President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus keeps an eye on everything around him because he believes that Russia wants to eliminate him according to Ukraine’s leading newspaper Kyivpost quoting sources close to Russia’s military leadership.
Some Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels reported on Monday, Nov. 28 that Lukashenko allegedly ordered that his cooks, guards and servants be replaced to protect himself, after shocking reports claim that Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, who died on Nov. 26, was poisoned in a sting operation by the Russian government.
Unverified reports state that Makei was assassinated after Moscow discovered that he was covertly in contact with the West regarding the war in Ukraine, and was attempting to prevent Putin from further integrating Belarus into Russia.
Some of the most notable claims, which are still unsubstantiated, are made by Russian businessman and exiled Putin critic Leonid Nevzlin.
UK tabloids claimed that Makei died as a result of a poison developed in a special laboratory run by the FSB, an arm of Russia’s secret services. Nevzlin has also said his sources were “close to the Russian special services”.
“The death of Makei, essentially the second [most important] man in the state, has caused panic in Belarusian nomenklatura circles”, he said.
Nevzlin asserted that 64-year-old Makei had no health issues, lived an active lifestyle, and was planning ahead, which supports the theory that he may well have been poisoned.
He claims that Lukashenko has ordered the replacement of his cooks, servants and guards.
“Lukashenko’s children have been given extra security. He does not trust anyone.”
Nevzlin arrived at the conclusion that Lukashenko is afraid that Putin, his alleged ally, is planning “a magnificent funeral” for him.
Dr. Michael Francis, a social scientist who specialises in politics and international relations, economic history, and socioeconomic development, believes there is little evidence to support these claims.
“Belarus is very pro-Russia with strong links and connections. I would put this up as an attempt at anti-Belarussian and anti-Russia propaganda.”
He continued by saying: “I do not doubt that there are people and forces in Belarus that would be happy to see Alexander Lukashenko go, dead or otherwise, but would not think they are the current Russian government.”
Francis argued that any threat to Belarus’s leadership would likely originate from within.
“I can see no reason for a split between the two countries or a reason for Russia to sabotage that relationship through the use of poison. If Russia were to destroy that relationship it would destroy the relationship between allies and not further any military or political aim,” he said, summing up.
Byczynski agrees, adding: “The implications of Putin killing Lukashenko could be catastrophic for Putin. He would have it very difficult to install a new puppet regime, all the Belarussians would turn against them.”