Belarus Review by iSANS — March 19, 2024 

Belarus Review by iSANS — March 19, 2024


Belarus Review (2024 edition, issue 11)

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).

Last week was marked by a large-scale combat readiness check within the Armed Forces of Belarus. On March 11, the Armed Forces of Belarus started a combat readiness check. Officially, the combat readiness check is a response to the exercises “Steadfast Defender 2024” and “Dragon-24” conducted by NATO countries. The 19th Mechanized Brigade (separate mechanized brigade) of the North-West Operational Command is the main part of the exercise. The brigade was involved in the inspection of combat readiness in two stages: During the first stage of the inspection, the brigade’s units that were part of the immediate reaction force (a mechanized battalion reinforced by a tank company) were redeployed to the Ashmiany district (Hrodna region). The redeployment was carried out by a combined method (by rail and road). The units set up a field camp, deployed and disguised equipment, conducted patrols and ambushes, and organized service at checkpoints. The second stage of the combat readiness check of the 19th separate mechanized brigade started on March 15, which included bringing the whole brigade to the full readiness. The 19th separate mechanized brigade began conscripting men from the reserve to supplement the units of the brigade. As of March 17, more than 3,000 reservists had already been called up. There is also a call-up of vehicles from various organizations. Apparently, the transfer of the 19th separate mechanized brigade from peacetime to wartime is being practiced. Similar activities were carried out in 2023 with the 11th separate mechanized brigade. The Defense Ministry has not yet announced the transfer of the 19th separate mechanized brigade from peacetime to wartime. Units of the Western Operational Command were also involved in the inspection, in particular, the mechanized battalion of the 6th separate mechanized brigade, as well as artillery units (the 111th Artillery Brigade and the 841st Artillery Group of the 11th separate mechanized brigade). All of the above units of the Western Operational Command were withdrawn from their permanent locations to the ranges for fielding prior to the combat readiness check. The scale of the combat readiness inspection so far does not pose a threat to the countries bordering Belarus. It can be expected that it will last for another month.On March 11, a meeting of the Minister of Defense of Belarus with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Belarus took place. During the meeting, the parties discussed the current state of Belarusian-UAE relations in the military field as well as their further development.Representatives of the Armed Forces of Belarus participated in the CSTO command-staff training, which took place on March 12-13. During the training, issues related to stabilizing the situation of collective security in the Central Asian region under the growing threat of a crisis situation were worked out.  Particular attention was paid to the formation of a collective peacekeeping force.On March 12, an inspection of the territorial defense of Homiel Region started. Its goal is to determine the degree of readiness of local bodies to form territorial troops. During the inspection, up to 200 reservists will be called up from the reserve.From March 14 to April 5, training camps with conscripts of territorial troops were held in Voronovsky district (Hrodna region). The district borders Lithuania.After Lukashenka’s statements about the need to stop getting involved with PMC ”Wagner”, there was a change in the media policy towards the mercenaries. Recently, the number of references to them by official sources has significantly decreased. A small number of mercenaries of PMC “Wagner” continue to stay in Belarus and train Belarusian security forces. It is premature to speak about the complete curtailment of mercenaries’ activities in Belarus.On March 14, for the first time in several months, a Mi-8 helicopter of the Belarusian Air Force flew into the territory of the so-called “Site 400. Dome” (located near the village of Volma, Minsk district). The helicopter picked up passengers at the “site” and then headed for the airfields Mozyr (“Bokov”) and Zyabrouka. On the territory of “Site 400. Dome” the command center of the Russian Armed Forces grouping, which started the invasion of Ukraine from the territory of Belarus, was located. Now, units of the 1530th anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Russian Armed Forces are stationed at the above-mentioned airfields.On March 17, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus Viktar Gulevich went on an official visit to the Republic of Cuba.Information about the rotation of a unit of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Belarus, which is in Homiel district, was confirmed. The Belarusian military are engaged not only in guarding the border with Ukraine, but also in ensuring the security of the Russian military stationed at the Zyabrouka airfield. The decree ”On transferring state bodies and other organizations to the work in wartime conditions”, signed on 4 March, has been classified.


