The following is an exclusive translation from Lenta.ru of an article which takes a look at some elements of the opposition in Belarus which is furious over the introduction of Russian troops into the country for training exercises. Some protests have already occured in Minsk, and rumors of sabotage are already circulating. Certainly this is an issue to keep an eye on.
They have advised Medvedev not to awaken guerrillas in Byelorussians
Representatives of the Byelorussian opposition Yevgeny Afnagel and Dmitry Dashkevich have turned with an open letter to president of the RF Dmitry Medvedev. They express protest against the introduction of Russian troops onto the territory of the republic (Russian subdivisions have been thrown over into Byelorussia within the framework of training exercises). In the opinion of the oppositioneers, the introduction of Russian troops into Byelorussia creates a threat for its independence.
“We, Byelorussians, – a patient and amicable people. However welikewise love freedom and are prepared to fight for it. Do not awakenpartisans [guerrillas–Trans.] in Byelorussians, Dmitry Anatolievich!”, – is said in the letter.
Yevgeny Afnagel, one of the authors of the letter, is coordinator ofthe civic campaign “European Belarus”, as well as leader of themovement “Jeans — for freedom”. Dmitry Danshkevich heads the youthorganization “Young front”.
Joint Russo-Byelorussian training exercises “Zapad-2009” [West-2009–Trans.]started up on 8 September. According to the script for the maneuvers,an unspecified opponent attacks Byelorussia, while Russia helps torepel the attack.
The authors of the letter to the Russian president consider themotive for the training exercises contrived, and the maneuversthemselves — senseless. Earlier, representatives of the Byelorussianopposition had declared on numerous occasions that the introduction ofa grouping of Russian troops into Byelorussia is a preparation for apossible military intervention on the part of the RF.
On 9 September, after the start of the training exercises, an actionof protest took place in Minsk under the slogans “No — to Russianoccupation!” and “Russian army, go home!” [with the “go home” written in English–Trans.]. The picket was dispersed by the police.