Friday, February 1, 2019

Any Moscow Attempt to Annex Belarus by Force will Be the Beginning of the End of Russia, Severinets Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 30 – Pavel Severinets, a Belarusian Christian Democrat who plans to run for president, says that “the day when Moscow decided to use force to transform Belarus into part of the empire will be the beginning of the end of the empire.” Any attempt to repeat the Crimea or Donbass in Belarus will lead Russia to fall apart.

            The threat that Moscow will try, he continues, is “great;” but the Russian regime may ultimately be dissuaded not only by the resistance it would face in Belarus and the opposition of the international community but by the negative consequences such a step would have within Russia ( and

            “From the times of the Grand Principality of Lithuania,” Severinets says, “the mystery of the life and death of the Russian Empire has pulsated here: the first congress of the RSDRP was in Minsk, the tsarist headquarters in the First World War were in Mohylev, and Beloveshchaya pushcha became he turning point” in the struggle to disband the USSR.

            For 500 years, Moscow been trying to swallow up Belarus but has failed and will fail again, he argues. Moscow can send MIGs, but we can send books because we rely on our history and our culture which are quite different from those of the empire and its rulers. “We pray ad will do what we can that they will not ever succeed.”

            Some Belarusians believe that Alyaksandr Lukashenka has become a believer in independence.  But for 25 years, he has been “a guarantor [only] of his personal power … People will not defend a state that oppresses them.  You want Belarusians to support you? Give them back freedom, repent, release political prisoners and the unjustly condemned, raise the white-red-white flag, and hold free elections.”

            “If Lukashenka won’t do that,” Severinets says, “he will have signed his own death warrant and history will anything but merciful to him.”

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