in many ways, a special line of Conflict in these days between Russia and Belarus. Since the 29. July sit 33 Russian men in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in prison. The official charge is as follows: preparation of a terrorist attack. The men are supposed to be belonging to the Russian private army "group Wagner" and to white Russia, to destabilize before the presidential elections, the situation in Belarus. Around 200 more members to stay in Belarus. The elections are for the 9. August planned.
Russian "Wagner"-a mercenary is illegal, but the real
at Least half of the detained Russians, members of the Russian private security and military company to be known under the name of "group of Wagner," said Denis Korotkov, investigative journalist of the Russian newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" of the DW. Korotkov, got in the past because of his research on the "Wagner"-troop of anonymous death threats, claimed that he could prove this, not only on the basis of the Belarusian television shown in the passports, but with the help of other documents, which he did.
the "group Wagner is Headed" by a former officer of the Russian military intelligence service GRU, Dmitri Utkin, with the nickname of the "Wagner". Has left traces of the "group of Wagner" with its activities in Eastern Ukraine, in Syria and lately in Libya. Paramilitaries are banned in Russia, actually. In fact, you will not be tolerated, but only, but subsidised by the government. Thus, there was indirect evidence that the "group Wagner" was supported by the Russian Ministry of defence. Officially, both the existence of mercenaries, as well as any involvement of the state is denied.
Allegedly, the Russians were in a Sanatorium in Minsk, because they would have other than Russian tourists "military clothing" worn and drank no alcohol, reported the state Belarusian news Agency Belta. The fact Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian heads of state, Vladimir Putin, said that the next day: "in Russia there are a huge number of white Russian men in similar clothes, which are not typical and do not drink alcohol." This does not mean that you had violated the laws, added Sands.
the arrest could be Lukashenko's power use
But why the Russians were taken in the first place? The Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, been in Power since 1994, experienced according to estimates made by observers of its largest political crisis. He wants to be elected for the sixth Time, but, apparently, decreases its popularity. Independent surveys indicate that this does not exist in the country, but to observe was how the opposition candidates were unexpectedly popular.
well-Known politicians such as Valeri Zepkalo, and Viktor Babariko but have not been approved as a presidential candidate. The only remaining source of strong opposition candidate is Svetlana Tichanowskaja, the wife of the imprisoned opposition blogger Sergei Tichanowskij, originally wanted to stand. Tichanowskij'm now in the mercenary Causa as a suspect, investigators said in Minsk.
The Belarusian political scientist Valery Karbalewitsch says, the authorities would be afraid of mass demonstrations for Tichanowskaja with Thousands of people in Minsk and other cities. This wave would you want to stop. After the feast of the Russian mercenaries convened a took Lukashenko, a special meeting of his security Council in the face of a threat of a terrorist attack by the group of mercenaries. He ordered, to pay particular attention to the "security at mass events, including election events". Several Belarusian politicians told the DW, this would mean further restrictions for the Opposition.
in fact, the Central election Commission presented new rules for the candidates in the election campaign. Election events must now be similar to other Demos, sealed. The participants must pass through metal detectors and there will be a greater police presence. Observers do not exclude that Lukashenko could grab, in order to secure his Power, to even harsher measures, right up to the imposition of a state of emergency.
The Public was not convinced of the story with the mercenaries, said the Director of the Belarusian Institute for political studies, and Andrei Kazakevich. The have to do primarily with the loss of confidence in the ruling policy and in the national media. "We are used to it, that the authorities often, and every Time in an election year to try to manipulate the society by disseminating clearly incorrect information," said Kazakevich of the DW. You do not know why the "Wagner"-mercenaries would have stopped in white Russia.
What is the purpose of Lukashenko foreign policy?
Want to annoy Lukashenko with the arrest of Putin, is striving for a rapprochement with Belarus, or the West signal from the large Eastern neighbors alert? In Belarus and Russia, observers of different foreign-policy interpretations are listening to. Pyotr Petrovsky, an expert of the Lukashenko Regime related to political Think Tanks, the NGO "Belaya Rus", wrote in Facebook: "According to the Wagner-arrest, it is clear who the gentlemen are some of the alternative candidates." In other words, the Belarusian opposition candidates were nothing more than puppets of the Kremlin. In the run-up to the elections, Lukashenko had warned several times before a possible roll - over prepared by people from abroad, "would participate in provocations". Indirectly, he made Moscow responsible.
The "spectacle" with the mercenaries is intended solely for the West, because "you can't feed the domestic audience," wrote the well-known Belarusian journalist Irina Halyp for the "Novaya Gazeta". The Message for the West, should read: "Look! The 'group Wagner is close to Minsk! The green men are coming. Russia has occupied white Russia, almost!" Therefore, to help Lukashenko in the struggle against the Kremlin, instead of demanding the release of political prisoners and to threaten with sanctions. Andrei Kazakevich believes that the Belarusian authorities would sell the suppression of the independent candidates as a struggle against the interference of Russia. "For many politicians in the West, this could be a weighty Argument", believes the analyst.
What are the Russian mercenaries in Belarus?
On this question, there is no clear answer. Several scenarios are conceivable, Denis Korotkov. During the Corona pandemic could have changed the route of the mercenaries in the conflict areas. Normally, the men would not fly over Minsk in the direction of Syria or Libya, but this could not be ruled out. Other independent Investigative Reporter share this opinion.
in terms of the official allegation of the "destabilization of the election campaign", is Korotkov skeptical: "The protect machine gun, grenade launcher, driver so all infantry, simple people." Subversive provocations are too complicated for these people. "This is something you have not learned," says Korotkov.
The Russian Ambassador to Belarus, said on the evening of the 30. In July, the detained men were employees of a Russian security company, the would have missed their connecting flight in the airport of Minsk.
author: Pavluk Bykowski, Mikhail Bushuev
*The post "Belarus accuses Russian mercenaries disturbing the peace" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.Deutsche Welle Updated Date: 30 July 2020, 22:27