On March 7, Lithuania’s State Security Department together with the Defense Intelligence and Security Service under the Ministry of Defense issued the Annual Threat to National Security Assessment, which was made public at the beginning of the last week. According to the report, Russia’s war against Ukraine with Belarus’s complicity in it poses a great threat to national security. As far as Belarus is concerned, the report states that Belarusian state intelligence acts intensively against Lithuania; in particular, for its purposes, it uses questioning of travelers from Lithuania to Belarus at the state borders and the growing Belarusian diaspora in the country. Moreover, Belarus’s military potential is boosted by a significant Russia’s arms supply to Minsk. The Kremlin allows Lukashenka to display a semblance of sovereignty and parity in decision-making. However, Russia seeks to maintain and increase its control over Minsk by building up a non-strategic nuclear weapons capability in Belarus and establishing conditions for a sustained military presence through legal means, says the report.On March 12, it became known that the U.S. State Budget proposal for 2025 includes 1.5 billion US dollars to be allocated to counteract Kremlin’s aggression. Part of these funds will be allocated to support democratic aspirations of Belarusians as the “FY 2025 request reflects the United States’ sustained support for volatile environments countries like Moldova and Georgia and will advance efforts for a democratic future in Belarus”.On March 12, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania handed over the strongest protest note to the Chargé d’affaires of Belarus in Lithuania in connection with the death of a Lithuanian citizen in prison in Belarus. 71-year-old man was arrested on December 31 while crossing the Lithuanian-Belarusian border allegedly because he transported shotgun bullets. Since his arrest, Lithuanian consul was neither able to provide the necessary assistance to the imprisoned Lithuanian citizen, nor Lithuanian authority was informed about his health condition. In the official statement, Lithuanian Ambassador-at-Large for Belarus Asta Andrijauskiene said that Belarusian authorities violated the Vienna Convention by not allowing to execute consular duties and that Lithuania repeatedly requested permission to meet the imprisoned, but it was not granted.

Also on March 12, with 543 votes in favor, 45 against, and 27 abstentions, the European Parliament adopted a directive, agreed with EU member states, on harmonizing the enforcement of EU sanctions across all member states, criminalizing the violation and circumvention of EU sanctions and introducing a punishment of up to five years of imprisonment ). The new law establishes consistent definitions of violations related to sanctions evasion. Such violations include unfreezing assets, failure to comply with travel bans or embargoes on arms shipments, transferring funds to sanctioned individuals, or conducting business with state organizations of countries under sanctions. Providing financial services or legal consultations to circumvent sanctions will also be considered a criminal offense. Against this background, the leading international media outlets informed that next week the EU leaders will call for new sanctions against Belarus, North Korea and Iran for their involvement in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Last week, former President of Georgia and currently political prisoner Mikheil Saakashvili gave an interview to Belarusian independent media outlet and claimed that the former Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Makei was considered by Russia a “traitor” and the one “who changed sides”, because he tried to improve Belarus’s relations with the West. Moreover, Saakashvili said in the interview that he had organized a short meeting between Aliaksandr Lukashenka and Joe Biden in 2014 and that he thinks that the Belarusian democratic forces will succeed in their struggle against the Lukashenka regime if Ukraine wins and the Putin regime collapses.

On March 14, with 107 votes in favor, no objections, and no abstentions, Lithuanian Parliament passed a resolution urging the European Commission to ban Russian and Belarusian grain imports into the European Union. The resolution aims to consolidate positions of the parliaments of all EU countries so that a common European decision is made, and individual countries do not have to impose bans separately.

On March 13, the Office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya announced the continuation of the organization of the Third Conference of Belarusian Diaspora in Prague, Czechia, which will take place on March 23-24, 2024. The conference is organized in cooperation with the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, the Office of Democratic Forces of Belarus in Czechia, and the People’s Embassies of Belarus. During the conference, Belarusians will consider and solve topical issues and problems of the diaspora. This year’s panel discussions will focus on the following issues: Strategic visions of Belarusian democratic society: the role of the Belarusian diaspora for 2024-2025; The role of the Belarusian diaspora in Belarus–Ukraine relations; Strengthening the potential of the broad Belarusian diaspora. Importantly, this year’s conference will include a Belarusian-Ukrainian panel for the first time. The participants will be able to discuss the relations between the countries and their future, and Ukraine’s Ambassador-at-Large for Belarus, Ihor Kyzym, will join the panel as a keynote speaker.

