Opinion. Yahor Lebiadok on the build-up of military forces near Belarus

Photo from the private archive of Yahor Lebiadok
5 mins

На русском языке: Мнение. Егор Лебедок о росте военных сил вблизи Беларуси
На беларускай мове: Меркаванне. Ягор Лебядок пра рост вайсковых сіл паблізу Беларусі

Columnist Yahor Lebiadok published a post in his telegram channel, in which he analyzes the statements of the Belarusian military, propaganda and the build-up of military forces near Belarus. We quote the opinion unchanged.

«The only possible task of the Polish military at the Belarusian border is provocations,» Pavel Muraveyko, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, the head of the State Educational Institution, said. General Muraveyko justifies this statement as follows: «At the same time, he drew attention to the disproportionate number of migrants to the number of military personnel, the movement of heavy weapons and armored vehicles to the borders. » What is it for, to fight migrants? Not at all. This is contrary to logic and common sense. There is a deeper approach here – demonstrating one’s readiness to perform some tasks. What tasks can the Polish military perform near our border? Only provocative. I don’t see anything else and I can’t assess it any other way.»

In the last six months, Belarusian propaganda uses very actively the cliche "the Poles are building up a military group near Belarus – this is really too much for the fight against migrants, then, they do it for something else", meaning the invasion of Belarus.

Muraveyko also used the cliche. And in such presentation, this cliche is an old way of demagoguery/disputes/information confrontation – «substitution of the thesis» or «straw men» with elements of some other techniques.

There is logic in the actions of the Poles, Muraveyko is not a fool, and he knows it. The Poles began to build up their group not just in response to migrant crossings, but to prevent the standard chain of escalation that they expected from Putin and Lukashenka:

  1. information dosing of the population and demonization of the enemy (Poland, since August 2020);
  2. implementation of destabilization of the situation in the enemy country and quasi-forced actions (transfer of migrants at the beginning with the expectation of a socio-political crisis until the summer of 2021, then forceful actions with the use of migrants, plus support with additional threats – drugs, jihad, nuclear materials, etc.);
  3. intensification of threats to achieve intermediate political and economic benefits, isolate the enemy in the international arena («Poles violate human rights»), get time to deploy forces, etc .;
  4. provocations to start military action and form their own image of victim/peacekeeper/protector in the international arena;
  5. military action.

General Muraveyko is also well aware of this version of the escalation scheme, since the Belarusian military have repeatedly drawn such a chain, showing the West’s plans to enslave Belarus. The Polish group was built up to prevent points 4 and 5 , to increase readiness and demonstrate resolve. Under the pretext of demonstrating resolve, Lukashenka transferred troops to the area near Grodno in 2020, as now in the Union Resolve 2022 drills.

In the context of Putin's ultimatums, the constant movements of Russian troops and rhetoric against Ukraine, the Poles will not remove the created group just like that. Since they are on the front line with the Baltic states, they will be the loudest talk about strengthening security in NATO, and not just for "financial investments", and join forces.

Unlike a number of propaganda officers, Muraveyko is a person with experience and a systemic view in the topic of psychological confrontation, he has published articles on this topic in «Science and Military Security» and «Ideological Aspects of Military Security» at least since 2008. All the better when such a person states mentioned above: the actual essence and motives of the actions of the Belarusian military leaders are clear by the methods of presenting information to the public.

The nature of the drills against Ukraine and Poland will be clear from some elements, in particular, whether there will be landing from heights of 4 km and more to practice sending troops tens of kilometers across the border on parachute systems imperceptibly for air defense, whether there will be a widespread use of engineering equipment to create ways to transfer equipment in little-expected directions, whether Russian S-400 will move from Grodno to the south of Belarus with their deployment there, amplification of the air force and electronic warfare, etc.

The build-up of military forces near Belarus from all sides, and aggressive rhetoric are increasingly pushing Belarus into a regional funnel of escalation with a standard way out – through war.

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