Belarus Review by iSANS — April 8, 2024 

Belarus Review by iSANS — April 8, 2024
Photo: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya presenting the Good Neighborhood Award to the President of the Czech Republic. Credit:


Belarus Review (2024 edition, issue 13)

A weekly update on the ongoing political crisis in the Republic of Belarus was prepared for you by the International Strategic Action Network for Security (iSANS).

The combat readiness check of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus has continued. As of April 1, units of the 19th Mechanized Brigade were at the Lepelsky training range (≈ 3000 persons), the Osipovichi training range (≈ 1000 persons), the Domanovo training range (≈ 250 persons), as well as in the Ashmiany (near the village of Tsenteli, ≈ 350 persons) and Pastavy districts (near the towns of Yushkovshchina and Podolyany, ≈ 410 persons). On March 26, Lukashenka visited the location of the 19th Mechanized Brigade in Ashmiany district. It was reported that the combat alignment of the units to which the conscripts had been drafted had been completed. Brigade tactical exercises should start soon.

On March 25, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported that the 120th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade (military unit 96577) was put on alert to perform its intended tasks. The brigade is stationed in Baranavichy and is armed with the Buk anti-aircraft missile system. To complete the brigade to the wartime staff, the military commissions of Brest region called for military training of about 1,000 persons liable for military duty. Military equipment was removed from long-term storage. Some brigade units were withdrawn to the designated areas and started combat duty. Combat training sessions are being held at the Domanovo training ground for those called up from the reserve.

On April 1, the Belarusian Defense Ministry reported that the 336th Rocket Artillery Brigade started a command and staff exercise as part of a combat readiness check. The brigade’s servicemen will have to carry out a set of measures to prepare the equipment, go to the designated areas, and carry out combat training tasks. The brigade is armed with Smerch multiple rocket launchers and Polonez-M missile systems.

On April 5, it was reported that the 52nd Independent Tank Battalion and the engineering units of the 6th Mechanized Brigade were involved in the inspection. The units were marching to the range in a combined way. Subsequently, battalion tactical exercises with live firing were held.

On March 26, the Zimbabwean Defense Attaché paid an official visit to the Belarusian MoD in connection with his appointment. The parties discussed the implementation of the Roadmap for the development of cooperation, as well as the action plan of military cooperation between the Ministries of Defense of Belarus and Zimbabwe for 2024.

On March 27, Commander of the Internal Troops Mikalai Karpiankou met with Liu Zhe, military attaché at the Chinese Embassy in Belarus. During the meeting, issues of further development of the relationship between the departments were discussed. An agreement on mutual training of servicemen was reached.

On March 27, the 61st Fighter and 116th Attack Air Bases moved their aircraft to alternate airfields. The pilots from Baranavichy practiced the transfer to the Minsk National Airport and the pilots from Lida – to the Babrujsk Airfield. The movement of aircraft was carried out to avoid enemy strikes on aircraft.

From April 2  to 4, command and staff exercises were held with the territorial defense forces of the Rogachev and Kormyansk districts of the Homel region. The exercises focused on the protection and defense of critical infrastructure, as well as on the actions of the people’s militia. Similar exercises were held in Voronovskiy district (Hrodna Region).

On April 5, the Ministry of Defense published a tender for the purchase of thirteen Supercam-S350 unmanned aerial systems. This is the largest single purchase of Supercam drones (11 Supercam S350 and S150 drones were purchased for the army from 2020 to 2023 inclusive). The purchased drones will be used to form unmanned aerial systems units in artillery brigades of the Armed Forces of Belarus.

On April 5 it became known that the draft law “On Suspension of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe” would be submitted to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly. The document provides for the suspension of the treaty but does not mean Belarus’ withdrawal from it and the cessation of internal procedures in the Armed Forces of Belarus related to its implementation. Earlier, Belarus suspended the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe concerning Poland and the Czech Republic.

On April 7, four new Mi-35M helicopters arrived at the Machulishchi airfield. This is the second batch of helicopters: the first arrived in August 2023.

