25 February 2020, Tuesday, 2:18
The Wait Is Nearly Over

Dzmitry Bandarenka: “Chatter” Strategy Is Over

Dzmitry Bandarenka: “Chatter” Strategy Is Over
Andrei Vtyurin

Why did "Assassin" Vtyurin want to kill "good man" Lukashenka?

This was stated by the coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign Dzmitry Bandarenka in his interview to Charter97.org, commenting on unexpected resignations and arrests of top-ranking law enforcers in Belarus.

- Is Lukashenka really fighting the Russian plot in Belarus?

- So far, the situation is reminiscent of the story of the famous film "Brigade", where the main character Alexander, the leader of a criminal gang, is regularly involved in various troubles. But the end of the story is the moment when the personal guard of this bandit, who repeatedly saved his life, his family, gets the order to destroy all friends of Alexander and who wants to kill him.

We see that sometimes films sometimes coincide with a real of life. Specifics of Russian security services are well revealed in this film. Nothing unusual is happening and, perhaps, now Lukashenka is fighting for his life and for his power.

- That is, may there be any real plot? We are not talking about Russia's influence. Is a plot in the Belarusian law enforcement agencies against Lukashenka possible?

- I am sure that there was a plot against Lukashenka, I believe that arrests of Vtyurin and other people are not the last. I also believe that Vtyurin was tied to Russia and Ambassador Babich. But the thing is that Lukashenka's entourage; all his law enforcement agencies, are filled with Russian agents like watermelon filled with seeds. And it is not even because they are recruited by Russia.

Who was recruited by Lukashenka for his security services? A Belarusian patriot couldn't get there, a person who speaks the Belarusian language couldn't get there; a person who knows the Belarusian history and acts in interests of Belarus couldn't get there either. This is not a version, this is knowing.

When I and other Belarusian opposition members were in the KGB prison and other prisons, we managed to talk to many leaders of the Lukashenka group. We met with the former KGB chairman Zaitseu, the current Interior Minister Shunevich, and the security service of Lukashenka, headed by Vtyurin that time. We know that tortures of opposition leaders, presidential candidates, their heads of staff, journalists, women, were carried out with the help of the security service of Lukashenka. This information comes from the law enforcers, who were jailed with us. Another proof is the note of the editor-in-chief of Nasha Niva Andrei Dynko, who was in Akrestsina prison after Square-2006; the head of Lukashenka's personal security service was in his ward. Vtryurin was about to tear off people speaking Belarusian.

- The leader of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich also told that Vtyurin visited him in the KGB pre-trial detention center in 2010.

- Yes, Mikalai also mentioned it. The same people, Vtyurin and Shunevich told us about their strong ties in Lukashenka's Administration. At that time, the Administration of Lukashenka was then run by notorious "liberal" Makei. Therefore, it is filled with Russian agents. We see Shunevich in the form of the NKVD who worships the Tsarist city. It is an idol and a guiding light for him.

In 2011, the head of prison Orlov made a pother about Putin. It was obvious that Putin was a hero for this despicable man. Officers who interrogated us had Kolchak, Denikin, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the First as heroes. They did not know the Belarusian history at all. I had a feeling that they were some kind of mutants. After all, they are not Soviet people, but not Belarusians either. They talked about Putin, mythical and non-mythical Russian heroes and money - that's all they were interested in.

There's one more thing. We also jailed with law enforcement officers: employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Traffic Police, the Serious Fraud Office, the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption, the KGB, border guards, customs officers and former employees of the State Department of Corrections. And the one thing they all had in common was absence of knowledge of the Belarusian history; their heroes were Putin, they watched Russian films, knew only Russian authors. In fact, they are not Belarusians. Few of them know our history and language.

- Does it mean that if Lukashenka was fighting the Russian plot, he would have to remove the entire top of his law enforcement agencies?

- It's still an unsolvable task, because a clan fight is on. Lukashenka is not fighting the Russian security services. Yes, he is aware of the threat, but there are clans and groups there. Why do they exist? Because they protect different objects. Someone is protecting Belaruskali, delivery of goods and equipment; someone is protecting MTZ, or businessmen from Lukashenka's entourage. And it gives the ground for various gangs. From time to time Lukashenka pit them against each other, but now it looks like Russia is behind Vtyurin. It seems that Putin has no other way but to remove Lukashenka.

- Why now?

- Putin is aware of the real situation in Belarus. And it is as follows: 80% of Belarusians hate Lukashenka and they long for changes. If he nominates himself for the seventh term, it will cause a social upheaval, which the Kremlin can' t control.

Putin knows that the Belarusians have strong pro-European sentiments. 30% of Belarusians have always voted for representatives of the national democratic forces, while at different times 30-60% supported the accession of Belarus to the European Union. The Belarusian elite has good sentiments for Ukrainians, because the Ukrainians have served as an example of how to defend their independence. And Putin realizes that if Lukashenka runs for the seventh term, it will end in a riot. For sure.

