Watch: Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko says a ‘moral cleansing’ is coming for Europe
Lukashenko claimed this weekend that he thinks it’s time for Europe to face a “moral cleansing.”
“The time has come for the forgetful Europe to give itself a moral cleansing,” Lukashenko said, without going into further detail about what that would entail, according to BelTA.
Lukashenko mentioned that efforts to fight Nazis from World War II, or what Russia calls the “Great Patriotic War,” are not over yet—echoing erroneous Russian claims that they are waging war in Ukraine in order to “denazify” or fight Nazis in Ukraine.
It is “a war to destroy the Slavic ethnos, cultures and entire nations. Today we often say that this war is not over yet,” Lukashenko said. “It is not over yet because not everyone who was involved in the monstrous facts of that war… has been punished. That war is not over yet because once again, as at the frontline, we are defending our historical memory.”
His plans for a “cleansing” in Europe coincide with Lukashenko’s claims that Ukraine is escalating tensions with Belarus; Lukashenko claimed Sunday that Ukrainian forces fired missiles at Belarus, which he says the Belarusian military successfully shot down.
“We are being provoked,” he said, without providing evidence that the missiles had indeed targeted Belarusian military posts. “They are still trying to drag us into the war in Ukraine. The goal is to get rid of both Russia and Belarus at one fling.”
His alarming remarks come just weeks after Belarusian authorities announced the government would be forming a new military unit on the border with Ukraine, form a people’s militia, and launch new exercises to prepare for war—moves that raised concerns among U.S. officials that Putin might be leaning on Lukashenko to act in Ukraine.
Lukashenko warned this weekend that the military forces of Belarus and Russia are united and that they have formed a single army.
“We are the only country that supports the Russians in this struggle. Those who reproach us, did you not know that we have the closest alliance with the Russian Federation? With a state with which we are building a single, powerful, independent state,” Lukashenko said, adding that he had long ago determined that Belarus would participate in the war. “We were and will continue to be together with fraternal Russia.”
The uptick in bellicose statements coming from Belarus comes just days after Lukashenko and Putin met at Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg, where Putin suggested the two countries are becoming closer than ever before.
Lukashenko, though, has worked to walk back some of his statements and tried to convey that he doesn’t have intentions for Belarus to attack Ukraine or go to war with Ukraine, though.
“We do not need this war,” he said.
Ukrainian intelligence officials sought to downplay Russian efforts to use Belarus, like it did early in the war, as a staging ground to further attack Ukraine as well.
“The number [of Russian troops in Belarus] is insignificant, absolutely tiny,” Ukraine’s top military intelligence official, Kyrylo Budanov, said, according to Pravda.
Budanov suggested there is no immediate concern that Belarus would invade Ukraine.