The State Committee for Defense Industry completed tests of the 122 mm BM-21B BelGrad-2 multiple rocket launcher system. The tests confirmed that the BM-21B characteristics meet the requirements of the design documentation and the combat vehicle is ready for serial production for further delivery to the Armed Forces of Belarus under the state defense order.

According to state media, the 377th anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Armed Forces of Belarus will be rearmed with modern air defense systems. The regiment will receive S-400, Tor-M2, and Pantsir-S1 air defense systems. The terms of the equipment transfer were not named.

The command of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces of Belarus plans to purchase 1,000 aerodrome slabs to repair the runways of the Machulishchi and Baranavichy airfields. The number of slabs to be purchased for Machulishchi Airfield should be enough to replace around 150 meters of runway surface.

The mass media circulated information that the French intelligence was monitoring “the build-up of the Russian forces in Belarus”. The information about the build-up of the Russian Armed Forces in Belarus turned out to be fake and does not correspond to reality.


On March 25, the Day celebrated by the Belarusian pro-democratic population and Democratic Forces of Belarus as the Independence Day, the Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil said that Prague could host the Belarusian opposition government led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, recalling that Prague already hosted a Belarusian government in exile about a century ago. The statement was made during the visit of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to Czechia.
On March 26, it was reported that the Belarusian Embassy in Russia received information about another victim, a Belarusian citizen, during the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk. Reportedly, the deceased is a Belarusian who worked at the event hall as a security guard and was unaccounted for after the terrorist attack. The identification of his DNA to confirm his identity is underway. Currently, the number of Belarusian citizens killed in the attack has risen to two persons. After the ceremonial unveiling of the monument to Kastus Kalinouski and the participants of the uprising of 1863-1864 in the courtyard of the Franciscan Monastery in Vilnius by the Belarusian diaspora and Belarusian democratic forces just before the March 25th celebrations, the Vilnius city municipality announced that it had been illegally erected. According to Kamile Šeraite-Gogelienė, chairperson of the Historical Memory Commission of the City Council, the commission she heads, which considered the issue last year, did not approve the installation of the monument and informed the initiator of the project in writing. The initiators of the erection of the monument might face fines. In the worst case, the monument might be removed.
On March 26, it was reported that a Lithuanian parliamentary inquiry revealed that the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda engaged with Belarusian fertilizer companies before his presidency, later advocating against sanctions on Belarusian fertilizers. The inquiry indicates that individuals associated with Nausėda’s circle pose national security risks, with ties to Russian and Belarusian intelligence agencies. Nausėda met with Belarusian fertilizer business figures in 2018-2019, with some later attending events at the Presidential Palace, including meetings attended by the presidential office staff. The commission found attempts by these individuals to hold significant positions in state bodies and influence Lithuania’s stance on EU sanctions exemptions for Belarusian fertilizer businesses in June 2021. The vice-chair of the Seimas, Paulius Saudargas, does not rule out that President Gitanas Nausėda may face impeachment. The information and the accusations were refuted by the President later that week, stating that the threat of impeachment several weeks before the Presidential elections was irresponsible.
On April 2, it became known that a preliminary agreement with the Vilnius City Council was reached to open another first-grade class with Belarusian as a language of teaching. This is against the background that the only Belarusian school of Francysk Skaryna in Vilnius is operating above its capacities, On September 1, 2023, there were 408 schoolchildren at this school. Parents were urged to submit applications. The leader of the Belarusian parents’ initiative group that attempts to attain the opening of another Belarusian school in Vilnius stated that as for now an agreement to open additional first grade was reached, but the work for further educational facilities for Belarusians will continue.

Last week, it was announced that Belarusians living abroad, who traveled to their homeland through Russia in order not to attract additional attention from the Belarusian border services or law enforcement bodies, won’t be able to continue such travels as Russian border services will provide information to the Lukashenka’s slaw enforcement bodies about Belarusians traveling through Russia every month.