Plus, the Belarusian dictator is getting old, he is inadequate, his actions are the best proof, he has repeatedly deceived Putin in various financial schemes, and Russia itself faces hardships. Illegal trade with the West and Ukraine is going through Belarus. Inadequate Lukashenka, who steals at every opportunity, cannot satisfy Putin.

- It is obvious that the Belarusian opposition will resist the possible scenario of the Kremlin. But there are patriots among the Belarusian nomenclature and law enforcement officials. What will you recommend them?

- There are more patriots among officials than in law enforcement agencies. There are a lot of educated people, they are more intelligent who have to contact people; meanwhile, law enforcement officials see everything through a baton, aiming sight or handcuffs. Officials, especially in Western Belarus, or in the border areas with Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine, go to these countries, participate in bilateral projects, know how people live there. They know the history, understand that officials have nothing to fear when the regime changes. These people are well organized, they have ties and when changes occur, as in Eastern Europe, they feel good. They know that it's dangerous to go too far. It comes first.

Secondly, officials are the main target of repressions and bullying by security services. Enforcers are also hit by this machine, but officials suffer most. I also mean the directorate of enterprises and joint-stock companies, because they are state-owned. Therefore, officials would also like to change the situation in Belarus, because they will eventually be gainers by it.

- What should they do?

- I would not like to make any calls. It seems to me that Belarusian character and decency can be present in all sectors of society, even among security officials and the military. Of course, there are differences between the layers of the society, but patriots are everywhere.

Today, Belarusians just need to see that the situation is pretty good for us in terms of marketing. Most Belarusians hate Lukashenka, and the regime has become obsolete. The new generation wants to live like their peers in the European Union.

We also know the history, we are part of our common great state Lithuania, and then the Rzeczpospolita. Those countries that were in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland — are already in the EU, Ukraine is striving to go there. And what about Belarus? Will it not be in Europe? It's impossible.

- It has often been said lately that the situation in Belarus resembles the late USSR, that perestroika has started in Belarus. Changes are inevitable, right?

- Changes are inevitable, but they always depend on the activity of those people who live at this time, on their actions, on the awareness of their subjectivity. The situation in Belarus is similar to the agony of the USSR. Today, Lukashenka and his clique are hated more than the Communists during the perestroika period.

They say that Lukashenka is wise, he has a strategy. And what was the strategy? There was a desire to get into the Kremlin, there was a “Slavic alliance” - these are his sincere feelings and beliefs. Recently, they began to talk (the leaks from special services reveal this) that “we, the people of power, must balance, pass between Scylla and Charybdis, nationalists and Russians”.

I would say that this is not a strategy, but the dangling of a certain substance in an ice-hole - when you are neither with Russians, nor with Europe, nor with your people. The strategy of “dangling” has come to an end. The actions of Utsiuryn, that conspiracy – this is just the beginning. Putin has no other way out; he voiced his goals: to hand out passports to residents of the “DNR” and “LNR”, plus in the Crimea. This has already been done. Plus he wants a common state with Ukraine. Why is he shouting about it? Russian women stopped giving birth, and, probably, half of Central Asia would like to move to Moscow and St. Petersburg. And I think that the fifth part has already moved. This is not bad, because Russia needs manpower, but if it continues like this, then it will be necessary to change the religion to Islam. They are not ready for this yet.

This means that in this empire you need to find new slaves and close the Internet so that no one knows what is happening in the outside world. To recruit new Orthodox slaves from Ukraine, Belarus, turn off information about the whole world and close the border. After all, Putin's regime is also archaic and worn out.

This is Putin’s strategy; he urgently needs these people. And the point is not even in the Soviet Union, it can only be a bait, because no one will abandon the brand of the Russian Empire for the sake of something incomprehensible. This is only an attempt to pull the wool over eyes during the period of active operations.

- What should the West do in this situation?

- Today's policy of the West touches. A question comes up: what would happen if the failed “assassin” Utsiuryn realized his plan and physically eliminated the “warm-hearted person” Lukashenka? What would the West and Ukraine do in this situation? Where are their tools? After all, Ukraine is also threatened by the “northern balcony”. Russia has military bases, dozens of TV channels, Hrodna Cossacks who grew up like mushrooms after the rain, Sputnik and other sites in Belarus. It seems to me that it is time for the West to see that the problem of the Belarusian regime is not only the problem of the Belarusian people, but also the security of entire Europe.

The comparison with perestroika is real. What plans the Soviet General Staff had in those times! What plans the ideologists of the CPSU cherished! How many troops there were! The millionth Army in East Germany, 200 thousand in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary each. But everything collapsed like a house of cards. Because people do not want to be slaves.

Belarusians face the following choice: either we will fall under the Russian yoke, or become Europeans. By and large, it depends on us. If popular strength and self-consciousness awakens, then no one can do anything about it. In addition to the numbers I mentioned, we have our own leaders: Statkevich, Aleksiyevich, Sannikov, Pazniak, Niakliayeu, Seviarynets. These are people who are known in the world and by their life have proved that Belarus and values mean a lot to them.

The fact that everything will be decided in the very near future is dead set, inevitable.