On March 15, the “Constitution Day” in Belarus, Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) hosted an international conference titled “Investments in the Long-term Future of Democratic Belarus: Key Reform Strategies”, to discuss the draft Constitution of the New Belarus and six draft laws designed to complement and develop it. In her opening speech, the leader of the Belarusian Democratic Forces Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya stated that the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus is one of the nearly two thousand political prisoners of the Lukashenka regime, “a prisoner number one”. The constitution became the regime’s first victim and “Lukashenka not just trampled on it, but violated and imprisoned it”. Tsikhanouskaya underlined that a team of lawyers, political experts and human rights defenders prepared a new constitution and a package of needed reforms to complement the main legal act of the country, and invited Belarusians to participate in the work on the new Constitution.


On March 11, the Minsk Economic Court liquidated the BelaPAN news agency, the oldest independent news agency in Belarus. The reason for the liquidation was the recognition of the agency as an “extremist formation” in 2021. Later, it was included in the list of organizations that conduct extremist activities. The staff of the news agency – editor-in-chief, Iryna Leushyna, director in 2018-2021, Dzmitry Navazhylau, deputy director in 2014-2018, Andrei Aliaksandrau, and his wife Iryna Zlobina are in custody. In October 2022, they were sentenced to imprisonment from four to 14 years. They were accused of high treason, extremism, and organizing riots.

On March 12, the Zavadski District Court of Minsk began in absentia consideration of the case against politicians and activists Alena Zhivaglod, Aliaksandr Dabravolski, Pavel Lieber and Pavel Marynich. They were accused of obstructing the work of the Central Election Commission, committed with the use of threats and in other ways, by a group of persons by prior agreement. According to the case file, “in January-February 2022, the accused, together with other persons, took part in the development and implementation of a unified plan of illegal actions to disrupt the republican referendum on amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.” The plan envisaged sending “letters with the text developed by the accused” to the place of work and residence of the members of the Central Election Commission and the referendum commissions. As was previously reported by the Prosecutor General’s Office, the letters “contained threats to intimidate, form doubts about the legality of their actions and feelings of guilt for working as part of election commissions, instilled ideas about the impossibility of the current government to ensure their safety.” Alena Zhivaglod (identified as Zhylachkina in the court schedule) is the head of the Honest People initiative, until recently she was the deputy speaker of the Coordination Council for the settlement of the political crisis. Aliaksandr Dabravolski is a senior political adviser to the leader of Belarusian democratic forces, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Pavel Lieber is the founder of the Golos, which was used in 2020 to verify the results of voting in the presidential elections, and the New Belarus online platforms. Pavel Marynich is the head of the Malanka Media project, the founder of the Zubr platform, which also collected information about the elections in 2020.

The Minsk City Court sentenced Uladzislau Beladzed, a seminarian at the Roman Catholic seminary and an employee of the Cathedral Church, to three years of imprisonment for actively participating in common Christian prayers to end violence and lawlessness during the 2020 protests. The trial was held behind closed doors. Uladzislau Beladzed was found guilty of insulting Aliaksandr Lukashenka, insulting a representative of the government, inciting discord, manufacturing and distributing pornography. Before the court hearing, the security forces forced him to record a “repentant” video in which he declared his homosexuality. In the video, he looked like a man, subjected to torture and inhuman treatment.

Natalya Zakharenko, a citizen of Ukraine, was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment on charges of espionage. The trial was held in the Homel Regional Court behind closed doors. Natalia had been traveling to Belarus since the second half of 2022. She helped Ukrainians who were stuck in Belarus and could not get out of the country on their own. Travelling in her car, Zakharenko helped to take about 30 people out of Belarus. During another trip, in July 2023, she disappeared. Together with Zakharenko, Belarusian Larysa Krupa from Mazyr was tried. She was accused of failing to report a crime and received a fine of 100 basic units (4,000 rubles).