During the period under review, the leader of the Belarusian democratic forces and the Head of the United Transitional Cabinet Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya attended online events organized by the team of BNR100 to mark the Freedom Day on March 25 and delivered an address to Belarusians stating that “No violence can suffocate the strength of Belarusians, and the Freedom Day symbolizes it”. During a working visit to Prague, Czechia, Tsikhanouskaya was received by President Petr Pavel at Prague castle on March 26, where the parties discussed support for political prisoners and steps towards their release, the work of the Office of Belarus Democratic Forces in the Czech Republic, cooperation and support for Ukraine, as well as the military and political situation in Belarus and the region. Moreover, the Czech President expressed his support for the Belarusian people, and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya presented the Cross of Good Neighborhood to Petr Pavel. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský, the President of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil, and the Speaker of the Parliament Markéta Pekarová Adamová. Tsikhanouskaya urged the foreign minister to consider ways to soften the visa ban, including by making exceptions for certain groups, including students and relatives of Belarusians in the Czech Republic. At the same time, the Belarusian democratic leader discussed a support campaign for political prisoners with the speaker of the Parliament. A conference on Belarusian political prisoners is being prepared, organized by the Office of Belarus Democratic Forces in the Czech Republic and Czech patrons.

On April 4-5, working groups held several meetings within the framework of the Strategic Dialogue between Belarusian democratic forces and the U.S. government, which began its work in December 2023. The parties discussed human rights violations and ways to achieve the release of political prisoners; the activities of the democratic movement and civil society, including the trade union movement; the Russian threat to the independence and sovereignty of Belarus; UN mechanisms that can be used to promote Belarusian issues; sanctions and ways to bring the Lukashenka regime to international accountability for its crimes. Representatives of the United Transitional Cabinet, the Office of Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya, the Coordination Council, the Belarusian civil society, the expert community, as well as professional associations and human rights initiatives participated in the meetings to represent democratic Belarus or were present as observers. From the American side, the participants included the representatives of the State Department, the Department of the Treasury, the Agency for International Development, and the Department of Labor. The working groups will continue their activities in May 2024 on issues of media support and countering propaganda, as well as issues of culture, education, national identity, sports, and activities of the Belarusian diaspora in the United States.


A quarter of the “political” criminal cases initiated in Belarus in 2023 are related to insulting Lukashenka, the organization of former Belarusian security officials BelPol reports. 5,012 criminal cases were initiated in 2023 on charges that have been used for political persecution. Not only political activists fall under the repression by the security forces, but also their relatives, even those who had nothing to do with opposition activities. Most cases were initiated on charges of insulting a government representative (1,570 (31.3%)), insulting the president (1,263 (25.2%)), organizing and preparing actions grossly violating public order, or actively participating in them (798 (15.9%)). BelPol stressed that these data include both cases of persecution for political reasons and cases of real violation of criminal law.

A criminal investigation was opened against the leader of the liquidated Greens party, Dzmitri Kuchuk, under the “people’s” article on group actions grossly violating public order. He was detained in mid-February when he came to the Russian embassy in Minsk to honor the memory of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Dzmitri Kuchuk was given 30 days of arrest but has never been released. Last November, Kuchuk announced plans to stand for elections to the House of Representatives, but his initiative group was not registered by the authorities. The Supreme Court liquidated the Greens party in July 2023 during a campaign to suppress independent political associations.

On March 27, the Investigative Committee completed a preliminary investigation in the criminal case against 20 analysts and experts within the framework of a special procedure. The list includes independent political scientists, sociologists, economists, and several employees of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s office. According to the investigation, experts allegedly “joined a conspiracy to seize state power in Belarus,” “joined extremist formations,” took an “active part in the development and implementation of the concept of destructive activities,” and “contributed to the incitement of social hostility and discord in society.” “Depending on the role of each participant in the commission of crimes,” they were charged with aiding and abetting actions aimed at inciting other social hostility or discord based on other social affiliation committed by a group of persons; conspiracy committed to seize state power unconstitutionally; aiding and abetting public calls for the seizure of state power, committing other actions aimed at harming the national security; leadership of an extremist formation and its structural unit; or participation in an extremist formation. The official representative of the Investigative Committee, Siarhei Kabakovich, reported that “to ensure compensation for the damage caused, the property of the accused, including expensive apartments, houses, and land plots, has been seized.”

