4 years in the past, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was an English instructor and translator residing in Minsk along with her political activist husband. As we speak, she’s Belarus’s leader-in-exile who has a pointy warning for the West about Russian mutineer and mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s latest transfer to her homeland in japanese Europe.
Prigozhin and his males received’t keep quiet or contained in Belarus, she advised Semafor in an interview on Wednesday from Brussels. However they’ll function a praetorian guard for Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko and probably launch strikes on Ukraine from bases within the former Soviet republic.
“We really ought to watch intently what would be the penalties of the scenario for Lukashenko himself as a result of, so far as I perceive, he would not know what to do with Prigozhin now,” Tsikhanouskaya mentioned. “He’s explaining it to the Belarusian individuals: These Prigozhin troops will educate the Belarusian military or the Belarusian navy officers, learn how to fly, learn how to management helicopters. However I believe the one factor that these Prigozhin thugs can train is to learn how to rape, learn how to homicide, learn how to kill individuals.”
Lukashenko asserted himself final Saturday as a self-proclaimed peacekeeper when he brokered the top of Prigozhin’s tried mutiny in opposition to Russia’s navy management. After a string of calls with Lukashenko, Prigozhin agreed to cease his march on Moscow in change for secure passage to Belarus and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreeing to drop treason prices in opposition to the Wagner Group commander and his males.
Tsikhanouskaya mentioned that she doesn’t assume Lukashenko’s intervention was pushed by altruism, or a honest need to forestall bloodshed. “Lukashenko was scared, however not for the destiny of the Kremlin. He was fearful solely about his personal energy,” she mentioned. “He knew that if Russia, with the Kremlin, begins collapsing or scrambling, Lukashenko would be the subsequent … He needed to save lots of himself.”