Since the beginning of 2024, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has identified 260 people who made donations to “extremist” formations. The total amount of donations amounted to more than five thousand USD. The Ministry stated it is carrying out a set of measures to counter the financing of extremist organizations. In 2023, 17 criminal cases were initiated on charges of financing extremist formations (human rights activists know the names of at least 66 people who have already received sentences for donations). People who made donations were forced to transfer money in multiple amounts to the fund specified by the security forces in exchange for non-initiation of criminal proceedings. Such “voluntary donations” were made in the amount of more than 365 thousand USD. People are forced “to compensate” even for small donations. For example, a resident of Grodno paid 1,000 USD for a donation of 1.78 Euro. The security forces have been using the practice of forcing people to pay “compensation” for donations for about a year.

Detentions at the border when returning to Belarus continueViasna” Human Rights Center reports. At least three people were detained in February after customs officers checked their phones at the Benyakoni and Brest-Terespol checkpoints. Two men were arrested for 10 days, one for 6 days. All of them were found guilty of “spreading extremist materials.”

The Investigative Committee has launched special proceedings against Volha Vyalichka, the former director of the children’s hospice in Hrodna. She is accused of slandering Lukashenka, promoting extremist activities, as well as inciting hostility, illegal actions regarding information about one’s private life, illegal organization of the activities of a public association, embezzlement by abuse of official authority, and gross violation of public order. According to investigators, Volha Vyalichka remotely managed a children’s hospice, which was liquidated in August 2021, until April 2022. Under her leadership, about 50 surgical operations were performed. “At the same time, works of art of hospice clients suffering from serious illnesses was used for providing moral support to persons convicted of committing intentional crimes,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement. The charges of gross violation of public order are based on Vyalichka’s participation in the “Unity March” in Hrodna in 2020.

On March 20, the Minsk City Court will consider the case on the liquidation of the Belarusian Association of Victims of Political Repression. The plaintiff is the Ministry of Justice. The organization was registered in 1992. In February 2023, the Belarusian Public Association of Victims of Political Repression of the 1920-80 Years was liquidated.

The Newsweek Poland awarded the Belarusian political prisoner, journalist and one of the leaders of the Union of Poles in Belarus, Andrzej Poczobut, with the Teresa Taranska Prize in the category “The Figure of the Decade”. Poczobut was unable to receive the award personally: he has been imprisoned for almost three years. On February 8, 2023, Andrzej Poczobut was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment in a high-security colony. The trial was held behind closed doors. He was found guilty of calling for actions aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus and inciting hostility or discord. “An incredible man, a great journalist, a prisoner of conscience,” Polish journalist Jacek Pawlicki said of Poczobut, – “He was practically the last Polish journalist who wrote from Belarus for Polish media.” Andrzej Poczobut is in prison on a trumped-up case “because he is a journalist and a representative of the Polish minority in Belarus,” underlined Pawlicki.

From March 11 to March, 14, the second edition of the project #EPStandsBYyou took place in the European Parliament. The initiative group of eight members of European Parliament representing all the main political groups: Andrzej Halicki (the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)), Juozas Olekas (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), Petras Auštrevičius (Renew Europe), Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance), Anna Fotyga (European Conservatives and Reformists Group), Rasa Juknevičienė (Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)), Andrius Kubilius (Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)) and Thijs Reuten (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), encouraged all MEPs to sign and send a message of appreciation and support to 1,500 political prisoners in Belarus, that are being kept by the illegitimate Lukashenka regime in prison under false grounds facing constant terror and inhuman conditions. This initiative was supported by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, who wrote on X social network: “I am proud to have joined Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s call for action in shining a light on the plight of 1,500 political prisoners. Today, we are sending them a message of hope. We know their names. We see their struggle. We recognize their courage”. In December 2022, during the first edition of the #EPSTANDSBYYOU initiative, MEPs from all political groups signed more than 300 letters to Belarusian political prisoners. This way they expressed their solidarity and support to the political prisoners and their families, as well as their admiration and recognition of their sacrifices for standing up for democratic principles and values.