Paralympian Aliaksei Talai, the head of the charity foundation under his name, stated that he would try to bring as many children as possible from the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine to Belarus. In an interview with Sputnik Belarus pro-government channel, he said that children will be able to “gain strength and good emotions in their brotherly, native land.” Aliaksei Talai has already participated in the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories and is under European sanctions.

Belarus has become the second country in the world after Nicaragua in terms of the number of cases of persecution of clergy. According to the data of Aid to the Church in Need, ten Belarusian Catholic priests were arrested in 2023 alone: three of them remained in custody at the end of the year. According to the monitoring data of Hrystsyanskaja Vizija, as of the end of 2023, at least 60 priests suffered from political persecution by the authorities in Belarus. Repressions against the clergy fully unfolded after the 2020 protests: the authorities began to persecute both opposition-minded priests and active parishioners. In an attempt to control religion in Belarus, the law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” was changed, sermons in churches were being monitored, and criminal cases were being opened against priests.

On April 1, the KGB recognized the website of the Union of Poles in Belarus “an extremist formation.” It was reported that “the information products of the portal are extremist materials.” From now on, anyone who cooperates with this portal or distributes its publications will be persecuted “for participating in extremist activities.”

On April 1, eight people who were tried in Baranovichi for the 2020 protests were sentenced. 17 people were involved in the case altogether, but only sentences of eight of them have been announced so far. They all were sentenced to one to three years of imprisonment in a colony under a general or strict regime.

On April 1, 57-year-old Aliaksanr Verasovich was sentenced to six years in a high-security colony by the Minsk Regional Court for making donations to Kalinouski’s regiment and BYSOL. He was accused of financing the activities of an extremist group and financing participation in military operations on the territory of a foreign state.

The initiative was recognized as an extremist formation by a decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on April 2. is a platform for the protection of the rights and interests of Belarusian political prisoners. The initiative began operating at the end of 2020 in response to the massive repression in the country.

Security forces detained activists who were monitoring politically motivated trials. Among the detainees are Aliaksandr Vaytsashak from Baranovichi, Aliaksandr Ramanovich from Pinsk, and Vital Chopik from Brest. Authorities linked their activities to Viasna” Human Rights Center. The video with them was shown by the state channel ONT. “Their tasks included attending court sessions on criminal cases of extremist orientation, during which they recorded the course and results of court sessions, and later provided this information to administrators of extremist formations abroad, who published it on their Internet resources. All this was done to put pressure on the participants in the trial,” said a man wearing a jacket with the inscription “GUBOP” (the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption), standing with his back to the camera. According to the presenter, Ramanovich tried to register a branch of “Viasna” in Brest, and, after he became aware of the impending detention, he tried to flee from Belarus with the help of the BYSOL foundation. On March 29, the court arrested him for 15 days. A criminal case was opened against Chopik on chargers of the promotion of extremist activities. Earlier, he was taken to the hospital “with signs of severe beatings.”

On April 4, it became known that Ryhor Kastusiou, a political prisoner and the leader of the Belaruski Narodny Front (BNF) Party, underwent surgery. Immediately after the operation, he was sent back to his prison cell. In January 2024, Kastusiou was transferred from the colony to the prison regime, to the Hrodna prison. The last months in the Wolf Holes colony were very difficult for him, and the long transfer to Hrodna further undermined his health. He wrote to his family that “everything is very bad with his health”. In September 2022, the Minsk Regional Court sentenced Kastusiou to ten years of imprisonment for “an attempted coup d’etat to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means.” During his detention, he was diagnosed with cancer. He did not receive the necessary medical care in custody.

