Minsk probes measures to combat hybrid war in Belarus
The Belarusian authorities have held command and staff exercises of the territorial forces and defence bodies of the Gomel region , and announced strengthening of the land border. Official Minsk probes measures to counter the penetration of illegal armed groups and resist hybrid military action in Belarus. It is noteworthy that the exercises are carried out in the southeast of Belarus at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border and close to the border with Russia. In order to pre-empt any accusations by the Kremlin media of ‘unfriendly’ nature of such exercises, the Belarusian Security Council announced on behalf of President Lukashenko, that military exercises were held to check the efficiency of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border protection. As presidential elections draw closer in Belarus, the authorities might strengthen national security measures and might take additional measures to counter possible destabilization of the socio-political situation.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.