So in the past few hours Luka has basically leveled up from Virgin sovok collective farm manager to Chad people’s republic warlord.
Даже шах Искандер ибн Лука взял в руки автомат и вышел на путь Аллаха, а вы всё ещё отлыниваете от Джихада pic.twitter.com/ezEWZ0SUzv
— Д///ИХАД (@tvjihad) August 23, 2020
Sure, it’s a larp, but it’s still cooler than how Yanukovych just… ran away. Or how the USSR croaked, for that matter. Those “hardliners” behind the August coup gave up after just three deaths, the losers.
The EU has taken the decision not to recognize him as President, crystallizing the Luka-Maduro and Tikhanovskaya-Guaido comparisons. Though they will continue to do business with the country and targets will be narrowly targeted against the Belarusian security elites. They obviously still hope to avoid a full merger between Russia and Belarus.
As Lukashenko has adopted a more explicitly Russia-adjacent line in rhetoric, so the opposition continues to – unsurprisingly, and understandably – distance from Russia in practice, even as they try to assuage otherwise.
Reports the Belarus opposition has excluded Valery Savitsky from its ranks, a regional coordinator for city of Molodechno. Why? This photo with him delivering humanitarian aid for Donbass. Anyhow, nice of them to keep clarifying their real positions on Russia. pic.twitter.com/bZa1WfzrUy
— «««ANATꙮLY KARLIN»»» (@akarlin88) August 22, 2020
The good news is that this increasingly makes it clearer whom Russia should support, in a shift from the ambiguities there were just a couple of weeks ago.
And for its part, the pro-Putin part of the Russian MSM has largely abandoned its initial neutrality and now emphasizes the “color revolution from abroad” aspect.
The bad news is that if the opposition does somehow win, then the prospects for a pro-Russian Belarus keep deteriorating, even if the street opposition at large still cannot be described as anti-Russian as a whole. (Though, given what was in the “secret” part of the opposition platform, perhaps that was always a forlorn hope).
This man wrapped in a Russian flag is chanting “Go away!” aimed at Lukashenko. He says he wants better ties with Russia. She and his wife live by the WWII museum and they witnessed the savage police crackdown after the election pic.twitter.com/Wq33aAsPRw
— Nataliya Vasilyeva (@Nat_Vasilyeva) August 23, 2020
But the prospects for the opposition winning any time soon seem to be deteriorating by the day, the “tinpot dictator” optics of Lukashenko strutting about with his gun aside. Though today’s demonstration was the largest yet, at night time… they just went home. Monday is a work day, after all. There is no “hardcore” of deadset zmagarists ready to rush the barricades, as there were on the Maidan. No army units defecting and turning over weapons arsenals to them. The siloviks remain consolidated.