Lukashenko Claims Belarusian Opposition Aims to Seize Territory for Foreign Military

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.08 - 2024 1:13 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko accuses the exiled opposition of plotting to capture Belarusian land as a pretext for inviting foreign forces.

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In a recent statement made during the official appointment of Vladimir Pertsov as Deputy of the Presidential Administration, the self-proclaimed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has levied serious accusations against the opposition that has fled the country. According to Lukashenko, these opposition members are allegedly conspiring to seize a portion of Belarusian territory to facilitate the entry of foreign military forces.

An Information and Economic War

As reported by Interfax, Lukashenko’s comments come at a time when Belarus finds itself embroiled in what the self-proclaimed president describes as both an information and economic war.

Emphasizing the critical role of media in the current climate, Lukashenko stated, "Now these sectors of our life play the most important role in the overall development of Belarus. There is an information war, primarily in the media. An economic war, there is no other way to call it."

The Belarusian leader also reassured that efforts are being made to avert a "hot war," suggesting that his administration has thus far been successful in preventing direct military conflict on Belarusian soil.

This assertion aligns with Lukashenko's longstanding narrative of positioning Belarus as a peacekeeping force in the region, despite widespread criticism of his administration's handling of political dissent and freedom of expression.

Allegations of Opposition Tactics

Lukashenko elaborated on the supposed tactics of the Belarusian opposition in exile, accusing them of lobbying for support and funding from international decision-makers, from the United States to Brussels.

He claims that these opposition figures are primarily focused on gaining media attention to their cause, quoting their alleged patrons as demanding "something hotter" than mere media campaigns. This, according to Lukashenko, includes desires for direct armed conflict and terrorist acts, akin to those feared in Moscow's Crocus City.

The ultimate objective, as per Lukashenko’s allegations, is for the opposition to capture Belarusian land, declare their governance, and invite foreign military forces—though he stops short of labeling these as mercenaries.

Context and Implications

These statements from Lukashenko highlight the deepening divide between the Belarusian government and its opposition, particularly those who have sought refuge abroad following the controversial 2020 presidential election. The election, which secured Lukashenko another term in office, was widely condemned by the international community and the opposition for alleged vote-rigging and suppression of dissent.

Lukashenko's narrative of foreign interference and the opposition's alleged plans to destabilize Belarus feeds into the broader discourse surrounding sovereignty, security, and the role of external powers in the country’s affairs.

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