Putin needs a victory and annexing Belarus on the cheap could give him one, Oreshkin says

Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka inspecting troops at a joint Belarusian-Russian military exercise


Analysis & Opinion, Belarus, Politics

Having suffered increasingly obvious “fiascos” in Ukraine and Syria, Vladimir Putin now needs “a victory,” Dmitry Oreskhin says. “And it turns out that Belarus and Lukashenka are the most suitable variant whom he could defeat with minimal costs” because “Belarus could not hold out for two weeks” if Moscow moved against it.

In an interview with RFE/RL’s Belarusian Service, the Russian political analyst says his conclusion reflects not what “fascist and nationalist groups” in Russia want – their influence on the Kremlin is minimal – but on Putin’s needs, something “much more serious than aggressive young people who take part in Russian Marches.”

According to Oreshkin, “Putin is seeking a formula which will allow him to justify his remaining in power without any change. The formulas can be various: opposition to the West, in-gathering of the Russian lands, the restoration of the USSR – something that will create a crisis situation so that people won’t be inclined to change horses in the middle of a stream.”

“During the last two years, such a crisis situation was created in the east of Ukraine, as a result of which Putin’s ratings in Russia strongly rose,” Oreshkin says. “But now people are beginning quietly to understand that things haven’t worked out as planned: Ukraine hasn’t joined Putin’s Eurasian Union, many people have been killed and Ukraine is moving toward Europe.”

Now it appears to them that Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka is also turning toward Europe because he needs money, and “everyone understands that Putin doesn’t have any.” Lukashenka has refused to agree to the opening of a Russian base there, and that has left Putin in a cold fury,” the Russian analyst says.

Everywhere he looks, Putin sees “fiascos” in Ukraine and in Syria “where the more involved he gets the more obvious that will be,” with Russians “gradually beginning to understand that someone blew up the airliner and the tragic losses of life as a result are “somehow connected with Syria.”

Consequently, Putin needs a victory, Oreshkin concludes, and Belarus and Lukashenka are “the most suitable” candidates that could give him one, especially since Moscow could overthrow the one and occupy the latter at “minimal cost.” If the Kremlin leader sends in the Russian army, “Belarus would not hold out for even two weeks.”

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Whether it would be a cheap “victory” depends not only on resistance by Belarusian forces which, given how riddled with pro-Dwarfstan moles they are will probably be minimal, but also on external reactions. He has little to fear from the EU and, until Obama hands over to his successor, from the US. But after January 2017?
    Obama’s successor won’t be as soft, regardless of who he/she may be. This can only mean that US sanctions wil increase- and they will be far more serious that the current sanctions. What’s left of Dwarfstan’s economy will take yet another hammering, and it is already in a less than healthy condition thanks to lower oil and gas prices. According to Finance Minister Siluanov the reserve funds will be empty by the end of 2016. Then what?

    • GryzeldaWrr welcomes refugees

      The resistance by Belarusian forces might be minimal, but I dare say that the resistance by Belarusian people might be much bigger than Putin assumes.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Resistance with what? The only people with weapons are the armed forces, KGB and police. To resist an invasion one must have weapons, but with them under government control those that want to resist won’t have anything, except perhaps a few hunting rifles or shotguns. Surely you are not suggesting that unarmed civilians take on armed soldiers with their bare hands or pitchforks?

    • Quartermaster

      While I hope that we have a decent President January 20, 2017, if the new “guy” is Hillary, things will not improve on the foreign policy front. Hillary is just as stupid and feckless as Obama. If it’s Trump, all bets are off as there is no indication what kind of president he would be.
      I can foresee international chaos next year if one of tow things happen
      1. If the next president is Hillary
      2. The US collapses economically.
      I hope neither happens, but it’s not the way to bet.

  • GryzeldaWrr welcomes refugees

    The cost would be enormous. Belarus is not Crimea. Annexation of Belarus would mean immediate relocation of NATO forces, sanctions ten times tougher than the currently applied and total isolation.

    • Geralt von Riva


      “Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has remind in the refugee crisis to a fair burden shared by Europeans. “We Europeans will consist in a rapidly changing world only with a maximum of solidarity and togetherness,” the minister said on Wednesday evening on the 60th anniversary of the Bundeswehr at the Reichstag in Berlin, according to the transcript. “This means that all have to shoulder a fair portion of shared responsibility.” The blue European Union flag with yellow stars that at the Reichstag is alongside the German flag waving, was a sign of confidence, but also of mutual commitment. EU members share not only freedom and prosperity, but are also linked in security issues together.

      The reminder of the Minister is directed obviously especially to the East Europeans who,while lastly While benefits in Ukraine crisis massively from the protection of other NATO partners, now largely refuse to accept refugees from the other EU states. Germany, which will this year take probably more than 800,000 people seeking protection, has been trying for months a better allocation of these people in the EU.”


      • GryzeldaWrr welcomes refugees

        You know what my position is towards this problem, but I am afraid I am in minority. Even my well educated and intelligent brother doesn’t stop scaring me with the fall of Roman Empire which is about to happen again. I am not very fond of any type of empires so this agument is not working with me but it seems to be effective with many other people. BTW I don’t like this Renzi. Which is strange given my own leftist inclinations.

