What is the color of the Russian people

Five to eight / Vladimir Putin: Putin's problem is the color revolution

You have to imagine the whole thing from the point of view of Vladimir Putin. In early summer he extended his possible term of office to 2036 by means of a constitutional coup. The opposition in Russia is paralyzed, its figurehead Alexej Navalny is fighting for his life in the hospital - probably because of poisoning. In the post-Soviet neighborhood, most of the rulers Putin are cradled and sit stably in armchairs. And Ukraine is punished for its insubordinate revolution of 2014 with territorial losses and war. Actually everything from Putin's point of view normalnowhich means "okay" in Russian.

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But it is precisely in this comfortable situation that Alexander Lukashenko lets himself be caught falsifying the election in Belarus and has to deal with an uprising. Annoying for Putin.

The Russian President faces a deep dilemma in Belarus. If he does not help Lukashenko, he would allow the people to force a change of power through an uprising. A color revolution that Putin fears more than anything else in the world. But if he helps Lukashenko, possibly through an intervention, he threatens to lose a Russian-friendly population. Whatever he chooses, it can be wrong.

For Putin, these questions arise regularly, as revolts against post-Soviet rulers are noticeably regular. Apparently the people there are either too demanding or the rulers too incompetent, and there are some indications of the latter. On the basis of his experiences, Putin now has to choose which way to go.

Three options

The Armenian Solution: When the Armenians took to the streets in 2018 and swept away the old power in a peaceful rebellion, Putin watched from afar. The "uprising succeeded without breaking a pane", it was really a "velvet revolution". It was not about East or West, for or against Russia, but only about Armenia itself. In the demonstrations, the journalist Nikol Pashinyan was brought to the fore, who did not question the close grown relations with Russia: military aid, Russian troops. And so a revolution occurred without further intervention that left Armenia firmly in the Russian embrace.

The Georgian Solution: In 2003, long-time Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze fell, and Mikhail Saakashvili took the stage. At that time, Putin, who had not been in office for long, did not intervene. But the Georgian Rose Revolution became the model for uprisings in Ukraine and elsewhere. Saakashvili often appeared as an advisor - and sought proximity to the United States. Putin waited until he made a mistake. Saakashvili committed that in 2008 when he attacked breakaway South Ossetia, which was the perfect invitation for Putin to take military action against Georgia. In the end, Saakashvili was severely weakened and had to accept permanent amputations of his country.

The ukrainian Solution: In 2013/14 the Ukrainians demonstrated in the Euromaidan against their corrupt president and for closer relations with the European Union. When Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown, Putin invented a "fascist threat" to Russia and its bases in Crimea - and engulfed Ukraine with war. Ukraine became geopolitical ground zero between Russia and the West; During the long war, Kiev lost the Crimea and parts of the Donbass region. Russia and the West have punished each other with sanctions for this.

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Today Belarus is conspicuously the only post-Soviet country in the south and west of Russia that did not suffer a frozen conflict or loss of territory. In addition to its homogeneity, this is also due to the fact that it never had a serious dispute with Moscow. There are Russian military bases in Belarus, the country has a union treaty with Moscow, the Belarusian economy is oriented towards Russia and depends on its market. That is why the opposition to Lukashenko does not want to turn away from Russia, there are no anti-Russian slogans, they are not concerned with geopolitics.

If Putin were to look at these facts calmly, there would actually be no other clever solution for him in Belarus than the Armenian example. So: help Lukashenko out of the saddle, maybe offer him a house in the Crimea, embrace the new leadership of Belarus. Common sense would dictate that. But there is still paranoia. The panic fear of the color revolution and that somehow western countries could be behind it. The stumbling Lukashenko is trying to convince everyone of this. There are some indications that he intends to use force to suppress the uprising.

And because we don't know whether paranoia rules in Russia or at least ice-cold reason, it is not possible to predict what Putin will ultimately decide on. In any case, violence prevails when dealing with Russian opposition members.