On March 15, the UN Human Rights Council published an advance unedited version of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights “On the situation of human rights in Belarus in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and in its aftermath”. The report presents the examination of the human rights situation in Belarus since May 2020. The report addresses alleged human rights violations on which OHCHR has collected, consolidated, preserved and analyzed information and evidence, makes conclusions under the applicable international legal framework, and offers recommendations to the government and the international community. The report states that “taking into account (i) the range of human rights violations, committed against the population of real or perceived political opponents in discriminatory fashion, (ii) their nature and severity in terms of the rights to life, to physical integrity and security, and to freedom from arbitrary detention, as well as of the enjoyment of other fundamental freedoms, and (iii) the patterns of their systematic commission through the legal and institutional apparatus of the State, as encouraged at highest levels, OHCHR has reasonable grounds to believe that the crime against humanity of persecution may have been committed” in Belarus. Presentation of the report at the current session of the Human Rights Council is scheduled for March 19. The Council members will discuss a draft resolution and vote on it in early April.

A summit of EU foreign ministers will be held in Brussels on March 18. One of the topics of discussion is Belarus, including the latest developments in the country and the strengthening of EU policy towards it, the Finnish Foreign Ministry reports. “Finland strongly condemns the ongoing repression of civil society and politically motivated sentences in Belarus. The EU should continue to support civil society and strengthen sanctions against Belarus,” Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen said.


