Belarus on the Path to Civil War?

  • Nexta conducted a poll in Belarus.
  • Law enforcement personnel is growing tired of the unrest.
  • The Self Defense Units idea is being floated by the Belarusian opposition.

The Polish telegram channel Nexta, which became one of the main channels for the Belarusian opposition to report news and organize actions together, conducted a poll. The poll conducted was pertaining to the question, “are you ready to join the self-defense units and fight back against the punishers?”

Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging, videotelephony and voice over IP service. Telegram client apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux and originated in Russia.

It was conduced in Belarus, and 37% that were surveyed said Yes, and 18% stated Not Ready. The rest are undecided. The scope for the poll included over 500,000 people. It should be noted that the poll was completely anonymous. The population of Belarus is over 9 million people.

These results signal the significance of how the people feel in the country. Clearly, Belarusian nationals are angry and fed up with what is going on in the country. The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, managed to completely upset the people.

Not only he did he falsify the presidential election results, he also jailed his opposing candidates. Hence, automatically making them ineligible to run in the election. Interestingly, during Maidan in Ukraine in 2014, the opposition groups also called themselves self-defense units.

Furthermore, throughout the last month, a new technology of velvet coups was being rolled out in Belarus, through a virtual leader who can neither be arrested nor disabled. The Telegram channel was both a coordinator, an ideologue, and a provocateur. Now he’s openly directing the crowd to clash.

Moreover, a week ago, Nexta directly ordered the 100,000-strong crowd to go to the Presidential Palace, where a dozen armored personnel carriers with machine guns were already standing.

Alexander Lukashenko is a Belarusian politician serving as President of Belarus since the office was created on 20 July 1994. Western opponents of Lukashenko have described Belarus as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship.’

Counting on Bloodshed?

“Begin to encircle punitive near the Palace,” instructs Nexta, laying out the map. However, what the opposition does not seem to realize is that if civil war breaks out in Belarus, Russian units that were requested by Lukashenko from Putin will be activated.

Once Minsk starts seeing the “self-defense units” with “bandits in civilian clothes,” people will have nothing to lose. At that time, it will become bloodshed. The Kremlin would be heavily involved in the conflict, as at that point it would meet the threshold of extremism. That is the threshold needed for the Rossgvardiya unit to start operations in Belarus.

Overall, there are also Belarus security forces that are no longer interested to enforce Lukashenko’s orders. There is a significant number of the law enforcement personnel who quit. They denounced the regime and turned in their uniforms. There are, of course, Lukashenko hard core loyalists as well.

If the activities and the sentiment continues, it is highly likely Belarus is on the red line. The crossing into a full civil war scenario is near. There are no winners if such a war breaks out.

There will be casualties from all sides. The Belarusian economy couldn’t survive too long in such conditions. Belarus would default within two years. The ramifications would be long-lasting and not favorable.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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