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Belarus President Lukashenko Gives Lengthy Interview to Respected Ukrainian Journalist

Aug. 17, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave a nearly two-hour interview to Diana Panchenko, a noted Ukrainian journalist who is not a mouthpiece for the regime. The interview, posted on her YouTube channel, was covered by the official BelTA news agency today. Panchenko had asked for an interview in which she could ask any questions, to which Lukashenko agreed. Lukashenko said that the Ukraine war could have been avoided. Serving as a go-between for Putin and then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko, Lukashenko related his discussions with Poroshenko regarding the situation in eastern Ukraine, which had a large Russian-speaking population. Lukashenko told Poroshenko he should simply agree to the Minsk proposals for special status for the Lugansk and Donetsk and hold elections there. Lukashenko related their conversation:

“Poroshenko tells me this: ‘Why should I hold elections? They will be held under the control of Russia.’ I told him: ‘Petro, well, this year, supposedly, they will be held under the control of Russia. This is what we can agree on.’ And I suggested to them: I will hold elections there, I will do as you agree—Putin, Poroshenko. And I’ll do it as you decide. Poroshenko refused. Putin agreed to everything.”

According to Lukashenko, if the Minsk agreements had been implemented then, everything would have been quiet and calm. The Ukrainian hryvnia currency would circulate in the respective territories, and in general the regions and the border with Russia would be under control of Ukraine.

Lukashenko reiterated his warning that if Ukraine does not come to the negotiating table now, it may not survive as a state. “Now Russia will crush you there,” he said.

“Manpower and equipment. Already those motivated, ideologically minded Nazis, as they were called, nationalists, these people are not ideologically strong. They have all died already. Who is fighting here already? Whoever you will catch on the streets and bring them here. They are not trained. Well, there are not many soldiers. They will not cope with this machine. Russia has reorganized. Russia today has the latest weapons at the front. There are already enough drones. It is already a completely different army. And the most dangerous thing is that they have 250,000 volunteer corps, Russia has 250,000, which are now trained and in reserve. There are fewer Russians at the front now,”

the Belarus President said.

He went on to say that the Russians are on the defensive because they don’t need to attack.

“It’s not necessary. But you go, you understand, like you are stung and drunk. You go at the ready, as they show the Germans in the movies. You go to these barricades, but you don’t even reach the minefields, we see it. You are simply destroyed by the thousands. 45,000 of you died during the counteroffensive and left there crippled. Your losses at the front are one to eight,” Lukashenko said.

He warned that if the war continues, there will be little left of Ukraine. And the Poles, encouraged by the Americans, will also take a piece of western Ukraine, which they greatly desire.

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