It became known about the condition of Maryja Kalesnikava, a political prisoner held incommunicado for more than a year. The last time her family received a letter from her was on February 15, 2023. Since then, there has been no information about her. As it turned out, Kalesnikava has been in isolation for almost the whole year. She was placed in a solitary cell. As the maximum period of stay there allowed by the law is six months, she was transferred to a punishment cell for several days, and after that again to a solitary cell. One of the information sources claims that Kalesnikava has health problems, the operation she underwent in 2022 has harmed her health. She lost a lot of weight. She suffered from several colds. She had high blood pressure, but the colony administration refused to give her medicine. They didn’t even want to take her blood pressure, even though she insisted, according to the source.

The Department for Foreigners of Poland has published a report on the citizens of Belarus residing in Poland, who are the second largest group of foreigners in the country. As of February 29, 2024, a total of 124,438 Belarusian citizens had a valid document issued by Poland granting them the right to stay. From August 9, 2020 to February 29, 2024, 10,161 citizens of Belarus applied for international protection. From 2021 to the end of 2023, Belarusians were the largest group among the countries of origin of potential refugees. Currently, Belarus is the second country of origin of applicants for protection — after Ukraine. In 2021-2024, the head of the Department for Foreigners issued 8,336 decisions concerning Belarusians, including 8,042 positive decisions (570 refugee statuses and 7,472 additional protection statuses). At the moment, 1,607 cases on granting international protection to citizens of Belarus are being considered. The number of positive decisions on cases of granting a residence permit (temporary or permanent resident) to citizens of Belarus in 2021-2024 amounted to 119,166. 99% of applications submitted were granted last year, and 94% of applications — this year.

On March 27, the Swedish Migration Agency issued a legal position on passports for Belarusian citizens. The agency stated that Belarusians are deprived of the opportunity to replace their expired passports at embassies, so now the Swedish authorities will officially consider that Belarusian citizens “do not have the opportunity to obtain a document valid as a passport within a reasonable time.” In this regard, the migration service will issue a foreigner’s passport or other document to Belarusians who are in Sweden and cannot obtain a passport, so that a residence permit could be put in a document.

A Belarusian family in Slovenia received the first passport of a foreigner (Potni list za tujce) for their nine-year-old son. Since the applicants faced difficulties due to the ignorance of the employee of the body responsible for issuing passports to foreigners, the People’s Embassy of Belarus in Slovenia prepared requests to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Department of Administrative Units to clarify the procedure to avoid a time gap in the validity of documents and to recognize the danger of returning to Belarus as the basis for recognizing the impossibility of obtaining a passport.

The International Press Institute, the global network for media freedom, condemned the prison terms handed last month to two more Belarusians concerning their past work as independent journalists. Former reporter Ihar Karney was sentenced to three years of imprisonment while camera operator Andrey Tolchyn received a two-and-a-half-year sentence. “The sentences against Ihar Karney and Andrey Tolchyn show that the Lukashenka regime will stop at nothing in its repression of independent media and civil society in Belarus,” the International Press Institute Deputy Director, Scott Griffen, said. “We continue to stand in solidarity with the exceptionally oppressed Belarusian media sector, demand the release of imprisoned journalists, as well call on authorities to engage in a dialogue with society, to ensure the basic rights of citizens, including freedom of the press,” he stated.

On April 4, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 24 in favor, 6 against, and 17 abstentions. The Council noted, “with grave concern that, according to the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, some of the violations committed in Belarus may amount to crimes against humanity when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against the civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.” The Council strongly urged the Belarusian authorities to comply fully with all their obligations under international human rights law and to relaunch a national dialogue on a moratorium on the death penalty and its eventual abolition. It decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus for one year and to urgently establish, for a renewable period of one year, a group of three independent experts on the situation of human rights in Belarus. The Human Rights Council urged the Belarusian authorities to establish full and non-selective engagement with all United Nations human rights mechanisms.


On March 26, Aliaksandr Lukashenka went on a working visit to Hrodna region Ashmiany district, during which he gave instructions on responding toughly to possible provocations on the border by neighboring countries. “I will say publicly: any provocation must be stopped by armed means. There is nothing to make jokes with them. Violated the state border – to destruction. No one should have ceremonies with anyone. And that’s what we will do. Because if we chew snot, you know what will happen. So any violation of the state border – to destruction. They understand only force.” He called “complete nonsense” the reports about the plans of Russia and Belarus to attack the West, saying that he doesn’t want a war with “NATO” troops, who “provoke to be answered in some way”. At the same time, he noted that NATO forces, which are now in Lithuania, in case of a clash with the Belarusians and Russians “will run away from the battlefield,” as they are “mercenaries” and their land is “in Germany and the United States”.

