Anatoly Lebedko: Outright political schizophrenia is now observed in Belarus

Belarus opposition ‘recognizes it cannot leave Russia’s sphere of influence,’ says analyst

Director of the Center for European Affairs – about the situation in the republic

In Belarus and Russia, the scandal is widely discussed in connection with the audio recording made public the day before in the media, where, presumably, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Nikolai Karpenkov discusses the creation of camps with barbed wire for isolation «especially sharp-hoofed», active protesters, speaks of the need for their «maim» and admits that activist Aleksandr Taraikovskiy was killed by a rubber bullet fired by a riot policeman.

The video was provided by the BYPOL initiative, which unites opposition-minded former employees of the Belarusian security forces.

In the BYPOL explanation, it is indicated that the recording was made in October 2020 at the farewell of Karpenkov, who then headed the main department for combating organized crime and corruption, with his subordinates..

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic issued a statement in which he called the information a fake, but did not give any arguments in favor of his arguments and did not comment on anything specifically.

BYPOL representative in an interview with the TV channel «Rain» said that Karpenkov discussed the tasks set by Alexander Lukashenko, who at the same time personally promised security to the security forces.

This story is superimposed on materials previously published in the media exposing the actions of the Belarusian authorities. In particular, the publication by the Belgian edition of EUobserver of an audio recording of a conversation of April 11, 2012, in which the then head of the KGB of Belarus, Vadim Zaitsev, discusses the plans of the special services to eliminate the opponents of the authorities on the orders of Alexander Lukashenko. This also applied to those people who were abroad.

On the atmosphere in Belarus, Russian Service «Voices of America» spoke with an opposition politician, director of the Center for European Affairs Anatoly Lebedko.

Victor Vladimirov: How reliable do you think the recording is and to what extent the content of the conversation reflects the essence of what is happening in the republic and the mood in the power echelons?

Anatoly Lebedko: Outright political schizophrenia is now observed in Belarus

Anatoly Lebedko: I am not an expert on voice identification and tape authentication. But taking into account the fact that the credit history of trust in the Belarusian authorities has been greatly undermined, the likelihood that this is not a fake or a special operation of bad representatives of the special services, who do their best to harm Alyaksandr Lukashenka, is very high. This fits well with the events taking place in the country and looks quite harmonious, if we bear in mind the policy of the authorities. It’s in their style and spirit.

V.V .: Official Minsk, of course, has a different opinion?

A.L .: Yes, just the day before I was recording a program dedicated to Lukashenka’s statement that his rule will go down in history as an era of stability, peace and justice. In fact, if you look at 20 years of his reign, then these are continuous wars both inside the country and outside. And this is generally the essence of Lukashenka’s foreign and domestic policy. This is the natural state of the system that he created. The authorities have a steady demand for all kinds of enemies. Having them, you can explain a lot. For example, why the country does not comply with the laws and the constitution is violated. Is there a demand for special camps in such a situation? Of course have. Another thing is that Mr. Karpenkov and others like him do not think at all about the scale of the problems that they themselves have created. Indeed, in order for the siloviki, according to the official wording, to walk the streets of Belarusian cities with an open face and a proudly raised head, they need to solve the following tasks. To intern about a million Belarusians. Place another million behind barbed wire, and not in the camp, as Karpenkov spoke about, but in the whole block of camps called «Gulag», ruled by Alexander Lukashenko. Plus two million fellow citizens to register. Then they will complete the task that they seemed to be aiming at. I think, however, that we cannot be tilted to the level of North Korea. But in the context of what is happening in the country, it is not at all surprising that the security officials talk among themselves about the camps as a routine matter. Outright political schizophrenia is now observed in Belarus.

V.V .: Is it possible in such an atmosphere to talk about some kind of dialogue between the government and society??

A.L .: For this Lukashenka need not say anything at all. It is enough simply to take and release from prisons tomorrow nearly two hundred officially recognized political prisoners and all those detained recently. Then return everything to the barracks «fear squads». Do not hold people accountable for hanging red-white-red T-shirts on their balconies or molding snowmen with an inscription in the yard «Zhive Belarus!». Then it will be an understandable and clear message, and then you can condemn something. Without this, it can be stated that the partisan struggle will grow and the underground will intensify in the winter cold, and by the spring the protest will again spill over into the streets of Belarusian cities.

Anatoly Lebedko: Outright political schizophrenia is now observed in Belarus

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