Making Sense of the Arrest of Russian Mercenaries in Belarus

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at a ceremony in the village of Khoroshevo, Russia, June 30, 2020 (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev for Sputnik via AP Images).
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at a ceremony in the village of Khoroshevo, Russia, June 30, 2020 (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev for Sputnik via AP Images).
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Which dictator is more trustworthy, Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus? In the end, it doesn’t really matter, because the governments of both Russia and Belarus are probably lying about the arrest last week in Minsk of 33 Russian men identified by Belarusian authorities as mercenaries affiliated with the so-called Wagner Group, a network of private military security contractors linked to U.S.-sanctioned Kremlin insider Yevgeny Prigozhin. For more than a week, speculation has run rife about the arrests and their possible connection to alleged Russian interference in Belarus’ upcoming presidential election on Aug. 9. The mystery surrounding the […]

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