Following Lukashenka’s trip, pro-governmental expert and MP Vadzim Hihin suggested calling the statements made by Lukashenka the “Ashmiany Declaration” because of their “important and principled nature”. In his opinion, this declaration can be summarized as follows: “Neither Belarus nor, according to our data, Russia, have any intentions to attack Poland or the Baltic States. At the same time, our Armed Forces and the entire system of ensuring national security are ready to give a decisive response to any military invasion of our territory by NATO or structures controlled by this aggressive bloc. The Republic of Belarus has sufficient forces and means to respond to an armed provocation by neighboring NATO member states or the Kyiv regime. Participants of such provocations will be destroyed. Our military-political alliance with Russia is stronger than ever, and both countries fully expect each other’s support in the event of a military threat.” The term the “Ashmiany Declaration” was eagerly taken up by other propagandists.

During the period under review, representatives of the Lukashenka regime speculated a lot about who ordered the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall near Moscow; like their Russian associates, they actively searched for a “Ukrainian trace” and “machinations of the West” in the tragedy. Kseniya Lebiadzeva, propagandist of Belarus-1, project “It’s Different”: “Of course, we can repeat many times that it was not Ukrainian special services that carried out the shooting at Crocus, activated it, so to speak, but it’s like calling bitter things sweet things – they won’t get any sweeter.”
Politician Aleh Haidukevich on the air of ONT on March 28: “A terrorist attack took place. After just an hour, the U.S. State Department and European officials started saying that it was not Ukraine. You, without waiting for an investigation, with no information – it is not Ukraine. The reason is the same – geopolitics.”

And pro-government national security expert Aliaksandr Tsishchanka, in a March 26 article for Belarus Segodnya, blamed the United States for “focusing public opinion on ISIS” and “diverting suspicion away from Ukraine.” “Ukrainian intelligence gave itself away by blaming the Kremlin for the latest terrorist attack to justify increased strikes on Ukraine, Budanov’s gang leaked their main motives. They were the ones who needed to motivate the West to retaliate with harsh actions. This option was presented as an undeniable reason to force the West to help Kyiv. It looked especially assertive against the background of promising hints of European politicians. Primitive, blunt, and inhuman, but from the perspective of the personal characteristics of the political representatives of Western civilization. Undoubtedly, this sabotage is in the hands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Intelligence and on the conscience of Brussels and Washington”.

On March 26, the Interior Ministry stated that the country’s residents, mostly young people, and schoolchildren, started to receive messages offering to commit terrorist acts for money – for example, to shoot in shopping centers or to mine buildings. The message was immediately met with reactions from officials and state media; most urged citizens to be vigilant and the authorities to tighten security measures. Vadzim Hihin: “The tragedy in Krasnogorsk showed that the organizers of terrorist attacks use the same technologies of remote recruitment via messengers and social networks as fraudsters <…> As a deputy, I will raise the issue of improving legislation, including the Criminal Code, in this area. New challenges require a prompt response from the authorities.” Andrei Mukavozchyk on the air of Azaronak Straightly: “You cannot relax! Nothing is over <…> You and I will chew snot and ask: how did it happen? Do we look around us? Are we even those who are under the plinth, are we forging them or not? They’re the ones who are going to bring us the bomb”.

The terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall caused heated discussions about the removal of the moratorium on the death penalty in Russia, which has been in force since 1997. Belarusian pro-governmental experts also took part in the discussion. On March 28, on the air of ONT, MP Ihar Marzaliuk expressed confidence that the death penalty in Russia will be returned “in one form or another”, possibly “as a punishment for terrorism”. On March 29, Russian State Duma deputy Maria Butina said that Russia and Belarus were negotiating about the possibility of executing the accused in Belarus. But some Belarusian propagandists were careful with such a proposal. For example, Maryna Karaman criticized it in her TG channel, emphasizing that “there are deeds that brothers should not share”. According to her assessment, Belarus does not need “increased attention of jihadists,” as well as urging “not to burden our President,” who “has already had a lot of difficult decisions to make.”

