Talk:Belarus

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Belarus elections

August 9, 2020.

Lukashenko's message to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly.

Opposition to Lukashenko is personified by 3 women, Tikhanovskaia, wife of another candidate Tsepkalo, and Kolesnikova, the headquarters chief of another candidate Babariko who was not registered.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya video appeal, after she left to Lithuania. (She is not in good spirits and speaks as if holding back tears). It ends with the statement that no life lost is justified in current circumstances, and that children are the most important in life. --Resup (talk) 09:39, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

Radically anti-Russian and pro-Western opposition program can be found as webcache among non-working pages and dead links: leaving all post-Soviet inter-state structures with Russia, education in Belarus language throughout, NATO standards for the Army, closing Russian bases (which are a part of joint security). This is said to be published well before the elections and apparently was shared by unified HQ of alternative candidates (see the end of Cassad post, which also appeared elsewhere on social media. Not a 100% reliable, but is indeed in the quoted webcache presently, and is consistent with what are those people are really for). Should be taken with caution, but I could not find anything intelligible as a program on the present-day Tikhanovskaya site. (Who self -describes as the elected president, and appeals to various Western entities for backing. Which is, like, another way to put the same thing, anyway). --Resup (talk) 08:30, 19 August 2020 (UTC)


...and Russia

PMC arrest

Night of 28/29 July, 2020. Moved here.

Liberal Opposition

  • (Historic) Boris Nemtsov, "Reset" program, 2010
  • Valerii Solovei, Echo Moskvy, Aug. 3, 2020
    No idea where he is getting his info and is it accurate or bluff
    "On Friday, there was a very difficult conversation between the two presidents - Lukashenko and Putin. It was in a raised voice. And the Russian president insisted, I would say, in a very convincing, peremptory manner, that the top thirty be urgently returned to the Russian Federation. But Lukashenko said that he was ill, that, you understand, he had a hypertensive crisis, and that he would not discuss anything at all until Monday."
    No info about such conversation officially. Putin had his security council meeting on this matter at about 14:00 on Friday. Peskov made some press statements. Nothing close to what Solovei says was published by media, or anywhere else I am ware of. I do not know whether it happened.
    There seem to be little new on Monday, apart from Lukahsenko decree calling for next draft, to serve in the Army. Lukashenko is supposed to address the National Assembly, but it is not reported yet (apparently scheduled Aug. 4). There are reports of some Belarus troop movements towards borders, including Russia. This comes with a video from Novaya Gazeta, which is not on my trusted sources list (it is commercially pro-Western, like WaPo of Russia, sort of).
    Solovei continues with some grander visions of possibly "Slavic Spring" and that he is in consultations with some unnamed folks, on something like calling for national backing of Khabarovsk protest; this continues with some speculations on how regime change in Russia might look like.
    Solovei comes across as an intelligent person who somehow often makes public comments, picked up well by opposition press. Whether his opinions are accurate and what is really behind the scenes, if anything, I cannot really say. --Resup (talk) 21:58, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

On Aug 4 it is reported by a Russian journalist Pegov that some Belarus men with military experience in regions close to Russia are drafted (draft note-no name here) for 25 days starting Aug 10, the day after the elections.

Centrists and Establishment

Patriotic opposition

  • Strelkov, August 17, 2020
    In response to a question, sets conditions for (his) Novorosia movement to support Lukashenko "by word and action" (requires support of greater Russia/slavic union, recognition and support of LPR/DPR and other presently breakaway territories, etc).

Does not seem realistic, from either side of Belarus stand-off, at least at present (why would young Western-aspiring people accept involvement of a para-military force with opposing aspirations? and if not, how that force will govern, longer term?); probably "needs" a foreign-led Maidan to become a competitive option; but such Maidan is not a good place to be already. --Resup (talk) 06:41, 17 August 2020 (UTC)

...and USA

  • Please welcome the new Chargé d’Affaires Jeffrey Giauque - by.usembassy.gov, 27 July, video dated 28 July, 2020
  • New U.S. charge d'affaires arrives in Belarus - belarus.by, 27 July, 2020
    On 20 July, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko ambassador to the United States of America. He plans to travel to the United States in August.
    “A lot will depend on your work. We will discuss this in detail later. I will convey my instructions through the minister. We will need support and assistance from the United States of America, especially in the financial sector during this pandemic time,” the president told Oleg Kravchenko.

