Putin said: “The Police force reserve has been formed to help Belarus if necessary”.
Maxim Katz commented.
Maxim Katz (Russian political and public figure, co-founder of the City Projects Foundation, author of YouTube channel) commented:
“The main aim of political technologists now is to make people surrender. This is the only chance to win the situation of thousands of people in the streets; people are protesting, recalling deputies, inventing new ways to protest every day.
The elite is in a very shaky position in such cases. They understand that their impact is going to crash at any moment and it frightens them. The only thing that can help is demotivating protesters and demonstrating there are zero chances to win and there is a massive wall in front of them.
This is exactly what Putin’s statement aims for. It’s not a big deal to make such a discreet statement without any serious consequences to follow. He didn’t say “We support Lukashenko” or even “We support the legal government”. The support will be given only in case of massive assaults or external intervention as Putin previously mentioned.
The movement from words to actions is almost impossible here. The absolute majority of Russians including those who support the government are on Belarusians’ side. Violence is unacceptable for anyone, violent massacres in prisons that remind the gestapo regime are beyond outrageous for anyone who is aware of them and there are many people who are aware.
The assistance of Russian riot police in this matter will only cause extremely negative reactions in Russia. And about Belarus — I can’t even imagine the reaction of people in case of foreigners, even from a friendly country, coming to beat their children, parents, people they simply know from squares (protests). I think the whole country will rise and a 1 000 of riot policemen delivered from for example Ryazan (Russian city) won’t beat anyone.
Moreover Putin has never done something like this before. First of all, there weren’t riot police arriving in Crimea. Additional reason is that almost nobody was actively against that intervention in Crimea. Russian army was careful about how local people in Crimea were treated. Militarians made pictures with cats and were called “polite people’’ by the locals. What if they come from Russia to beat a Crimean? Or a Belarusian? It’s absolutely an unimaginable scenario in the mindset of a usual Russian citizen.
So what is this statement? An informational help? Yes, but it is also very limited without any personal support to Lukashenko.
They use this maneuver to make the protesters lose their courage and decide it’s impossible to win this situation. Just give up”