MINSK, 16 September (BelTA) – During the meeting with the country's political core on 16 September Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko debunked myths about the situation in the country and revealed genuine plans of the opponents, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that a step-by-step analysis of events in the country had unearthed genuine plans and tactics of external aggressors. The head of state stated that for the last ten years they have been scrupulously preparing for this zero hour. “In order to remove all the masks, let's name these players. At the level of global centers the number includes primarily the United States of America, to be exact, their network of foundations designed to support so-called democracy. American satellites – Poland, Lithuania, Czechia, and unfortunately our Ukraine – worked on the European continent,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
Each country played its own role, he stressed. Czechia has been a resource hub for a long time. Poland initially worked as an incubator of media channels (Belsat, Nexta, and other ones) and then as a platform for a government in exile. “Wounded by the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project, Lithuania worked as a battering ram of Belarusian-European relations. Despite our unwavering support for the country (for instance, in matters of territorial integrity and other ones), Ukraine became an outpost of political provocations contrary to the spirit of our mutual relations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added. “Thus, we clearly see subjects of this process, their conductors, and abettors. The organizers built the tactics in accordance with the classic American textbook on color revolutions by the notorious Gene Sharp. Today we can look back and analyze in detail all the stages of the scenario meant to destroy our country, which fortunately we have not allowed to come to fruition and will not allow.”
The first stage. Preparations
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that foiled attempts to stage color revolutions in 2006 and 2010 changed the approach to influencing Belarus. In his words, foreign parties moved from direct-action technologies to methods of soft power and transformation of the government system from within.
“They started using new ways to shake Belarus by targeting the unwavering supporters of the president: residents of the regions, hardworking Belarusians, public sector employees, pensioners. By the way, they tried to use the tactics in Syria and Venezuela. You may recall how methods of so-called social protest were tested in response to Ordinance No.3 [on preventing social dependency]. It was these protests that later on gave rise to dozens of bloggers, who started brainwashing various social groups via YouTube and Telegram channels under the guise of the fight for people's interests,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In his words, after attempts to shake the society were suppressed in 2017, the strategists started working to create permanent hotbeds of disaffection in the regions.
The second stage. The parliamentary elections
Half a year before the presidential election the destabilization technologies that had been created were tested in the course of the parliamentary elections, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. It was then that a network of specialized Telegram channels with clear-cut roles started working at full capacity in order to besmirch the government, undermine the foundation of the state ideology, primarily by resorting to fake news and forgeries, Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out.
New forms of street activities were tested in addition to pumping up the information channels during the period of the parliamentary elections. A “youth bloc” was specifically created ahead of the elections. The youth bloc actively shaped the mood of disaffection in various social groups under the guise of nominating candidates for parliamentary seats. It exploited topics that were seemingly removed from politics: the law on military draft deferment, mandatory jobs for university graduates, legalization of drugs, the matter of Article 328 of the Criminal Code [illegal turnover of narcotic substances], and so on.
The third stage. Preparations for the presidential election
During this stage foreign strategists carefully selected heroes for every social stratum and various target audiences in Belarus. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that a certain blogger, who wanted to become a presidential candidate later on and tried to look like a fighter for people's interests, started travelling all over the country. Major Internet platforms were created and mass media presence was stepped up to highlight a certain banker, thus sending a message to the private sector and “new strata”. Speaking about the nomination of his former aide as a presidential candidate, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that foreign strategists tried to exploit it by sowing dissent among the government elite and tried to assess their loyalty towards the head of state.
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out: “In this complicated period the government was fully engrossed by the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which unexpectedly stormed the world. Instead of standing together in this global battle the so-called independent mass media and Telegram channels did everything to complicate the work and destroy people's trust in the government.”
The fourth stage. The presidential election campaign
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that when the Belarusian society was warmed up by Internet assaults, a barrage of color revolution technologies was launched. They were borrowed from protests in Armenia, Poland, Hong Kong, and other areas.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “By using the tactics of a parade of pickets (do you remember the collection of signatures to nominate presidential candidates?) it allowed several aspirants at once to get voters' signatures. Trips of candidates to the regions were accompanied by ‘carousel-like' queues (similarly to those in the Baltic states) and hype from street art – just like it happened in Poland in the past.”
“Various modern political technologies were employed later on in order to convert politics into a show. A show designed for the mass audience,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. For instance, the joint staff of the opposition's presidential candidates built its tactics by exploiting the image of the woman, which is traditionally revered by Belarusians, but this time new buffoonery forms were added to it.