...and Lithuania

  • The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Lithuania of six (6) UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $380 million - dsca.mil, July 6, 2020
  • US deployed nine combat helicopters to Lithuania, a battalion said to arrive later - topwar.ru, Rusvesna, 112.ua, August 3, 2020


Last updated --Resup (talk) 14:51, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

After elections

Categorically against post-election violence. Those who insight this are not doing it for Belarus people to be prosperous and happy. It is (sadly) correct that nobody in the West really cares about Belorussians or Russians well-being and is not going to spent money or effort to solve any of their problems for their (people's) benefit. This is mostly to weaken both Belarus' and Russia, ruin what's functioning now- for better or worth- and use it as home-grown oligarchs + transnational companies and bankers + military planners see fit. Elections may become fair alright, but then the rest would not be, and the country as known now will cease to exist, like the USSR of 1991, like Yugoslavia, like Ukraine in 2014. Zinoviev, living in France, knew all this before Yeltsin came to power, and nothing changed since. Yes, it may feel awful with elections, but this is just one aspect of life, there are many other things now taken for granted, which would no longer be for granted. Including education, science, culture, way of life, what's wrong and what's right, and what's money for and what is not for sale. Industries in Russia, Ballistics, Bulgaria, etc were devastated and scrapped. Tourism and agriculture is a poor substitute; but EU has no need for Soviet industries, even less so the USA. And --"You cannot be a happy person if you do not have your strong country standing behind you", as somebody said. --Resup (talk) 11:26, 10 August 2020 (UTC)

Second day of protests. It is clearly all about elections, with nothing--intelligent or otherwise -- about what sort of change this is supposed to bring. Viktor Tsoy has a great song, I love it, but this a song, not a workable plan, and there has been a "morning after" when tried in Russia. Elections anger, perhaps is genuine, but also--a lot of motivation (narrowly tuned to protesting the election results, on the streets and via industrial strikes) is on foreign -based sites (Poland + Frankfurt in Germany hosting website+ RFE/RL and all the usual suspects). Also Telegram channels, with unknown origins. -- --Resup (talk) 20:38, 10 August 2020 (UTC)

On the second day, protests are no longer peaceful. Protesters pelted police with fireworks; some vehicle attacks on police (also one protester hit by police vehicle); there are videos suggesting Molotov cocktail use, although it is not clear what the target was. Protesters also violently confronted police trying to make arrests. (3000 arrests reported on day 1). --Resup (talk) 00:29, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

The main challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has left Belarus and is in Lithuania. In previous days, media published a story that Belarus security services prevented an attempt on her life and are guarding her headquarters. Tikhanovskaya filed elections complain at about the same time. By election day, essentially the only item in Tikanovskaya program is to quickly call new, deemed fare, elections. Tikhanonvskaya was not seen with protesters on the streets, those protesting were mostly young males, some pretty eager to confront the police, and implementing certain street tactics. --Resup (talk) 06:33, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

Second video appeal of the day. Tikhanovskaya thanks all those who voted for her, says that she does not want blood and violence. "I ask you not to confront/oppose police, not to come out/demonstrate on the streets, in order for not to endanger your lives. Take care of yourself and those dear to you" --Resup (talk) 10:34, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

Those foreign-based and Telegramed channels are beaming with activity reporting or planning industrial strikes --Resup (talk) 10:50, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

"In Brest, a group of aggressive citizens with steel bars in their hands attacked police officers. Upward warning shots did not stop them. To protect the life and health of law enforcement men, live shots were fired. One of the attackers was wounded." --Resup (talk) 12:58, 12 August 2020 (UTC)

