Analysis: Belarus leader, long the supplicant, feted in Russia after mutiny role

Analysis: Belarus leader, long the supplicant, feted in Russia after mutiny role

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been praised by Russian officials for his role in defusing an armed mutiny by Wagner mercenaries aimed at toppling Russia’s military leadership. While Lukashenko usually relies on Russia for cheap energy and security, this time he played a major role in ending the mutiny that threatened to destabilize the world’s largest nuclear power. According to Lukashenko’s own narrative and Putin, he persuaded rogue mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in protracted phone negotiations to halt his mutiny and advised Putin not to rush to act. Lukashenko has bought himself more political goodwill that he may convert into further financial and economic concessions when the time is right.

Lukashenko has ruled Belarus as Europe’s last dictator since 1994. According to his opponents, his actions to defuse the mutiny were likely all about self-preservation. Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Twitter, “Without Putin’s support, the Lukashenko regime will not be able to survive.” Lukashenko acknowledged how closely his own fate and that of his country in its current form was tied to Putin’s.

Russia’s State Duma opened on Tuesday with a tribute to Lukashenko and Putin and a round of applause. Putin thanked Lukashenko for “his efforts and contribution in peacefully resolving the situation.” High-profile Russian state TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov said Lukashenko deserved to be made a Hero of Russia and Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, on Tuesday lavished praise on the Belarusian leader. At home, Lukashenko was also praised as the savior of Moscow – albeit by his own tightly-controlled media.

One direct result of Lukashenko’s intervention is that Prigozhin, who triggered the mutiny and has been a constant thorn in the Russian defense ministry’s side for months, is now living in exile in Belarus. Thousands of his fighters may follow him. On Tuesday, Lukashenko said there was no need for Belarus to fear the presence of the mercenaries. He added, “We will keep a close eye on them.”

The dust is still settling on a dramatic weekend that has challenged many people’s assumptions about Russia’s internal politics and stability.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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