At the beginning of the period under review, the State Secretary of the Union State Dmitry Mezentsev told Russian Izvestia newspaper that one billion Russian rubles would be allocated for the launch of the media holding of the Union State. In particular, more than 400 million have been allocated for the broadcasting organization for 2024, and 263 million for the newspaper Soyuznoe Veche. The main office of the holding will be located in Moscow, and the representative office in Minsk. The work of the media holding will begin in 2025. According to Mezentsev, the holding’s staff has not yet been formed, but “experienced and talented people” will work there. “Today we are forming a normative framework that will become the foundation for the activities of the Union State media company, carrying out a number of necessary legally complex procedures that do not allow us to hurry. Of course, we will seek the opinion and partnership of those media outlets who are interested and find it important to talk about the formation of the Union State, about our history, about the history of the great Victory,” he stressed. On March 11, the Ministry of Defense announced the start of the combat readiness check of formations and military units of the Armed Forces of Belarus. The Chief of the General Staff, Major General Viktar Hulevich, linked the inspection with exercises conducted by NATO countries: “In the current aggravated conditions of the military-political situation, great attention is paid to maintaining a high level of combat and mobilization readiness in the Armed Forces. This is especially true at the present time, when large-scale exercises of multinational NATO forces are taking place near our borders.” In October 2023, Aliaksandr Lukashenka announced that the system of assistance to large families will be changed. Since then, Belarusian propaganda has been actively covering the topic of parenthood. On March 11, on air of the talk show “Po sushestvu” [Essentially] (STV), a representative of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection Sviatlana Bialash said that Belarusian parents do not always cope with raising children, there is a problem of “dependency and consumerism”, therefore “young people need to be taught parenting”: “We need to look at where this problem grew from, why we have such parents who can’t raise their children properly. In the 1990s, everything was tough, our parents didn’t care about us either, they tried to survive, but we all grew up normal. Why has such a generation grown up, which today cannot properly raise children? They don’t give up their seats on the bus, they don’t respect the teachers.” Another guest of the show, member of Belarusian “parliament” Aleh Haidukevich said that if parents drink and money from benefits go nowhere, it is necessary to “withdraw children, take money away, take appropriate measures.” A representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office Raman Sidarenka warned that Belarusians who do not fulfill their responsibilities for raising children may be punished more severely: “… a bill has been prepared and will be submitted to the parliament for consideration soon. We strengthen the administrative responsibility of parents if a child has committed an offense or suffered serious bodily injuries or died because of improper performance of parenting and support duties.” Sidarenka said that if the practice pays off, then the issue of persecution of such parents in criminal proceedings will be also considered. At the meeting of the board of the Ministry of Information on March 12, Minister Uladzimir Piartsou stated that Belarusian content on domestic TV channels in 2023 amounted to 51%. He also announced a 5% growth of public trust in the state media. According to him, the total coverage in social networks, messengers, and the Internet of regional media increased by 1.4 million people. In turn, Deputy Head of the Lukashenka administration Ihar Lutski called for more attention to the recruitment and the training of a “reserve” in the field of mass media and the involvement of specialists in the “information confrontation”, calling it “the task number one for 2024”. Deputy Prime Minister Ihar Petryshenka said that it is important not only to develop the information space, but also to continue to actively protect it, continuing the work on “identifying and quickly responding to fake and destructive information that is aimed at destabilizing society.” In his opinion, special attention should be paid to the activities of bloggers: “Recently, bloggers have increasingly become opinion leaders, especially for teenagers and even children. Often, alien values and priorities are planted by bloggers in fragile minds. And this fact cannot but be alarming. At the same time, bloggers, as well as all owners of internet resources, have responsibilities to comply with the national legislation.” On March 13, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yury Ambrazevich spoke at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, held in Geneva. He said that Belarus soberly assesses the current situation and builds its development based on its own strength and on strengths of like-minded partners in the Union State, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and BRICS. According to him, the approaches of the authorities of Belarus can hardly be called innovative, they are “rather traditional” but effective, because “they allow us to stand in a situation when a hybrid war has been launched against our country in order to change its geopolitical orientation,” when “bans and restrictions on trade, on transportation of goods, on movement of people are applied against ordinary Belarusian people and enterprises by the United States, EU countries and other Western states.” In his speech, he expressed the assumption that “without these Western self-restrictions, everyone in the world would have moved much closer to the Sustainable Development Goals,” and once again stressed that “the management system of Belarus allows not only to withstand the Western aggression, but also to ensure the main thing: to preserve peace in the country and develop sustainably.” On March 13, ONT channel propagandist Ihar Tur expressed his opinion in the program “Objektivno” [Objectively] that the United States and Poland could start a war against Ukraine, which would become a “threat to Europe.” He tried to convince the audience that after a while, “the Ukrainian state or the group that holds power in Ukraine” will be declared terrorist when it tries to “break away from the policy that Washington is imposing.” Tur: “Ukraine was completely controlled by Washington. And now they’re trying to get out of control. Washington is setting up red flags, and Ukraine says it will go over the line, will fight, and hit Moscow. Sooner or later, all this will end with the fact that Poland, as a satellite of the United States, will fight not against Belarus and Russia, but, perhaps, against Ukraine. Ostensibly protecting the interests of European residents. Because it is Ukraine that will become the problem.” On March 15, at a meeting on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, Aliaksandr Lukashenka pointed out the inevitability of a new generation coming to power: “We must carefully build not a system of transfer of power from Lukashenka to Petrov, Sidorov… No. But a system of coming to power of a new generation.” In his opinion, any president will have to consider the decisions of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, but at the same time it is important to prevent possible conflicts in order to “hold the country together.” “The All-Belarusian People’s Assembly is a serious people’s constitutional control over all processes in the country. And the president, no matter who the president is, will have to consider the decisions that will be made by it. My task now is to prevent conflicts. It has always been like this in history – there were always conflicts. And we cannot allow this to happen.” Lukashenka also stressed the need for a state ideology: “I support Vadzim Hihin’s suggestion that we need to develop a state ideology. And, of course, we will discuss a concept at the highest level – at the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, perhaps.” Lukashenka would like the state ideology to “capture the whole society.” Its pillars could include “certain biblical postulates and laws – Christian values, as well as the current Constitution.” In his speech, Lukashenka recalled God, who “helped in 2020” – that is, in suppressing protests and persecuting opponents, whom he accuses of cooperating with NATO: “If we had not stood up then, there would have been a war here. They would have dragged NATO troops here. Imagine the reaction of Russia – NATO troops near Smolensk. It would be a nuclear war.” He noted that now the situation is allegedly “even more dangerous”, therefore, “there are sharks around, we won’t have time to look back – they will eat us”, as well as “a lot of envious people”, so we need to hold on “in the name of saving our country”. At the same time, he wants the “Westerners” to understand that there is a strong government in Belarus, although “no one will try to hold on to it with outstretched fingers”. The above-mentioned Vadzim Hihin proposed to consolidate the foundations of the state ideology by bringing them for approval to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly. According to him, the updated Constitution lays the foundation of the ideological doctrine, but the provisions of the ideology of the Belarusian state have not been formulated, so they must be “developed, generalized, submitted for a national discussion, and then adopted at the All-Belarusian National Assembly.” Hihin believes that such an ideological document is no less important than the Concept of National Security, which is going to be submitted for approval at the upcoming session of the Assembly.

Best regards,iSANS team


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