Being a guest of Belsat TV program Prasviet, Zmitser Mitskevich, a military expert at Belarus Security Blog, has commented on the international mark in the film ‘White Legion. Black Souls’ made by state-controlled TV.
Belsat: Can we put it plainly that the film contains accusations against Poland and Ukraine of training terrorists and militants?
Mitskevich: I cannot invent more direct charges. Accusations of instructing some provocateurs is one thing; but there were such phrases as ‘fascist coup’, ‘Nazis’, ‘suicide bombers’. I think it is too much. The accusation is so direct that we should expect a very tough reaction.
We know that Poland remembers the Second World War well, Poland keeps honouring the heroes who fought against Nazi invaders, and now the use of clichés and the accusation of Nazism could end very badly for the Belarusian diplomacy. Soon we may see cooling in Belarus-Poland and Belarus-Ukraine relations.
Belsat: What may Russia’s increasing oil supplies to Belarus mean for the so-called ‘case of patriots’? Does it mean that the case will be played down and the men will be released? Or Lukashenka will continue to use the card?
Mitskevich: I believe the fact will not have any influence on their case because the agreement on oil deliveries had been made before airing the notorious film and before charging some of them with training and instructing an illegal armed group. I do not see any connection; he regime is highly unlikely to smooth everything over. It seems to me they still may stage a show trial.
About 30 persons – former members of the defunct sports and patriotic organization White Legion, state-authorized sports and military club Patriot, Young Front activists, historians, as well as people who are not associated with any organizations, landed up in jail soon after president Alyaksandr Lukashenka had spread the word about ‘armed militants’ posing a threat to Belarus. According to him, these ‘armed militants were trained and instructed in Belarus, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania. Later, such claims were voiced in films and shows aired on state-controlled TV stations.
20 arrestees were charged with establishing an illegal armed group In accordance with Article 287 of the Criminal Code.