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Belarus on the geopolitical chessboard of Europe

Belarus has an important geopolitical importance in the space from the Baltic to the Black Sea. From the point of view of the security of Eastern Europe, the issue of Belarus is key. It became obvious to everyone after February 24. In this article, we will try to outline the geopolitical significance of Belarus and propose a strategy for the communication policy of Ukraine and the democratic states neighboring Belarus with Belarusian society.

In order to be versed in geopolitics, it is necessary to think in terms of millennia and continents. So, to understand the geopolitical role of Belarus, let's look into history. If we look at the map of our space 1000 years ago, we will see Rus', which stretches from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Rus' is an absolutely European context. The geopolitical role of Rus' is to be the frontier of Europe. Beyond Russia, the nomadic world of Asia began in the East.

After the Mongol invasion, state life on our territory was restored in the form of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia. Which included the territories of modern Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, partly Moldova and Russia. This state was a continuation of Russia in terms of the form of government organization, law, language, and ideology. Ukrainians, together with Belarusians and Lithuanians, are the heirs of this state.

The geopolitical mission of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rus' for 300 years is the same as in the times of Russia. The border of Europe along the Baltic axis is the Black Sea. And the threat from the East is the same, only the role of the Mongol horde was taken by the Moscow kingdom. This state appeared in the spaces where the Horde ruled for many centuries. 160 years longer than in the lands of Ukraine and Belarus.

Before the Mongols, the lands of Muscovy (christened from Kyiv) were a remote fragment of Rus'. Gradually, Moscow took over huge territories of the Mongolian state and became the geopolitical and ideological heir of the Horde.

Constant expansion to neighboring lands and peoples. State practice, when the tsar (khan) is everything, and the others are nothing. When human life - millions of lives - have no value.

In Moscow, the political practices of the Horde received a Christian wrap, and the geopolitical mission was preserved.

In carrying out this expansive mission, Moscow sought to break through to the Baltic Sea. But on her way was the Frontier of Europe - the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rus'. Thus began centuries of wars between these states

The Lithuanian-Rus' state had a clear geopolitical meaning. Stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, it was the frontier of Europe, which restrained the onslaught of the new Horde - Muscovy.

Later, unable to withstand this confrontation, the Lithuanian-Rus' state united with Poland in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Thus, the Frontier of Europe strengthened at the expense of Poland. And the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth dominated the entire geopolitical space of Eastern Europe until the middle of the 17th century, restraining the onslaught of Muscovy.

In the middle of the 17th century, the Frontier of Europe - the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth faced a challenge. From the ethno-cultural substratum of Southern Rus', Ruthenians-Ukrainians emerged, who declared themselves in the form of Cossack autonomy. But due to the reluctance of the Poles to give due recognition and a place to the Ukrainians, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth began to crumble. In the end, she lost against Muscovy.

The Commonwealth was divided. Muscovy occupied the lands of Belarus, reached the Baltic and the Black Sea. The Russian Empire and the Soviet Union arose with all the troubles for the peoples of Europe and the world. Global wars, shot elites, Genocide-Holodomor, Berlin walls, arms race and nuclear potentials are capable of destroying the planet. And now there is a new war of expansion of Muscovy.

Russia will lose this war and divide itself into fragments. And we will help. But Russia will not disappear after that. Resentment - hatred of the whole world and the desire to get even will live on among millions of Russians. The ideology of the newest horde is sewn into the subconscious of the masses. And there will be a new war...

And in order to divert it, for the global security of Europe, it is necessary to restore its very Eastern Frontier from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

It is worth thinking about the restoration of the conditional Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth already today. And the beginnings of such a union of states have already been laid. We are talking about Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The first two states help Ukraine as much as possible politically, economically and militarily. However, the new Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth cannot be formed without Belarus.

The lands of modern Belarus were the central element of Rus', the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rus', and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Today, on the map of the countries of the Baltic-Black Sea Union, a large bridgehead that Moscow wrested from Europe stands out - it is Belarus.

