March 13 – March 19, 2023
Security issues

Is the regime preparing to impose Martial Law?

The situation got worse
Is the regime preparing to impose Martial Law?
Силовики в Гродно 19 марта 2023 г. Скриншот видео "МКБ – Мая Краіна Беларусь"

Reacting to the successful activities of “guerrilla networks”, the Belarusian authorities are contemplating legislative changes regarding national security, including the conditions required to declare a state of emergency and impose martial law.

Aliaksandr Valfovich, Secretary of the State Security Council of the Republic of Belarus, presented a brief report on a large-scale national security training exercise held on February 7-9th. The results apparently indicate that the national security system is prepared to respond to risks and threats but also that some vulnerabilities exist. Consequently, changes to the national security regulatory framework are recommended, though Valfovich did not specify their nature.

Some reports suggest that the Law “On the State of Emergency” will explicitly add “attempts to forcibly change the constitutional order, seize or appropriate state power, armed rebellion” as a condition, and the Law “On Martial Law” will be extended to include “actions of another state that allow extremist groups and organisations to use their territory to attack the Republic of Belarus or send extremist groups and organisations.”

The obvious that the trigger for this is the unexpected scale of the “guerrilla network” which participated in the organisation and successful sabotage of the Russian A-50U AWACS aircraft at the Machulishchy airfield and their alleged connections with Western and Ukrainian special services.

On March 19th, an anti-terrorist operation by KGB special group “A” resulted in the death of a foreign citizen who resisted arrest with automatic weapons and grenades. The KGB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Border Committee are “conducting urgent investigative actions and operational-search measures.”

Meanwhile, security forces were seen near the official residence of Uladzimir Karanik, the Hrodna Regional Executive Committee Chairman on Sviardlova Street, in connection with reports of a bomb threat.

These events are occurring despite the constant vigilance of Belarusian security forces tasked with combatting sabotage and reconnaissance groups (SRGs). One of the scenarios considered by the authorities involves the sudden appearance of multiple SRGs and illegal armed forces (IAF), seizing a district centre, and raising flags to “present to the world or Western community a picture that it is the people who have rebelled”, enabling the invasion of the West in support.

While the regime is preparing to repel attempts at external aggression, largely mirroring the logic of Russia’s actions leading up to the invasion of Ukraine, recent events indicate that guerrilla networks are functioning inside Belarus, ready to commit armed acts, despite the high personal cost of participating in such forms of resistance. This is an unpleasant surprise for the regime. Should successful sabotage actions continue or grow in scale, activating a state of emergency or martial law is logical from the authorities’ point of view.



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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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