Staunton, August 26 – Moscow not only supports Alyaksandr Lukashenka in his fight with the Belarusian people and views the events there as the work of outside forces from the West but at the same time is sending a message to other post-Soviet states that they may face similar threats if they do not take action and tightly ally with the Russian Federation.
Moscow’s position on Belarus not surprisingly has attracted a great deal of attention, but its attempt to exploit developments there to its own benefit in other post-Soviet states has been largely passed over in silence. That is a mistake: Vladimir Putin has shown again and again that he uses what looks like a defeat in one place to make advances in others.
An example of what the Kremlin is doing in this regard concerning Belarus is provided by comments made by Maksim Kaznacheyev, an ethnic Russian commentator for Regnum in Kazakhstan, to the Stanradar.com portal (stanradar.com/news/full/41012-uroki-belorussii-dlja-tsentralnoj-azii-kak-rabotajut-tehnologii-gosudarstvennyh-perevorotov.html).
He says that “oppositionally inclined groups in Kazakhstan are reacting positively to the attempt at a state coup in Belarus and support those protesting there.” They do not see that those behind that effort and those who seek to destabilize Kazakhstan are one and the same: Americans committed to the idea of using “color revolutions” to expand US influence.
The events in Belarus, Kaznacheyev says, are entirely “controlled and predictable.” Six months before the voter, Lukashenka knews that a coup was being prepared against him “and he did nothing. An enormous number of other political leaders [in the post-Soviet region] have adopted the same approach.
Everything in Belarus is proceeding along paths “tested and applied in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. Why post-Soviet leaders are not able to work with this process, I do not understand,” the Russian analyst and commentator continues. The Americans are doing the same thing again and again, and still people can’t see it.
The only explanation for Lukashenka’s failure to respond adequately is that his security services may be turning on him. In reality, Kaznacheyev suggests, “there is not other explanation.” But other leaders in the region must not make the mistake of waiting so long and doing so little.
The situation in Kazakhstan is both simpler and more complicated – and for the same reason: “Against whom should a state coup be directed? Against the president who really doesn’t decide anything or against the Security Council which controls everything?” That provides those in power with a defense, but it also provides an opening for the opposition.
Those who do not want to see Kazakhstan descend into chaos need to recognize the risks, risks that Moscow has been telling them about for years, and take action both on their own and together with the Russian Federation to prevent the Americans from carrying out yet another color revolution in their country.