Monday, January 14, 2019

‘Belarus Will Be a Friend of Russia or It Won’t Exist,’ Kiselyov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 14 – Dmitry Kiselyov, the flamboyant host of Russia-1’s News of the Week program, said yesterday that if Belarus stops being friend with Moscow, then at some point it will “simply disappear,” the kind of bombast that may mobilize Putin’s base in Russia but that is guaranteed to drive Belarusians away from Russia as fast as possible.

            The Putin regime propagandist declared that if Belarus refuses to cooperate with Russia on Russia’s terms, “Russia may lose an ally. Of course, we categorically do not want this. But if Minsk decides to exist without Russia, the future of Belarus will be ghastly” (

            “Russia, of course, will be weakened is that happens, but Belarus simply won’t exist. One must not have any illusions about that,” Kiselyov said.

            Kiselyov’s language is all too typical of what other Kremlin loyalists are saying, and it is one of the reasons why the Belarusian Popular Front is calling on Minsk to limit the broadcast of Russian TV channels in Belarus (, and

            Russian reaction to the Belarusian Popular Front’s appeal was immediate: Aleksey Pushkov of the Federation Council commission on information policy denounced the Belarusian Peoples Front for trying to separate Belarus from Russia and declared that Russian TV never features anti-Belarusian materials.

            He said that the Front’s call was part of a larger effort to push Belarus “onto the Ukrainian path.” Others like Yury Zalog, a member of the Duma’s labor, social policy and veterans affairs committee were equally dismissive and equally condemning of the Belarusian Popular Front.

            The call to restrict Russian TV broadcasts in Belarus was made by the Front in a declaration it adopted two days ago calling for 2019 to become “The Year of the Belarusian Language” in the republic (

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