On April 2, Russia and Belarus celebrated the so-called Day of Unity of the Peoples of Belarus and Russia, which was actively covered in the media of both countries. In a speech to mark the occasion, Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Dzmitry Krutoy said that the countries “resist both sanctions pressure and geopolitical tension together” but they will cope, as they “haven’t managed to divide us”. Krutoy also said that Putin and Lukashenka are “like cousins” who set the tone for the whole agenda.
On April 2, Lukashenka laid a capsule with a message to future generations in the foundation of the new city hospital in Hrodna. He said that the message contained “sincere hopes, and all of them are dictated by the desire for peace and creation”. At the same time, he reproached neighboring countries for digging trenches and erecting anti-tank structures on the border, while he was intent on creating and “digging the ground to build a hospital”. In Hrodna, he again spoke out about the likelihood of war, but the statement was somewhat contradictory: “Don’t believe anyone that we want to go to war. We are preparing for war, I am speaking frankly about it. ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’ — I didn’t come up with that. It is very rightly said.” According to him, the necessary training of the relevant units is underway in the country, various types of weapons and equipment are supplied to the troops. At the same time, Lukashenka said that Belarus does not threaten anyone and does not want someone else’s land, but will not give up a millimeter of its land either.

On April 2, a meeting of the joint board of the KGB of Belarus and the FSB of Russia was held in Moscow. Heads of the agencies Ivan Tsertsel and Sergei Naryshkin noted “the intensification of subversive activities of Western intelligence services against the Union State” and “the increased aggressiveness of the United States and its allies”. They stressed that “one of the main tasks of the intelligence service is the timely detection and suppression of subversive actions organized abroad, including those using the non-system opposition by foreign intelligence services”.

On April 4, Aliaksandr Shpakouski, Minister Counselor of the Belarusian Embassy in Russia, called the publication of the Russian newspaper Kommersant, which reported that Belarus might refuse to service payment cards of the “Mir” system, “a classic information sabotage aimed at undermining trust between the Republic of Belarus and Russia”. Shpakouski pointed out that an anonymous representative of the banking sector was indicated as a source in the article, while the information of the Belarusian side was not requested. According to him, the Belarusian Embassy in Russia may appeal to the Russian authorities because of this “provocation”. The pro-government expert also did not rule out the blocking of Kommersant in Belarus. Against the background of this situation, Ryhor Azaronak also attacked the publication, describing it as a “dirty bourgeois anti-Russian scum” and its journalists as “information-sluts”.

On April 4, pro-governmental TG channels reported that the correspondent of Belarus-1 Kseniya Lebiadzeva “brought letters and humanitarian aid to the occupied Donbas”. She said that the letters to the Russian military, who are fighting against Ukraine, were written by students of the Sunday school at St. Pokrovsky Cathedral in Hrodna. One of the letters begins like this: “You are not my husband, not my brother, but dear to me a hundred times more… You are a Russian soldier!” In addition, Lebiadzeva handed over to the Russian military food, a generator, and painkillers, collected in Hrodna nunnery, which is run by the odious Abbess Gabriela.

On April 4, Dzmitry Shautsou, head of the Belarusian Red Cross Society, speaking on the air of ONT, repeated the main narratives of the Russian propaganda about Ukrainian children. In his opinion, they “have long since become a bargaining chip” in Europe: “Children’s identity is being erased, children are being removed from their families, they are being handed over to pedophile families, they are being handed over to homosexual families. Gender is being erased.” At the same time, he emphasized that when Ukrainian children are brought to Belarus, they “have holidays” here.

Best regards,
iSANS team

Belarus Daily by email

Below please find a simple subscription form. Fill it in case you want to receive Belarus Daily by email