Pro-government rallies in Mogilev (actually, both pro-gov and a separate opposition rally) and Gomel. Opposition resources do not mention them (posting some visuals of their own events). Skeptical opposition -backing girl, nominally working for some independent media, came to cover rally in Gomel, expecting to find arranged attendance; her video quite clearly shows (at least some, if not most) genuine, and apparently quite strong, feelings, as one as one can tell--Resup (talk) 19:24, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

In Mogilev, opposition rally was smaller but such rallies occurred for a number of days. Linked coverage is (leaning) pro-opposition, and is trying to portray pro-gov rally as "bussed-in" (meaning artificial/staged), while trying to fill lack of reform agenda in opposition rally by bringing up protesters deaths (eg one electoral commission member who is said to refuse to sign elections protocol and then somehow vanished and was later found dead on his way home, with causes not yet established by police with preliminary reports, including by the very same source exploiting it, suggesting a suicide. It is also said that the man stated that "I will no longer work here", with exact meaning of all that rather unclear and can go either way). --Resup (talk) 23:13, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

Pro-gov rallies continues (picking up a bit- model TV presenter, a keynote speaker who is an author a documentary filmaker , and folks heartily cheering up pro -gov speeches noted). I'll leave my skepticism to myself--neither they nor me want their country destroyed. It may be the best of what remained of the SU. If it's gone, it's like the world is a poorer place to be. Despite all those liberal (and critical) wonders out there, led by exemplary leaders in their "non-backward" countries --Resup (talk) 18:32, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

But Strelkov thinks it will go the same way as Maidan vs anti-Maidan in Ukraine. And that it needs a clear ideological line which motivated and able men can back up and get on his side; details are publicized enough. (Do not know, I am not such a nationalist to get super excited with this here. But yes, pro-gov needs a clear and convincing forward path, not just self-preservation, It may be correct that electrified "revolutionaries" otherwise will have upper hand over meek "survivalists" +grannies . Hmmm. --Resup (talk) 22:25, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Alexander Taraikovsky

Initial video(s)?
  • Franak Viacorka, of Atlantic Council, USAgm.gov, RFE/RL and all that, Twitter time 7:34 PM August 11, 2020
    Claims that several shots were fired, and that he was hit at least by the first one
    updates on Aug. 15 to tell that Authorities continue denying that he was shot. However, all open-source investigations indicate that. "All" apparently mean CIT, which are BC followers. Some geolocation claimed. Actual location is probably published somewhere. Real question is whether the videos are genuine and show the same event, without alterations etc. --Resup (talk) 23:34, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Video appears to replay things several times and at different magnification. I take it that at 0:11 or 0:12 on the video we see a bright flash which illuminates both protester and police. It is possible that this is a light-and-thunder stunt grenade exploding in the hands of protester (government version of events is that he was killed when throwing stunt grenade back to police force). But we do not see clearly protester or source of the flash. After the flash, protester seems unsteady, but not 100%. Shortly after, at about 0:13, we see some sort of fire shot (maybe stunt grenade, rubber bullet, or whatever) fired from the police in the direction of protester. Protester appears to keep being unsteady and collapses some seconds after. Second RFE/RL video in the same article shows (I think) police firing a shot and collapsing protester, to make their point.

Meanwhile, opposition tries to restart/invigorate protests which (I feel) were calming down. They scheduled some "national protest" for tomorrow, right after some sort of pro-government event, and describe it as a "FINAL" , for whatever the fuck they mean by that. Official aim is to protest police brutality. One-knee-kneeling today at the funeral of Alexander Taraikovsky. Meanwhile, there are reports of harsh arrests and treatment by police, which , well, "do not help" in preventing Maidan-type scenarios.

Meanwhile, Lukashenko calls Putin and gets some kind of backing, telling of foreign-led color revolution prior to the call.

--Resup (talk) 19:32, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

More videos, Charter97, August 15, 2020. On first video (AP) we see the police but not the man initially. When we do see the man, he has clearly seen large wound in abdomen area. It is not clear what exactly happened.

The second video (Euroradio), appears to show a man approaching police, not slowing down, with his hands up. It is difficult to match behind-the police background from first video to what we can see on the first video; and we do not clearly see man's face on either of them; so it is not really certain this shows the same event, as implied in the narrative. There is some projectile going off behind him at about 0:04, but this does not seem to do him any harm or him paying attention. We see some bright flash at about 0:11 on the video (effect of that unclear), and very shortly after at about 0:13 on video we see police firing something in his direction. Subsequently the man is getting unsteady and collapsing. We do not see blood or wound in this video. (Although first video shows wound before him collapsing). Another man throws something back towards the police at around 0:18, but this appears unrelated. --Resup (talk) 21:30, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Lobaev's comments. Summary: looks like hollow point/expanding bullet, appears to be hit in the chest area, (but) blood seen in abdomen. No exit hole is seen. He is not stopped or thrown down by the shot, which may mean that he is hit by slow bullet fired from afar, possibly by a sniper. (On the other hand) , we see flame/fire of police shot on videos filmed at different angles. That can mean that it is an airgun a bullpup modified to fire airgun cartridge or a weapon modified for use with several ammo types .

WarGonzo: we do not see grenade exploding in man's hands on this video, and we would very much like to see the full autopsy report. --Resup (talk) 22:08, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Gennady Shutov

  • A man from Brest died in the hospital after being shot at by the security forces during the protests. He was 44 years old - tut.by, August 19, 2020
    44-year-old Gennady Shutov died in a military hospital in Minsk. He received a gunshot wound to the head on 11 August near the Moscow District administration of the city of Brest during protests.
    The man's relatives said that they talked with eyewitnesses and they said that Gennady did not fight, did not engage in a conflict - he just walked. According to the people with whom his relatives spoke, the shot was fired from the roof of the building (unseen snipers?)
    On that day live ammo shots have been reported when police was attacked by a crowd armed with steel rods who would not stop after shots fired in the air; it is not known whether those two things are connected.

--Resup (talk) 12:34, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Official belta.by says that by preliminary information Shutov was unintentionally hit during an assault on police by men armed with steel bars. Shot was aimed at his shoulder. "However, due to the continued active resistance of the man, police unintentionally wounded him in the head area". (This does not match well with the above). Investigation continues. --Resup (talk) 17:30, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Alexander Vikhor

Opposition: he was arrested (on August 9, election day)in Gomel, had a health issue, medical help not provided. His death became known on August 12. Government: died of drug overdose. --Resup (talk) 08:29, 16 August 2020 (UTC)

Konstantin Andreevich Shishmakov

  • The director of the Volkovysk museum was found dead - tut.by, August 18, 2020 (earlier photo and story here).
    Elections committee member said to refuse to sign the the protocols; stated "I no longer work here" (the story is unclear whether this refers to his museum job or his role in elections committee) refused an offered car ride home, vanished, was found dead, with available at this time reports describe the findings as suggesting a suicide. Results of police investigation are presently not known. However this is used by opposition as evidence of regime crimes. Despite that it may also be a provocation ('sacred sacrifice' , in present times lingo), or a suicide (as initially described, and it must be some reason for it, which is not made public; few details which we do know do not have to be the whole story, and there may be other reasons which has nothing to do with elections). --Resup (talk) 09:32, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Nikita Krivtsov

BBC live (20:16) entry. Disappeared on 12 August, found dead, said to be hanging, conflicting claims on beating.

“Yes, my husband was found hanged, but it is still unknown whether he was beaten or not. Tomorrow we will attend identification,” Krivtsov’s wife Elena told the BBC. --Resup (talk) 22:57, 22 August 2020 (UTC)

Vasilisa Golikova

  • VK, August 14, 2020 (video, text). Apparently fake accusations + non-peaceful activism. --Resup (talk) 20:07, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

August 16, rallies for and against Lukashenko

Both rallies online report -here; in Radio Freedom version here.

