“He could be betrayed at any moment.” A warning to Prigozhin against trusting Lukashenko

The Belarusian opposition resident in exile, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, suggested that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko would betray the leader of the Russian mercenary group “Wagner”, Yevgeny Prigozhin, despite his reception. After the failed rebellion.

“They are not allies. They cannot trust each other,” Tikhanovskaya told AFP in an interview in Brussels on Wednesday.

“At any moment Lukashenko could betray Prigozhin and Prigozhin could betray Lukashenko,” she added.

Lukashenko with Putin (archive)

Lukashenko said on Tuesday that Prigozhin had arrived in Belarus under an agreement he had mediated to end an armed rebellion by the Wagner Group, posing the biggest challenge yet to the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tikhanovskaya, who announced her victory over Lukashenko in the 2020 presidential elections, stated that the agreement remains vague in many respects.

But she compared Lukashenko’s move to help his most prominent supporter, Putin, to a marriage of convenience aimed at saving his regime in Belarus.

“He didn’t act to save Putin face, save Prigozhin, or prevent a civil war in Russia,” she said. “His concern was to save himself because Lukashenko knows that the authorities in Russia are facing difficulties, and Lukashenko will be next,” she added.

The opposition leader, whose husband is imprisoned in Belarus, pointed out that Prigozhin’s move with his Wagner fighters to Belarus would pose a threat to Europe.

She said:The presence of Prigogine himself or Wagner groups On our lands, it poses a threat to the people of Belarus in the first place, and to our independence. “Her presence (Wagner) may represent a threat to Ukraine and our western neighbors,” she added.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

Tikhanovskaya denounced the portrayal of Lukashenko as a “peacemaker” after it appeared that he had helped resolve the crisis.

And she warned that he might use Wagner’s forces to carry out a security crackdown on the opposition after the harsh campaign that followed the disputed 2020 elections. She said, “He is a person who brought rapists and murderers to our land… What will they do in our country? This is the most important question. How will they act?”


Tikhanovskaya criticized the West’s “indifference” to the situation in Belarus, in light of Moscow’s increasing influence in the country after the Kremlin supported Lukashenko.

She said that the failure of the international community to respond forcefully to Russia transfers nuclear weapons to Belarus Moscow and Minsk forces fork. And she continued, “We are still waiting for a response to the deployment of nuclear weapons on our lands.” “When the world remains silent about such an important moment, tyrants see this as weakness,” she said.

More than a year has passed since the last sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Belarusian regime, following its role in helping Moscow during the war in Ukraine.

The bloc had previously imposed a series of repeated sanctions on Minsk for suppressing demonstrations. European Union countries have been discussing new measures for months, but have not been able to agree on them.

Tikhanovskaya stated that Wagner’s arrival in Belarus could be a new motive for taking additional punitive measures against the regime. She said, “Lukashenko is now receiving criminals… For example, new sanctions can be imposed. Sanctions against those who allowed this.”

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