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This morning, in my piece Belarus to get own anti-Maidan according to Kremlin’s plan I noted that the development of events in the republic is clearly following the Kremlin’s scenario, which is leading to an Anschluss of this neighboring country. But each plan requires a certain sequence of steps. And this is what I’m going to dwell upon: the stages of the special operation by the GRU military intelligence to destabilize Belarus before absorbing the country.
Stages of Belarus destabilization toward Anschluss by Russia:
1. A number of opposition candidates are introduced into the presidential campaign. Handlers designate Valeriy Tsepkalo, Viktor Babariko, and Sergey Tikhanovsky as leading figures;
2. Their persecution is initiated to create for them an image of victims of the totalitarian regime and further put into a spotlight Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, wife of Sergey Tikhanovsky with no political background whatsoever. She is the weakest, albeit most effective, candidate in terms of PR technology. The “opposition” is told to get united around her, highlighting “persecution” of other candidates by the regime;
3. A unified network of information resources, primarily Telegram channels spinning anti-Putin content, which earlier covered and promoted protest moods in Russia’s Khabarovsk Territory, switches to Belarus events, exploiting the original content posted by NEXTA Telegram channel.
4. Russian propaganda pundits (Semyon Pegov, Alexander Kots, etc.), as well as those who work under the cover of Western outlets, are deployed in Belarus;
5. Russia goes for a show-off deployment (with military uniform and insignia at hand, group accommodation, etc.) in Belarus of PMC Wagner mercenaries, with their further setup to be detained by Belarusian KGB. The sophisticated move had three goals: to divert public attention from main figures involved in the plot, to eventually neutralize the “Russian trace” in the unrest, and to create tension between Belarus and Ukraine;
6. In parallel lines, the narrative of the so-called “Western role” in the upcoming protests and provocations is promoted (with an emphasis on Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic States, and the Czech Republic). An important element at this stage is “useful idiots”, for example, Ukrainian MP Ihor Mosiychuk’s statements about the arrival in Belarus of “Ukrainian radicals”. Also, a massive information campaign is run by NEXTA, the Telegram channel physically operated from Poland (one of the “Western countries”) , but supervised by Russian infiltrator-journalists from Prague, using narratives designed by the Kremlin media, etc…
7. First, a number of Belarusian restaurateurs call for setting up in Kyiv of an assembly point for the Belarusian “opposition”. Then Valeriy Tsepkalo is taken out of Belarus along the route Moscow — Kyiv — Warsaw — Kyiv, thereby creating tension and mutual distrust between Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus over sheltering Lukashenko’s antagonist and providing him with a platform for relaying anti-Lukashenko messages. Then Moscow institutes a criminal case against Tsepkalo and puts him on wanted list, as they do with all infiltrators they deploy on a foreign mission as Trojan horses. Tsepkalo’s travel log thus becomes another “evidence” of the alleged “western trace” in handling Belarusian “opposition”;
8. The flywheel of reports is spun harder about election rigging and rallies are radicalized by the scenario of Yellow Vests in France, separatist protests in Catalonia, and BLM riots through Antifa, all toward a fierce confrontation with law enforcement, to draw for global media a picture of a bloody massacre in Minsk. This aims at shaping and presenting a one-sided picture for the Western audiences about the atrocities of the bloody dictator. The purpose of this stage is to get a quite expected reaction of Western governments with calls new sanctions, which not only isolates Lukashenko from any dialogue, but also pushes him towards “settlement” with Putin;
9. Puppet Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is deployed to Lithuania, while Putin greets Lukashenko with reelection — both moves play significantly contribute to the cause of creating a presence of the “western trace” in Belarusian protests, thereby claiming that Russia has nothing to do with them, and that it’s all done by the West, as it was in Ukraine in 2013–2014. Another “color revolution”, another Maidan — while the GRU continues to purposefully destabilize Belarus;
10. “Western trace” finally begins to prevail over “Russian influence” when setting up of the “anti-Maidan” is green-lighted. Its participants are supposed to clash with the “Maidan” activists. Confrontation is inevitable, since trained provocateurs have penetrated the ranks of both sides. Their main task is to create preconditions for chaos and, of course, shed blood.
As the Belarusian anti-Maidan project being created, Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin hold a phone conversation, during which the Russian president promises assistance to the allied republic upon request. Alexander Lukashenko gives military instructions to redeploy the Vitebsk-based division (located in the east of the country closer to the Russian border) to the western borders, from where allegedly “the main threat is coming,” at the same time weakening defenses in the area where for some time calls have been coming for the creation of the so-called “Vitebsk People’s Republic” (VNR);
11. The GRU, whom the Kremlin in 2019 gave full control over the Belarusian issue, is speeding up the implementation of Plan “A”, namely: shaping a public opinion that the West has plotted a “color revolution” in Belarus as they did in Ukraine in 2013–2014; intimidating Lukashenko and provoking him toward tough confrontation with the collective “West”; provoking an antagonistic reaction to this on the part of the West; radicalizing protests and the overall situation in the country (this time it’s not only the format of peaceful activists vs riot police, but also “Maidan” vs “anti-Maidan”; forcing Lukashenko to bow down before the Kremlin with the subsequent surrender of Belarus to Russia on Moscow’s terms.
But this 11th stage, fatal for Belarus, isn’t the last one, actually … After all, hybrid strategists also have some spare cards up their sleeve to complete the solitaire layout by a different scheme, of which we’re also aware.
So, here comes stage 12: Plan B, which is Alexander Lukashenko fleeing to Russia, with the further bringing to power of one of the “opposition” figures (read “Kremlin puppets”).
There’s also Plan C, namely, the creation along Belarus regions accessible to absorption of the so-called “people’s republics” with access to the borders of Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland.
Actually, nothing new here… We’ve already observed much of this. But if history is repeating itself, the question arises why are the Belarusian KGB and intelligence so idle? Are they so ignorant, really, not to see what’s cooking? Or perhaps they deliberately choose to turn a blind eye…