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January 10 – January 16, 2022
Security issues

Minsk demonstrates its inability to competently evaluate and respond to external challenges

The situation got worse
Minsk demonstrates its inability to competently evaluate and respond to external challenges

The recent CSTO peacekeeping operation in Kazakhstan demonstrated that the Belarusian regime cannot adequately assess and respond to external challenges even under benign conditions.

The CSTO peacekeeping mission in Kazakhstan will be remembered as the shortest international peacekeeping mission in history. Initiated on January 6th, the operation was largely curtailed by January 13th; the only explanation for this reversal is that the situation in Kazakhstan did not require external intervention in the first place. The decision to invite and send CSTO forces was political rather than a true reflection of the security situation in the country, as evidenced by Kremlin statements.

Meanwhile, Minsk initially characterised the Kazakh situation as of the utmost seriousness, with Lukashenka issuing several baseless apocalyptic statements, stating that the events in Kazakhstan were an attack by the West on Russia. Meanwhile, Kazakh authorities denied that there was any evidence of western involvement.

One of the justifications for the CSTO peacekeeping mission was protecting Russian Orthodoxy, even though Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan (which hosted the CSTO mission), are Muslim majority countries. Russia itself has a significant and growing Muslim community.

According to Lukashenka, the same forces that tried to destabilise Kazakhstan (the evil West) are plotting against Uzbekistan. Moscow and Tashkent both refuted these allegations.

Belarusian foreign policy is detached from reality, even in its post-Soviet backyard. The fact that this concerns international security issues can only be explained by that the diplomatic and intelligence services are geared to confirm the ideological biases of Lukashenka rather than report objective reality.

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