        • Geralt von Riva

          renzi supports croatia, which is now somehow fuckked up. as far as i remember they have good relations and many croats work in italy, allready to commie-times. here schleswig-holstein will no further take refugees from bavaria, because sweden closed the border. so it goes now down to the south^^.
          and merkel is more or less immobilized by schäuble^^. i first though von der leyen would attack merkel, but she has no balls as it seems^^.

          “Schäuble makes Chancellor Merkel to a chasen one

          Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) has done it again. On Wednesday evening, the German finance minister warned in an event organized by the Centre for European Policy of the dangers of false refugee policy. And again he chose a politically explosive words which probably would his Chancellor not use.

          Schäuble compared the refugees with a Lawin: “Avalanches can become triggered by a bit careless skier who hits the slopes and moves a bit of snow.” Whether the avalanche had already arrived in the valley or is in the upper third of the slope, he did not know, Schäuble stated.

          One can say something about Wolfgang Schäuble, but certainly not that of long-serving top politican would underestimate the effect of words. It must have been clear for him, that his sentences would arrive in public: that they would be assessed by some conservative CDU politician which wanted to strengthen the right side of the Union. Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) accused his Cabinet colleague of “to pour oil on the fire with his words”.

          For Schäuble it seems subordinate that the Union in this crisis delivers a torn image, the fact that the entire black-red government seems incapable of acting. The main thing for him is, that it goes political in it’s goal in the right direction. And the right direction is in his view the farewell to the policy of open doors, uncontrollably to Europe and Germany.

          That the Chancellor and de Maizière must trip afterwards in public perception, that they even acts as chasen ones by their own party, he readily accepts.”


          • GryzeldaWrr welcomes refugees

            Let’s do what Roman Empire did: let’s incorporate the nowadays barbarians into our armies:) We could send them against Putin in case it’s necessary.

          • Geralt von Riva

            a dangerous concept^^

            “The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (German: Schlacht im Teutoburger Wald, Hermannsschlacht or Varusschlacht), described as clades Variana (the Varian disaster) by Roman historians, took place in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE, when an alliance of Germanic tribes ambushed and decisively destroyed three Roman legions and their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus. The anti-Roman alliance was led by Arminius, who had acquired Roman citizenship and received a Roman military education, thus enabling him to personally deceive the Roman commander and foresee the Roman army’s tactical responses.Despite several successful campaigns and raids by the Roman army in the years after the battle, they never again attempted to conquer Germanic territory east of the Rhine River. The Germanic victory against the Roman legions in the Teutoburg forest had far-reaching effects on the subsequent history of both the ancient Germanic peoples and on the Roman Empire. Modern historians have regarded Arminius’ victory as “Rome’s greatest defeat”[4] and one of the most decisive battles in history”

          • GryzeldaWrr welcomes refugees

            Yeah, but I at least have a concept. Nobody else seems to have any:)

          • GryzeldaWrr, an inner emigrant

            Seems that our new FM had the same idea:) “If hundreds of thousands young men from Syria entered EU, we can form a Syrian army. That’s how Polish Army was formed once – said Polish new Foreign Minister.
            We fought for our freedom – said Waszczykowski. Can you imagine a situation when we send Polish soldiers to fight for Syria while hundreds of thousands men from Syria are sitting at Unter den Linden in Berlin sipping their coffee and watching us fighting for their security?” Well, I can’t deny the guy has a point :) http://www.wprost.pl/ar/525115/Waszczykowski-Stworzmy-wojsko-z-syryjskich-uchodzcow-Polska-armia-nie-pojedzie-do-Syrii/

          • Geralt von Riva


            there are so many groups in syria thats not really clear who will become later an extremist on which side he will fight or use the weapons for other purposes.
            i supose the syrian which wants to fight are allready fighting. the refugees dont want it else they would be in syria. and no other man has the right to decide wether ie i should fight or not. because its about my life and not ie of the polish fm ones. a refugee is not allowed to work here in the first 6 month (so we protest because they are lazy, would they allowed to work we would protest because they steal jobs^^). so what else should they do instead to drink coffee?^^

          • GryzeldaWrr, an inner emigrant

            I have no idea. One thing I know is that I will consume more vodka for next 4 years. It’s going to be difficult to watch the news totally sober…

          • Geralt von Riva

            well, i have heard the will start to clean up the news^^.

            btw, erika steinbach is actually fighting for the rights of muslim womens. so this time she is on your side^^

          • GryzeldaWrr, an inner emigrant

            Ha, the world is upside down. I agree with Erica Steinbach and im in opposition to my own government :)

          • Geralt von Riva

            didn’t knew that we have a mini nato in the eu^^

            “+++ 23:32 France wants to get help from EU states +++

            France will officially request assistance of the other EU countries. Diplomats in Brussels confirmed that a corresponding request for help on this Tuesday is to be presented at a meeting of EU defense ministers. The French Government seeking to rely therefore on Article 42, paragraph 7 of the EU Treaty. It says: “In the event of armed aggression on its territory of a Member State, the other Member States owe him all in their power to aid and assistance (…).”

