Accusing the West of aggressive intent is not a propaganda cliché. This is how the Belarusian regime sees the world and is the basis for how it acts.
On January 27th, the Chief of the General Staff held a briefing for foreign military attachés on the upcoming Belarusian-Russian exercise «Allied Resolve-2022».
According to Minsk, the scenario is based on recent unfriendly actions by neighbouring states and the events in Kazakhstan. It is worth recalling that Lukashenka, who approved the idea of the exercise, is firmly convinced that Western special services attempted to destabilize the situation in Kazakhstan using terrorist cells.
Officially, the scenario involves a confrontation between fictional countries, but the underlying model is obvious. If we ignore euphemisms, then according to the «Allied Resolve» plan:
- The West makes an unsuccessful attempt to destabilise Belarus politically to effect regime change and neutralise the Belarusian-Russian alliance.
- Subsequently, using proxy forces, the West provokes an armed conflict between Belarus and Ukraine, creating a pretext for the intervention of Western troops in Ukraine.
- The West demands that Belarus release political prisoners and change the political regime in Minsk, which is refused.
- The conflict escalates with a direct military invasion of Belarus from the west, north-west and south, which is reflected in the Belarusian-Russian deployments.
This is Lukashenka’s worldview, which determines the policy of the Belarusian regime. From this can be concluded that:
- The West is a military as well as a political threat.
- Opponents of the regime are implicitly regarded as enemies acting in the interests of the West
- A Belarusian-Ukrainian war can be orchestrated by the West. Kyiv has limited ability to counteract aggressive Western aspirations on its territory (a recurrent propaganda myth about a puppet regime in Ukraine).
The Belarusian regime is therefore entirely unable to negotiate regarding the domestic political situation and has a limited ability to cooperate on the regional security agenda. Statements about the threat of war and the likelihood of irreversible escalation should be interpreted as Lukashenka’s political position, not propaganda narratives.