In Belarus, Russian mercenaries went from saboteurs to friends


Standing on the edge of a scenic reservoir, the resort is surrounded by a fence and looks more like a prison camp than a spa. Faithful to the prison motive, each activity is governed by strict rules and the iron will of Svyatoslav F. Savitsky, the chief medical officer, who tours the grounds in his SUV, always on the lookout for suspicious activity.

“I haven’t been to a resort like this since I was 12,” said Olga Matuzo, a 42-year-old Russian who had traveled 1,500 miles from the Russian city of Chelyabinsk with her ailing mother. “Immediately after you arrive at the reception you feel like in the Soviet Union.”

She said she was definitely not coming back, complaining that the staff were cranky and that the bed in her room had collapsed after sitting on it. Even her mother, familiar with Soviet standards of hospitality, was appalled at the conditions, she said.

The arrested Russians are also unlikely to return, who, the Belarusian authorities now insist, never committed any mischief in Belarus, but fell victim to an elaborate conspiracy by the Ukrainian secret service in cahoots with the United States. United.

According to this new version of what happened, the men were lured to Belarus by Ukrainian spies, who planned to seize their plane as it flew over Ukraine and have the men arrested for their role. in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The fact that Belarus has changed its history in such a dramatic way is a measure of how quickly the country’s strongman, Mr Lukashenko, has reassessed his political interests.


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