Europe hopes the military will topple Lukashenko

Western rules for military coups do not work in Belarus

The formula, according to which 3.5% of the protesting population is enough for a change of regime in the country, does not work in Belarus because of the law-enforcers, who support the will of the majority.

MEPs urge Belarus generals not to obey Lukashenko

A group of members of the European Parliament called on the commanders of the armed forces of Belarus not to obey President Alexander Lukashenko.

The appeal was signed by 25 out of 704 MEPs, DW reported on October 7. The letter is addressed, in particular, to the Minister of Defense of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, Chief of the General Staff Alexander Volfovich and others - 24 Belarusian top military officials in total.

The MEPs called Lukashenko "the mastermind of the violent seizure of power and a coup d'etat." Therefore, any instructions that come from him, in their opinion, are illegitimate. The MEPs note that giving and executing illegal orders is a crime that the international community will not disregard.

The generals should decide for themselves whether they should be devoted to the oath to defend the people of Belarus or follow illegal instructions from the illegitimate usurper, Alexander Lukashenko.

According to the MEPs, "the people of Belarus consider Svetlana Tikhanovskaya the winner of the elections and the legally elected president of Belarus."

Belarus generals dissatisfied with political leadership

As the Telegram-channel "Trykatazh" points out, the appeal from the MEPs will fall on fertile soil, because "there are seeds of doubt among the generals."

According to the channel's authors, the top commanders of the Belarusian Armed Forces is not happy with Viktor Khrenin's insecure, village style of command. They are also unhappy with the fact that his predecessor, Andrei Ravkov, was forced to write a resignation report after the story with 33 Russian "terrorists" of whom he reported to Lukashenko.

The political leadership is trying to set Khrenin up. Reportedly, there is a leaked audio recording made by one of the highest officers at a meeting with Khrenin, in which he called for harsh suppression of protests in Belarus.

The Telegram channel quotes a document that says that there was a conspiracy among the generals. One of the conspirators was Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus, Andrei Vtyurin, who is serving a sentence for corruption, and several high-ranking officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defense, of whom three have already been arrested.

The conspiracy was codenamed "Change." The purpose of the conspiracy is to prevent a new presidential term for Lukashenko, whom the conspirators considered the main and only obstacle for the normal development of Belarus. They were elaborating several possible scenarios - from Lukashenko's voluntary refusal to participate in the elections through the influence of Russia or his closest circle, to supporting a strong alternative candidate, or even the physical elimination of Lukashenko, Trykatazh Telegram channel pointed out.

There is no smoke without fire

It is an open secret that the support of security forces is of decisive importance for the continuity and stability of power. Despite the tremendous pressure that has so far been put on Nicolas Maduro with the introduction of parallel power structures in Venezuela, he cannot be overthrown only because of the loyalty of the army and security services. They are now trying to implement a similar scenario in Belarus by legitimising Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as a parallel leader.

Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist from Harvard University, coined the so-called 3.5% rule. She believes that as long as 3.5 percent of the population takes to the streets to hold peaceful protests, this percentage of the population may be enough to topple a dictator. It is worthy of note that Minsk, the capital of Belarus is a 2-million-strong city.

According to Chenoweth's rule, Lukashenko's regime should have fallen on July 30, during Svetlana Tikhanovskaya's pre-election rally, which gathered, according to human rights activists, as many as 70,000 people. However, in Belarus, the 3.5% formula does not work, nor does it work in Venezuela for one simple reason - security forces support the will of the majority of the people, but  not the will of 3.5% of them.

Lukashenko should sit down and think: such appeals as the ones from members of the European Parliament do not emerge for no reason. The Belarus military cannot be satisfied with the fact that their secret information leaks online, nor can they understand what stops Lukashenko from imposing martial law against the background of large-scale protests and clashes with civilians. The crisis in Belarus may exacerbate at any moment, and it will be the military to blame for it in the first place.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko