Nov 25, 2021
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Whose will take: Zelensky decided to fight Lukashenka

Whose will take: Zelensky decided to fight Lukashenka

Photo: Leonid Scheglov / BelTA / TASS

Ukraine, under the pretext of the migration crisis, launched a special operation “Polesie” on the border with Belarus. This was reported by the press service of the country’s border service.

“A special border operation has begun on the border with the Republic of Belarus. It is coordinated by the State Border Service and is carried out jointly with the forces of the National Guard, the National Police, the armed forces and other involved reserves. These are measures to increase the security and protection of the Ukrainian border in order to prevent the migration crisis and counteract illegal activities, ”the agency said in a Facebook post.

Aviation, including unmanned aircraft, will participate in the special operation, and the border regime on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border will be significantly strengthened. In addition, patrolling of highways in border areas, control at bus and railway stations, as well as preventive measures in settlements near the borders of the state are announced.

Kiev believes that there is a threat of a crisis on the border with Belarus due to the possible appearance of migrants who in recent months have been trying to get from Belarus to the European Union – through the territory of Lithuania and Poland.

But what does Ukraine have to do with it? Can refugees use it as another transit country in the context of the actual closure of the Belarusian-Polish border? And will Kiev have enough strength and means to defend its own? After all, the border between Ukraine and Belarus has always been considered “full of holes”, and, obviously, Kiev did not try to “plug” it, not because it did not want to.

Of course, we can assume that all this is window dressing, and the Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky trying to divert the attention of the population from internal problems with the migration crisis along with the “Russian threat”. Or trying to support the West in its anti-Russian and anti-Belarusian hysteria.

But is he not afraid to further complicate relations with Belarus, on which Ukraine depends, for example, for the supply of oil products? Anyway, the economies of the two countries are closely related, and the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko always tried to be friends with Ukrainian colleagues, despite Moscow’s displeasure. But Zelenskiy is pushing Lukashenka away step by step. What if he is deeply offended, takes, yes, and recognizes the Crimea?

– Here you need to understand that Ukraine is now on the verge of a severe socio-political crisis, – draws attention expert of the analytical portal Alexey Ilyashevich

– Ahead is the heating season, for which the Ze-team has prepared, to put it mildly, not in the best way. There seems to be gas, but 18.7 billion cubic meters at the beginning of November is less than last and the year before last. Coal is in general a problem. There is a high probability of rolling blackouts.

In parallel, serious players oppose Zelensky, including the former Minister of Internal Affairs. Arsen Avakov and the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov… On the Akhmetov TV channel “Ukraine”, the president is openly “pissed off”, a scandal with the “Wagnerites” is being unleashed. The situation is really explosive. Therefore, Zelensky is walking along the beaten path – he scares the country’s population with an external threat. This is the “Russian invasion”, which is expected in January, and migrants.

“SP”: – Does this special operation pose any threat to Minsk?

– I don’t see any threat. Zelensky does not need border incidents with Belarus. The task is to react to an illusory danger (so to speak, to wave a saber). This is the corporate identity of Ukrainian politicians: they come up with a problem for themselves and begin to defiantly solve it.

“SP”: – Zelensky supports the anti-Lukashenka campaign to please the West?

– These are not attempts to please the West, but to make the “migration threat” a factor in Ukraine’s domestic policy. How can you hold a meeting or “shake” the presidency when the country is in danger? If illegal immigrants really rushed from Belarus to Ukraine, for Zelensky it would be a real gift of fate.

By the way, please note that the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kirill Budanov predicts that Russia will attack Ukraine, including from the territory of Belarus. Here he is – a new enemy! And protests against the current government, according to Budanov, are provoked from the outside. Zelensky himself, when he was a humorist, ridiculed the mythical plan “Shatun”, with which he was worn Poroshenko… But now he also has his own “Shatun”. Is this not agony?

“SP”: – Aren’t you afraid to go too far? Are they not afraid that the Old Man will freak out, and will recognize the Crimea?