By controlling Belarus, Moscow cuts off the Frontier of Europe - the Baltic-Black Sea space. It is easy for her to attack Ukraine through Belarus. To create a migration crisis on the border of Poland, to threaten Lithuania. Or break through a land corridor to Kaliningrad and threaten the entire Baltic from there.

Belarus is the central element of the European frontier. One of the four puzzles without which the Baltic-Black Sea Union cannot be formed. And today's war proves it.

Who are Belarusians? Mentally and culturally, Belarusians are Europeans. And Belarus needs to be returned to the European home.

History placed the greatest responsibility for this on Ukraine. And not only because for us it is a factor of military security. And also because Ukraine and Belarus have one grandmother: Rus'. And one mother - the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rus'.

What kind of policy should be developed in relation to Belarus?

First of all, it is worth separating the Lukashenko regime and the Belarusian people. It should be understood that these are different entities. Belarusian society can be conditionally divided into three categories. Approximately 30% are opponents of the regime and people oriented towards Europe. Today, they have either left or are in the regime of internal emigration. Lurked. Another 30% are "Soviet people", the support of the Lukashenko regime, who watch official Belarusian and Russian television.

And the third category is about 40%. These are those who don't care (20-25%) plus conformists. These are people looking for their own paradigm. They wonder who they are and who they should be. And it is necessary to talk with this category of Belarusians.

The Russian paradigm is no longer attractive to them. It is toxic and you cannot hide it with propaganda. Lukashenko's Belarusian paradigm also looks ugly and unpromising.

What to offer 40% of Belarusians who are looking for their own paradigm?

The Center of Belarusian Communications agrees that such a paradigm should become the national revival of Belarus. Simply put, Belarusians by passport should become Belarusians by spirit and outlook.

When a person begins to think like a Belarusian, he begins to act accordingly. She is interested in her own history and identity. And being interested in history, he discovers an obvious thing for himself: as long as the Belarusian people exist, Moscow always wants to capture, humiliate and dissolve them.

For hundreds and hundreds of years, Moscow waged wars of aggression against Belarusian lands. Destroyed the elite, culture, language.

Sociological studies record that after the 2020 protests in Belarus, the level of feelings of inferiority decreased, and the feeling of national pride increased. There is a request for themes of history and identity. The Belarusian language began to revive, it would seem that it had already disappeared.

Belarus is going through the same processes as Ukraine 15-20 years ago.

In the early 2000s, the Russian media product dominated in Ukraine as well. The language fought for its right to life, and the state at all levels was permeated by Kremlin agents. The events of 2004 started the process, and 2014 became the turning point of national revival.

It should be noted that international funds and grant organizations, which then sponsored projects for language and national revival of Ukrainians, projects for the expansion of democratic practices, did their job. And today, Ukraine is united, fights effectively, while preserving the democratic nature of the state, government and society.

So, Ukrainian politicians, experts, journalists, and society should talk about Belarus. To those 40% of Belarusians who are looking for a paradigm. Because if we don't do this, they will be left alone with the "Russian world".

What should we talk about? About the deep history of Belarus. About her unique and beautiful language, which is the closest to Ukrainian. About their culture. About the fact that Belarus was the heart of Russia and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. And that today its place and role are decisive in geopolitics.

About the choice facing Belarusians: or remain a bridgehead from which Russia attacks Belarus' neighbors. Or return to your own European home. To the nearest neighbors. To its central place of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rus'.

In the first case, Belarusians face the disappearance of a separate nation and constant wars on its territory. Because sooner or later the war will come to the place where the rockets are flying and the tanks are moving.

In the second option, today's citizens of Belarus are offered to become the Belarusian nation. To be masters in one's own house. To turn Belarus into a normal European state like Lithuania or Poland.

And the Belarusians must understand that they will not be able to sit back. Today, Ukrainians often tell themselves the thesis: we need to solve the problem with Russia, because otherwise it will be solved by our children. And we want them to live in a free, independent, beautiful and rich Ukraine.

And what do Belarusians think about the future of their children? Which Belarus do they want to live in? And this question deserves a broad discussion in Belarusian society.

Maksym Pleshko, Center of Belarusian Communications


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