Simultaneously fake news was released about millions stored in Aleksandr Lukashenko's foreign accounts. Various memes were made. In his words, the war of sociologies is an interesting example. “All the resources were employed to win the virtual majority by means of fake news in mass media and by creating confidence that results of the presidential election will be falsified and the current government will lose,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
The fifth stage. An attempt to stage a maidan revolution
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the ballot day was used to try to stage a maidan blitzkrieg. Mistrust in results of the election was stimulated by appeals for voters to cast their votes only on 9 August and for voters to participate in shady initiatives. The joint staff used appeals to voters to create artificial queues and raise tensions at polling stations.
Then the joint staff published preliminary vote count figures, which gave a reason to aggressively defend the “stolen votes”. The previous brainwashing heated up the outrage of the protesters on 9 August, 10 August, and 11 August, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
In his words, they intended to simultaneously deploy thousands of protesters in streets of Belarusian cities and capture administrative buildings and landmarks. Instructions from foreign coordinators were sent in real time: “Say no negotiations! No negotiations! We have the power! There will be more of us tomorrow! Prepare appeals for the USA, the European Union, Russia, and China to recognize the election as invalid! Demand the second round of the election!”
In order to encourage as many people as possible to respond actively and dispel any doubts about the alleged moral supremacy, a clear image of the enemy was created in the Internet. “Representatives of the government and law enforcement agencies were labeled fascists, usurpers, bandits, and so on. We saw the results. They specifically targeted riot police. Over 25 riot police officers were injured on the first day. Broken arms, broken legs, broken spines of traffic police officers, who are still in hospitals,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
The head of state is convinced that if law enforcement agencies had been passive, further maidan revolution technologies would have been activated. History says that such technologies often result in multiple human casualties and always end in a tragedy for the country.
The sixth stage. Protests after the presidential election
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that actions of law enforcement agencies prevented the protests from escalating. “Then the puppet masters changed the tactics all of a sudden and made protesters look like innocent angels. Flowers, white clothes, so-called carnival rallies on Saturdays and Sundays were used. They also created the image of an allegedly nationwide protest that has no visible leaders and does not depend on their will,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. They focused on the scale of events, their length, and the broad geography of the actions.
“At the same time – the fact is not always highlighted by mass media – the policy of creating a radical wing of the protesters was adopted. Step-by-step instructions were created for them as well as recommendations on what to wear and what gear to use, ways to counteract law enforcement officers, instructions on making and using Molotov cocktails, fireworks. Basic rules for staying in touch are advertised, including when Internet or mobile service are unavailable. Hong Kong technologies for gathering crowds in predesignated places, for spontaneously changing routes, for protesters to work in sync are being polished,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
Massive information impact is reaching new heights. Protests are coordinated in real time 24/7.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about attempts to get workers at enterprises involved in protests under the guise of strikes and walkouts, attempts to get university students involved in protests. “The opposition's expectations that the government will fall when it sees the protesters did not come true,” he stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that attempts are being made to make protests part of the nation's daily life. “Instructions on creating people's militia or self-defense groups are being copied. Tactics of backyard protests is implemented by means of setting up mini groups and chats for individual districts, residential complexes, individual backyards. Today the coordinators are trying to organize backyards, tomorrow they will come into your apartments. It is their goal. It won't work,” he said.
The seventh stage. An attempt to legalize the infrastructure of changes
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the creation of the so-called Coordination Council did not justify hopes of the protest organizers. After the organizers fled the country, they had to find and promptly advertise new smaller faces, preferably those with a scandalous reputation.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the war of symbols, the fight for memorable places that every Belarusian reveres is being actively exploited. New mechanisms and schemes of financing are being built. Warsaw-controlled channels are working hard to spread word about the so-called Plan B, which provides for setting up parallel (allegedly people's) ministries, for sabotaging the economy and the social sphere. “They suggest absurd things. As they try to stage a lengthy political and economic crisis in the country, coordinators of the protests give out instructions on economic resistance, as they call it – instructions on how not to pay taxes or utility bills, how to quit trade unions and so on. The particularly naive Belarusians are promised that their losses will be compensated for by foundations, which have been established to help ‘victims of the regime'. The experience of communication with Ukrainian maidan revolutionaries indicates that nobody will get anything,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
He stated that the Coordination Council is hell bent on trying to undermine the unity of the power vertical, the law enforcement and security agencies, the system of state mass media.
“Thus, the Belarusian scenario for the year 2020 is a mixture of the most effective color revolution technologies of destabilization, which have been tested in various countries. It is obvious that they are focused on the scale and length of the protests, the exhaustion of strength and the depletion of resources. We know who the masterminds are, who wants something in Belarus, and therefore we don't relax and are ready to respond to any challenge,” Aleksandr Lukashenko summed up.