Pro-Lukashenko rally on Independence square at 12:00 pm. (Video report has video problems and gives mostly sound; see reports covering both rallies, above, for better video). Belarus red+gold flags. Lukashenko gave a speech (anti-Maidan sort). Roughly 71400 m^2 footage. Admission could be limited by security/safety concerns). Speeches calling for unity, stability, not repeating Maidan.

Then at 14:00 , "all-nation march for freedom" called for by the opposition. White-and-red flags. In part reacting to pro-government march, in part Maidan-style, telling everybody to come, for some "FINAL" (see also above). March is at Independence Stella site. It is a larger, off-center site, by the river, with park/trees area adjacent to Stella square. Usable area is maybe 420,300 m^2. Videos appear to show the image of filled space, but not of what is intelligently said at this meeting. Demands to do with elections recount and release of those detained on the posters.

Opposition visuals like RFE/RL give a view of intersection area near Stella, while Stella itself and (apparently) the park look empty. This intersection area is about 230,000 m^2, and is rally-like packed. That suggests, perhaps, 3+ times larger crowd here. --Resup (talk) 15:47, 16 August 2020 (UTC)
Aerial photos suggest that density drops significantly away from the roads. And near Stella, there are people on radial paths but most of the lawn area is sparsely occupied (FWIW; still big showing + desired visuals made). --Resup (talk) 21:54, 16 August 2020 (UTC)

Both venues appear reasonably filled up, neither too densely. It is possible that people having a walk and present at both rallies; and it may be easier to attend the opposition rally as it is more accessible/less controlled admission. Packed rally is said to be 0.5 m^2 per person; probably more in the Stella venue, like 1 m^2 +.

With all that, opposition crowd is up to 6 times larger; maybe in reality like 3 times larger as people stand denser at the smaller venue. There may be also more pro-gov people outside of the square itself; or not bothering with it and minding their own things.

Not aware of reports of violence at this time. Hope it will stay that way. But could be back to opposition vs police towards the evening when large crowds are gone. Clearly Maidan scenarios are seen as a danger. At a time, not known. --Resup (talk) 15:00, 16 August 2020 (UTC)

Management and workers meeting, MZKT

MZKT plant management having difficult conversation with plant workers. Director tells that he voted for Lukashenko, and tries to explain why, but workers attending do not take it well, do a show of hands for "Svetlana" (nice visual noted). Director admits that maybe Lukashenko did not win, and try to mend things with the crowd, saying that he will try to communicate to those above the majority opinion. He then tries to convince workers to return to work, to make their living and not to loose in a competitive market. The plant produces heavy trucks, including heavy military transporters. Their output would be in demand in a union with Russia, but will have no economic value for EU. It is hard to know why the workers do not take in that obvious point, which the director and others try to make, but without signs of a success. The crowd is very electrified by election unfairness matter and dismiss all attempts to look outside of that box. (Don't tell us tales! Let Soloviev do your propaganda! etc) --Resup (talk) 21:55, 17 August 2020 (UTC)

Videos covering Lukashenko meeting with workers

MZKT, addressing crowd from the podium on a truck

--Resup (talk) 09:44, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

Crowds added by computer graphics?

Renown (I'd say, part of "establishment") film director Nikita Mikhalkov in his YouTube program "Besogon TV", 22:00. "I am telling you this as a professional, you may believe me. Look at this photo. What a sea of people! And now, pay attention to the gap in the first rows, between each other, and between the legs. It is not possible such such a number of people will give such gaps, it is not possible. It should be all filled, by the second, third, fifth row. There, below, see it's not there. This is pure computer graphics"

Maybe, I am not sure here (I can imagine some alternative explanations like funny focal distance vs distance , or social distancing, but Mikhlakov also must have a good eye for such things as a professional film director).

His next example showing Independence Square (Ploshad Nezalezhnosti) seems unquestionable, he shows square where people supposedly stand everywhere including the fountain(s), and indeed "more original" photo is later found where a fountain is people-free. --Resup (talk) 04:11, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

Guaydonovskaya already got Biden's invitation --16:52, 28 November 2020 (UTC)