During the recent protest against ‘parasite’ law in Vitsebsk, some persons attempted to use the rally for disseminating anti-Belarusian ideas and glorifying Russia. But they failed to find the protesters’ support. Was it a single provocation or feeling social sentiment out?
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Were they local provocateurs or Russia’s agents? There is no consensus of opinion about the three men who were egging Belarusians on praising Russia in Vitsebsk. The city police did not respond either to their provocative slogans, or a Russian uniform of one of the instigators. The authorities did not comment on the situation as well.
“We should keep the balance balance: It is important not to overestimate and not to underestimate. We saw that there were several persons and nobody supported them. They must be some fringes, and no one, no organization was behind them. That is why too much fearing and screaming would be an overreaction at the moment,” Belarusian blogger and ex-political prisoner Eduard Palchys believes.
However, it is no problem to bring a few dozen thugs to play out the Crimean scenario in Belarus. By the way, pro-Russia provocateurs skated over such an opportunity during the rally in Vitsebsk: the regional center is located very close to Russia. Moreover, many locals are looking for jobs in Russia. Could the city on the Dvina become Belarusian Crimea and Donbas?
“Everything depends on the amount of money they will allocate and effort [Russia] will make. God forbid, of course!”
“I support Putin because he is holding Lukashenka in a firm hand! But I should not have said such things!”
“Of course, I would be happy if the three nations united. Because, Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians make one Slavic nation! “
“I would not want to side with Russia. We are independent, they are independent, we should simply help each other! “
Unknown individuals also tried to make a provocation in Homiel. The words “Thank You Putin!” And “Russia will save us!” were voiced from a rostrum during the ‘non-parasite’ march on February, 19. However, the best part of protesters were lukewarm about pro-Russian slogans. At the same time, some people chanted “Long live Belarus!”
But it is to be recalled that pro-Ukrainian marches did take place in Donetsk which was later seized. Given the neighbor’s painful experience, many Belarusians wonder why domestic security forces fail to take any measures to extinguish the first sparks of the possible fire.
“Belarusian siloviki do not seem to know how to address the challenge. Indeed, six pro-Russian protesters who held a rally in Minsk were fined. But oficially, there is no reason to detain those who chanted “Glory to Russia!” in Vitsebsk. Apparently, the authorities turn a blind eye to it: as there is no direct order from Lukashenka, they do not want to create information occasions,” Palchys says.
Today the authorities are burying head in the sand; won’t Belarus face the grave consequences tomorrow?