“In order for Lukashenka to freak out, you need to do something tougher. What does he care about the fact that the Ukrainians are conducting some kind of “special operation” on the border? This is their territory – they have the right. Let them dig trenches, even though the hopak dance. As they say, no matter what the child is amused with …

“SP”: – What else can Belarus really answer? Will it stop supplying gasoline? What else?

– Again, there is nothing to answer here. The maximum is to strengthen the protection of the border from the Belarusian side. It will be logical.

“SP”: – To what extent are countries economically dependent on each other? Who is more, who is less? Who’s got their hands free and who’s ready to go all the way?

– Complex issue. This is a topic of serious research: you need to look at individual commodity items, who will suffer the most in the event of restrictions (whether exporters, for example, will be able to find new sales markets, and importers – alternative suppliers).

Ukraine is critically dependent on only one category of goods from Belarus – oil products. Therefore, Lukashenka, of course, could arrange a fuel crisis for his neighbors, and even on the eve of the expected “Russian aggression”. But let’s not forget that the petrochemical complex of Belarus has already become the target of sanctions from the United States and the European Union, which may intensify over time. Ukraine did not join these sanctions and is unlikely to join. So it would be very rash for Lukashenka to lose its market.

– Migrants may need Ukraine in order to try to get to Europe through its territory, because it did not work through the territory of Belarus, – believes Belarusian political commentator Kirill Ozimko

– Europe does not allow migrants through Belarus, because in Brussels and Berlin the entire migration crisis is perceived as an artificially created tool of Alexander Lukashenko’s pressure on the West. As his response to the sanctions. And accepting migrants from Belarus would mean for Europe that this instrument of pressure has worked. They did not accept migrants only for these political reasons.

The West does not have such tense relations with Ukraine as with Belarus, so migrants may well move there and try to cross the Ukrainian-Polish border. In this case, the EU will interact with Kiev and, probably, look at the issue of accepting migrants in a different way.

“SP”: – How to understand the meaning of this Ukrainian special operation?

– As such, it does not pose a threat to Minsk, because it is aimed exclusively at strengthening the border with Belarus. The border between the two post-Soviet republics is still like a “sieve” – ​​there is still no full-fledged fence around the entire perimeter, border fortifications and infrastructure are still being built. Therefore, for Ukraine, the current migration crisis can bring much more deplorable results than Poland, which turned out to be ready for such a development of events.

As part of this operation, according to the information available, Ukrainian border guards will mainly work on protecting the border from the invasion of migrants, and not some attacking maneuvers and encroachments on Belarus.

“SP”: – Kiev is taking such measures in the not too calm situation inside the country. How beneficial is Zelensky’s focus on the “external problem”? Is “Russian aggression” not enough?

– The method of distracting the population from internal problems by forming an image of external threats and external enemies (often imaginary) is as old as the world. In Ukraine, this is the case now when it comes to “Russian aggression.”

But as for the likely arrival of migrants, this is a very real threat.

“SP”: – Kiev actively supports the Western interpretation of events, namely, they call the migration crisis near the EU borders a “hybrid attack” of Minsk. For what? Zelensky is not the first time deliberately aggravated with Lukashenka. Just to grunt at the West?

– I think there are two factors. This desire to appear “real Europe and the real West” is just the same to condemn authoritarian regimes. Feel yourself in the “club of the elite”, “part of the civilized world.”

Secondly, in Ukraine it is believed that in the conditions of the political crisis and isolation of Belarus from the West, the influence of Russia there has grown significantly. It seems that now Belarus is becoming more and more controlled by Moscow – its leadership no longer has the opportunity for “multi-vector”. And since Russia is an “enemy” for Ukraine, therefore, its ally also goes to the camp of “enemies”.

“SP”: – But they have serious trade relations. Ukrainian goods go to Belarus, fuel is supplied to Kiev from Belarusian refineries. Not afraid to spoil them?

– The above-mentioned geopolitical factors seem to outweigh the economic factors in Kiev. The severance of trade relations with Belarus will still not affect those who sit in the Verkhovna Rada and make such statements. The common population of Ukraine will suffer.

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