It is not the first time that special services of the Lukashenko regime conduct informational provocations by recording video messages under the guise of Belarusian volunteers and allegedly conducting sabotage.
On October 6, a two-minute video message to the people and government of Lithuania from allegedly “Belarusan patriots” who are currently fighting in Ukraine against Russia was published on social networks. The video shows three men against the background of the national symbols of Belarus (white-red-white flag). One of them reads out the text of the appeal in Lithuanian. The video has subtitles in Belarusian as well.
In the statement, they speak about humiliation of Belarusians by the Lithuanian authorities (they mean statements about the claims of Belarusians to the history of Grand Duchy of Lithuania), pressure of special services on Belarusian activists (Volha Karach). The video also includes threats against Lithuania: in case “persecution of Belarusian democratic society” continues, the volunteers promise to use force.
This is another provocation of special services of the Lukashenko regime.
Without taking into account the analysis of the content of this appeal, we can state that the people in the video have nothing to do with Belarusian volunteers fighting on the side of Ukraine. This is another provocation of special services of the Lukashenko regime. In particular, this is indicated by the weapons with which the “volunteers” appear in the frame.
In the video, we can notice that the assault rifles have a folding frame stock, and the mags are visually similar to those for a Kalashnikov assault rifle for a 7.62mm cartridge. This allows us to suggest that the men in the video may have:
- AKS-74 assault rifle. This modification of the Kalashnikov assault rifle was produced for airborne troops and marines with a left-folding metal stock. This assault rifle is in service with units of the Special Operations Forces of the Belarusian Armed Forces. But this rifle is available in 5.45mm caliber.
- AKMS-MB assault rifle in 7.62mm caliber. Since 2021, the AKMS-MB assault rifle in 7.62mm caliber has been in service with the Special Operations Forces of the Belarusian Armed Forces. The rifle is a Belarusian modification of the obsolete AKM assault rifle into a version that is closer in its ergonomic characteristics to the AKS, but in a stronger caliber.
According to available information, there are no such rifles in Ukraine in service with Belarusian volunteer units (Kastus Kalinouski Regiment, Teror Battalion, etc.): AKS-74 is too specialized for wide distribution, and AKMS-MB couldn’t be supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In photos and videos, Belarusian volunteers often have other versions of the Kalashnikov assault rifle or Western-made small arms.
Belarusian volunteers of the Kastus Kalinouski Regiment in Bakhmut Kastus Kalinouski Regiment
- Saiga MK. A civilian version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, the semi-automatic self-loading carbine Saiga MK of 7.62mm caliber with AK mags, was produced with a similar stock as the men have in the video. However, it is unlikely that such weapons could be legally purchased in Ukraine after 2014. The availability of semi-automatic weapons in volunteer units a year and a half after the start of the full-scale invasion looks unlikely due to their lower effectiveness compared to the army automatic weapons.
- There are a large number of strikeball rifles copying the AKS on the market, in many variations (for example, Cyma AKS 74 SM040). However, it is unlikely that Belarusian amateurs of the strikeball game would record videos with such content.
Thus, everything indicates that the video is an informational provocation of special services of the Lukashenko regime, aimed at aggravating relations between Lithuanians and Belarusians amid the recently escalated discussions about the historical past.
We’d like to stress that it is not the first time that special services of the Lukashenko regime conduct informational provocations by recording video messages under the guise of Belarusian volunteers and allegedly conducting sabotage. At the end of September, deputies of the Lithuanian Seimas received threats allegedly on behalf of fighters of the Belarusian Terror Battalion.