The Kremlin has described as groundless the arrest of 33 of Russians in Belarus and expressed hope for their quick release. Minsk remained deaf to this call. Moreover, he was sent to Ukraine on the list of those arrested, in which Kiev found 28 combatants in the Donbass. Now the extradition of detainees of any country will ruin Lukashenka’s relations with the country. And in Belarus it is this provocation did not bring the planned benefits.
President Vladimir Putin on Friday held a security Council meeting devoted to the fate of the detainees in Belarus, the 33 citizens of Russia. As reported in its press-Secretary Dmitry Peskov, “the hope was expressed that in the near future this story will clarify and arbitrarily detained Russian citizens will be released.” Before the start of the meeting, Peskov said that the detention of a group of Russians does not match the format of the relations of the two countries.
Meanwhile, in Kiev hopes that the detainees will be given to Ukraine. On Friday morning it became known that Minsk has sent the lists of the detainees in Kiev, offering to check, does not participate any of them in the war in the Donbass. On Friday evening, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, having studied the list, called on Minsk to extradite the majority – 28 out of the 33 detained “militants”. Nine of them Kiev considers their citizens.
In addition, a telephone conversation of heads of foreign Ministries of both republics. Shortly thereafter it was announced that diplomats began to prepare Zelensky visit to Belarus, previously having planned it in the fall.
In Moscow are surprised that Minsk has decided to send lists of Russian citizens in Kiev, Ukraine since this entire story technically does not apply. “History is full of ambiguities. It is unclear who is there in these lists, why they went to Ukraine. Maybe it’s a long con of some kind,” suggested the Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Andrei Klimau.
But in General, the history with detention of Russians is clearly linked with the election struggle in Belarus and does not portend anything good, I’m sure the Senator.
“there was a coincidence which the President had thought it proper to use in electoral campaigns, making this a scandal, the Senator said the newspaper VIEW. – Lukashenko is going to win their elections at any cost. His primary relationship is not with Moscow, and domestic policy”.
Russia should act very carefully, says Klimov.
“on the one hand, it is necessary to protect the rights of our citizens, but take into account that those wishing to embroil us more than enough. Anti-Russian forces will the situation spin”, said Klimov.
Experts in Kiev see the situation is much simpler: sending the list of the arrested in Ukraine the old Man is trying for��s Russia sharp response moves to use them later in the election campaign.
“This is a provocation by Lukashenko. Do not do that within a single Union state.
Lukashenko was all the time running to Moscow, getting huge loans, despite the fact that Belarus – is virtually bankrupt. Got everything from Russia, and now to do this? This is worse than treason. And so Lukashenko further isolate themselves from everyone. His rating in Belarus continue to fall,” – said the newspaper LOOK Director of the Kiev Institute of society transformation Oleg Soskin.
But the expert doubts that the old Man still dare to give their captives to Kiev, where they obviously face a long prison sentence. Rather, he prefers for this reason to quarrel with Zelensky, than with Putin.
“Lukashenko decided to play the blackmail, to use the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in their interests. But if he actually will give these people Kiev, it will be a direct challenge to Russia and personally to Putin – said Soskin. With Zelensky, probably, it is possible to play, but Putin is a dangerous game.”
The situation with detention of the Russian citizens did not improve the popularity of Lukashenko in Belarus to the external intervention of Russia, despite the best efforts of the media, do not believe.
“I’m only in a nightmare could imagine who these fighters can bind. They talk about some kind of revolution. My God, what a revolution? “said the opposition candidate on elections of the head of Belarus Svetlana Tikhanovski.
And if the hype around the “Russian fighters” did not help the Man to increase the rating, the popular its main rival – Tikhanovski, judging by circumstantial evidence, has increased. On Thursday in Minsk at a meeting of the presidential candidate came, according to estimates of the opposition press, about 63 thousand people. RIA Novosti quoted another figure – 34 thousand. In any case, observers deemed the event the largest opposition over the last 20 years, blocked by the mass of the “jeans revolution” of 2006 and the winter protests of 2010.
“Support Svetlana Tikhanovski clearly on the rise. This is indicated by the meetings, which were held not only in Minsk but also in regions that, in principle, is not typical for Belarus”, – said earlier in an interview with the newspaper opinion, the Belarusian political analyst Valery Karbalevich.
“In small towns, still the people were not going though any mass political action. Now going to. So, yeah, I think the rating Tikhanovski growing. But the problem is that in Belarus there is no independent sociology, therefore, to give exact figures is impossible,” – said Karbalevich.
The analyst did not rule out that the meeting in Minsk could collect even more teaching��pendulum, if not introduced enhanced security measures because of alleged potential terror attacks.
“the Whole point of the story with PMC Wagner is to limit the possibility of holding rallies in support Tikhanovski,” – said Karbalevich.
We will remind, on Wednesday in Belarus detained the 33 Russians, most of whom were soldiers of a private military company (PMC) Wagner. Belarusian security forces suspect them of destabilizing the Republic. First was a criminal case about preparation of mass riots, and then the case of the preparation of terrorist attacks. Moscow called these statements are odious and do not withstand scrutiny.
Russia’s Ambassador in Minsk Dmitry Mezentsev earlier called the basis for the arrival of Russians to Belarus a contract with a local firm – each was in possession of the appropriate labor contract. From Minsk by a group of employees of the chop had planned to fly to Istanbul, to “ensure security of energy infrastructure and resources.”
On Friday evening Mezentsev said that the Russians “moved to another place of detention with the explanation that the conditions there are more comfortable and will be provided as possible in a penal institution, good conditions of detention”. Mezentsev added that the Belarusian authorities promised in the near future to organize a meeting of our diplomats with the detained.
Despite the transfer of the arrested in the “good conditions” to lower business on brakes Minsk, it seems, is not going to. The head of the investigative group on the case, Alexander Agafonov said that the Russians in the interrogation allegedly revealed that it was not going to leave Belarus. Speaking on air of the Belarusian TV he called the purchase of tickets in Istanbul attempt to create an alibi.
“However, as it turned out the consequence of it, to go there, they are not intended” – quoted by TASS representative of the Investigative Committee.
The blame recainam put even communication via a smartphone app. Thus, the same Agafonov announced that it speaks of organization of the group, managed to military standards: “In WhatsApp messenger group was created 1.ru marked for control personnel. The members of the group were all 33 of the detained defendants”.