          • GryzeldaWrr, an inner emigrant

            We don’t have it but perhaps it’s time to form it. The US led by a peace Nobel prize is hardly expected to defend us from anything :)

            Edit: Oh, I didn’t see the quotation at first glance. Well, indeed it seems we do have it :) This treaty is not so stupid. Perhaps it’s even worthy of reading :)

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Totally off topic, of course, but why should Germany expect any help? Merkel singlehandedly tore up both Schengen and Dublin, stupidly proclaimed “Es gibt keine Obergrenze” and “Kommt alle hierher, wir schaffen das.” And when she discovers that “Wir schaffen das NICHT” she has the nerve to demand solidarity? She only aggravated the problem rather than limiting it. Why should other countries pay the price for her folly?
        Eastern Europe has seen how “successfully” muslim minorities have integrated in the countries of Western Europe and, quite rightly in my opinion, flatly refuse to be saddled with the same problem.
        And anyway, it should be a Middle Eastern problem, not a European problem. The wealthy Gulf states should bear the burden- after all, the Syrians are their Arab brothers and sisters and co-religionists. But they have done nothing.

        • Geralt von Riva

          1. the right for asylum is a constitutional right in germany, and it has really no upper limit. so we are more or less defended by dublin. as the only possible open door for refugees would be north sea or frankfurt airport.

          2. she said not come all, she took the ones from the refugee camp “budapest central station”. so there was obviously allready a leak before merkel did anything. get the timeline right and search the leak, according to dublin. and these leaks are the guilty. at this moment we took a bit pressure away from hungary. the refugee wave started much earlier, but they were just sitting in greece, italy and so on. without getting much attention because we were busy with ukraine and greece and so on.

          3. this welcome thing was mainly addressed to germans. we could be proud of that the refugees took germany instead of other countries (normally we burn refugee camps down or start endless lawsuits, because these camps results in lower house prices in their neighborhood). interestingly really germans became proud of it and started to help (this has possible also some historical reasons, many germans have a refugee background). and i personally think merkel became also a bit drunk of it, reason for her selfies. but in a global world with www and selfies there is nothing private and so a private (national) message became public for refugees arround the world. this is her mistake. not that she invites all. and i don’t think btw that germany said, we are a moral leader. i think it was more the other way round, that other countries felt a bit guilty (their people helped also refugees) because the germans did it and they not.

          4. a “we are not able to handle the mass” would possible get no support from her coalition partner and result in new elections.

          5. an european solution means not fences in hungary and not necessary quotas, but ie fences or better border control in greece and so on, the real borders of the EU. else it will destroy schengen. here obviously went something wrong. in greece or italy, not in germany.

          6. taking refugees (real ones and not the 40% from the balkan) is in my opinion ok. but in a controlled way as most of them never will go back, even when the war ends. and germany has no good refugee and immigrant law. was not necasarry, see item 1.

          7. 45 and 47 it were the german refugees of the former eastern regions, some years ago it was the polish plumber, last year a possible ukrainian stampede, this year muslims. (in some years possible dutch because of global warming and flooding^^). something disturbs allways. it’s not really about muslims it’s allways xenophobie.

          8. many germans (ie me, my parents and so on are not really sure wether merkel knows now what she is doing (or has to do)^^). but she is not my favorit in the next election.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      I disagree. I have no illusions about our “leaders”. With weaklings as Merkel, Hollande, Obama etc in charge the reaction will be minimal, at best a few words of protest, but no action. Merkel (assuming she will still be in power) will insist on talks with the dwarf, as she did when he invaded Georgia and again after his illegal annexation of the Crimea and invasion of the Donbas. She will delay the introduction of REAL sanctions, warmly supported by most of Western Europe and Obama. Only Poland, the Baltics and to a lesser extent Sweden wil favour a tougher line.
      Lukashenko is hardly a popular figure in EU capitals, and the people of Belarus might even see the dwarf taking over as an improvement.

  • Quartermaster

    Adrian you are a clown. The Russian invasion was not hypothetical, it is real. Until the Russian came in, the Donbas terrorists were having their heads handed to them. That’s why Putin sent in troops and equipment.
    Your delirium is really bad. You need to quit toking the North Korean methamphetamine and get sober so you can see the world as it exists and not like the Mafioso Putin wants you to see it. The Banderites are in Moscow, not Kyiv and the Belarusian Army is in truly bad shape.

    • Quartermaster

      Not joking at all. You are simply an ignorant paid Russian troll. You’d be well advised to be better informed before you those fingers fly over your magic keyboard.

      • Quartermaster

        You’ve shown that you are not just an ignorant Russian Troll, but a clownish ignorant Russian Troll. None of the stuff you have named is a measure of military competence. You need to actually learn something about the military before you let those fingers fly little one.

        I come to comment, not spread propaganda as you do. You are a troll. And I’m sure you are paid for it as well.

        • Quartermaster

          Settle down boychik. It’s obvious you know less than nothing about military affairs and even less about Belarus.