minsk) on

    White-red-white, so patriotic!

    Now some modeling pictures of beautiful Belarusians:

    View this post on Instagram

    Самая незаменимая вещь осеннего гардероба — дождевик Seattle ZNWR⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ▫️Модель-трансформер: потайной рюкзак-мешок, потайной капюшон в стойке воротника на кнопках, возможность регуляции объёма по талии с помощью фиксаторов.⠀ Длина макси, 2 накладных кармана, спущенная пройма рукава, манжеты на резинке.⠀ Застежка – планка на кнопках. Разрез по спинке изделия.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ▫️100% Полиэстер⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • 280 Byn⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ZNWR Concept store: Немигa 3, 2 этаж, 16 павильон.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Working hours: с 11.00 до 20.00⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 🏷 Бережно напоминаем, что в магазине ZNWR действует доставка по Минску курьером и почтой по Беларуси.⠀

    A post shared by Z N W R (@znwr.minsk) on

    View this post on Instagram

    Необходимая база — майка на толстых брителях Kate в прочтении ZNWR.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ •Идеальная посадка мягко повторяет линии тела.⠀⠀ •Нежный рубчик полотна уводит от спортивного образа, наделяя его романтизмом и воздушностью.⠀⠀ ⠀ •60 Byn⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ZNWR Concept store: ТЦ Немига 3, 2 этаж, 16 павильон.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Working hours: ежедневно с 11.00 до 21.00⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🏷 Бережно напоминаем, что в магазине ZNWR действует доставка по Минску курьером и почтой по Беларуси.

    A post shared by Z N W R (@znwr.minsk) on

    Pictures of blacks and mulattoes are plastered all over that account, for some odd reason. I can’t picture a supporter of Lukashenko being this woke, sorry.

    Same old, same old. Proto-Trotskyites who grew up consuming Western news and entertainment roleplaying as concerned patriots, who in reality just want to get pozzed by the EU. Low IQ nationalists boost their numbers and under some favorable circumstances (not appliable to Belarus, thankfully) may help spearhead a violent coup, but are of no use after the new regime is consolidated (Ukraine isn’t yet, due to the conflict and loss of territory), and indeed will be eventually persecuted for their nationalism. A seemingly infinite number of foreign-funded NGOs will make short work of society, from contributing to the writing and lobbying of laws, to funding media outlets, digital influencers and candidates, and so on. Foreign countries and entities interfere by funding local grant-eaters, who then peddle their influence as demanded by their sponsors. All of this plays against the interests of nationalists, but since they are not bright, they support it, thinking their ideals will triumph (lol).

    I saw this information on tut.by, they take whatever is oppositionist and make it a big news. It’s the most visited news source website in Belarus. They are not Russophobic, though. In reality, this “Day of Solidarity” is a nothingburger with less than 3 dozens small businesses, most of which are led by few workers or just the owners themselves (bars, clothing stores, tattoo parlors, vegan restaurants, you get the drift). The good news is that the Belarusian authorities will be getting the names of opposition-led private companies to make an example of later.

    Belarusian TV is on fire, they got better thanks to Russian tutors. Minsk protests are still considerable, they make a good picture (still <3% of the city pop.), but are fading on a weekly basis. The new tactic of arresting people who leave the main column (either during or after the rallies) and fining them is also interesting. Consistent arrests and fines are taking a toll on the opposition street presence and is a superior strategy to beating and causing a big scene.

    In Western Europe, they don't have to arrest/persecute every nationalist, they make examples here and there, the cases are covered gleefully in the news so the population understand that manifestations of nationalism and race awareness is not tolerated, and that's it: millions go back to venting their frustation online or just keep mum.

    • Agree: Ano4, AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  49. @Wolfar

    White-red-white, so patriotic!

    Well, in fact, white-red-white banner was the banner of Belarussian collaborators with Hitler in WWII. The selection of this as the banner of “opposition” tells you all you need to know about it.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  50. @AnonFromTN

    …just as white-blue-red banner in fact was the banner of Russian collaborators with Hitler in WWII, so what does it tell about RF which had it as official state flag for over 30 years now? 😉

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Gerard-Mandela
  51. Ano4 says:
    @AP

    Actually you know quite well that the tricolor was used by the Russians since the times of Peter the Great. But maybe you would have preferred Russia to use the Red Banner with cycle, hammer and the star?

    But I don’t think you miss the Red Flag that much…

    😉

    • Replies: @AP
  52. @sudden death

    LOL. 2 seconds use by Vlasov, predated by several centuries use by Russian institutions ….versus the Nazi collaborator flag used by these idiots in Belarus, predated by…….2 seconds use as part of the Belarus Peoples Republic. “fair comparison”, LOL not, you cretin.

    You can factor in other things like Vlasov not actually genociding a large % of the population as the Nazis did in Belarus …..and being against your own national flag despite it gaining a very large majority win in fair referendum in 1995.

    Anyway, the Lithuanian flag was probably decided in US Congress over a $5 dollar bet or something ridiculous like that.

  53. @AP

    LOL…….you actually being anywhere near this blog after being embarrassingly exposed again and that immensely self-discrediting garbage about birth/death rates exposing your initial fraud even more.

    Extremely dumb to associate the Russian flag with Vlasov, extremely dumb to not associate the Belarus opposition flag with Nazi collaborators.

    Anyway, how is this connected to a fantasist as yourself? It isn’t.

    Of course amusing though that sub-Roma, zero talent , subhuman UPA scum used the red and black flag .Red for blood they hadn’t lost in any war in the process of being a 2 dollar whore of Austrians, Hungarians, Poles and Romanians….and black for soil that had no connection to the areas that most of them lived in.

    This is some serious disorder those freaks must have been suffering from in claming of things they have zero connection to – just as with what I was saying about the Black Sea and Cossacks and Kievan Rus

    • Replies: @AP
  54. @JL

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me there’s a bit of a conundrum here. Lukashenko wants to retain power and the only way he can do it is by surrendering sovereignty to Russia. Russia wants to integrate Belarus, but the only way it can do so effectively is by getting rid of Lukashenko.

    The deal was probably always that Belarussian independence was a weird fiction that would endure as long as Lukashenko could hold power. But once he’s no longer able to do so…reunification with the Motherland!

  55. AP says:
    @Ano4

    I didn’t complain that Vlasov was using the regular pre-Bolshevik flag or that Russia adopted this flag.

    The Belarussian flag was used by the Беларуская Народная Рэспубліка in 1918-1919. This, in turn, was an inversion of the PLC flag that predated Peter’s Russian tricolor..

  56. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    self-discrediting garbage about birth/death rates

    Gerard proving he doesn’t know anything about Russian birth rates:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/ukro-khazars-trying-to-appropriate-russian-culture/#comment-4158452

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