Belarus identifies new enemy

March of UNA-UNSO activists (AFP Photo / Sergey Supinsky)
A Belarusian TV channel has broadcast a report showing what it says are opposition activists training at right-wing Ukrainian military camps. The footage, aired on Belarus’s state-run Channel One, shows the activists tra

However, the report has been dismissed by some political analysts, who see it as a crude attempt by Belarusian president Lukashenko to mobilise his electorate.

According to Belarus’s Channel One, the trainees were polishing their hostage-taking skills, attack strategies, as well as reconnaissance and camouflage techniques.

The report said the camp is sponsored by the U.S. National Democratic Institute through its Kiev office, which has allocated $US 250,000 to the body since June 2007.

However, commentators doubt that this is enough money to train a paramilitary group capable of staging a coup in Belarus.

It is not the first time Belarus’s state-run media have run features on opposition figures, often showing them in compromising situations in neighbouring countries.

In 2005, Belarus security services said they discovered camps of opposition members in Lithuania, and in 2006 security officials said radicals were planning to forcefully overthrow the government.