Cover Osteuropa 10-11/2020

In Osteuropa 10-11/2020

Monopolists of violence
The police, the secret services and the army in Belarus

Siarhei Bohdan

Deutsche Fassung


In the conflict between the regime and the civic movement, which following the falsified election results disputes Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s claim that he has the right to continue to rule the country, the state organs of violence are playing an important role. The regime is deploying special units such as OMON or Interior Ministry troops against the demonstrators. However, although they are still following the orders of the contentious leader, their willingness to obey and the cohesion of the security apparatus should not be overestimated. In 2019, the regime created the legal conditions for the use of the army within the country. To date, it has almost never been deployed. Instead, it has another function: to secure Russia’s Western airspace. As a result, the army has become a coin with a foreign and security policy exchange value in order to convince the Kremlin of the uses of its Belarusian ally.

(Osteuropa 10-11/2020, pp. 167–181)