The auction appeared on the National Centre for Marketing website on May 23. The bid says that the Defence Ministry plans to buy 20 thousand metal tokens with the abbreviation “Belarusian Armed Forces”. Such badges are traditionally used to identify those killed in battle. Does it mean that 20 thousand Belarusians will go to Ukraine?

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Belarusian troops have never started fighting on the Russian side. As part of the “NO means NO” campaign, we have already written that the militaries do not want to fight against their neighbours and refuse to follow the orders of their commanders, so many units have changed their personnel – instead of Belarusians, positions have been taken by Russians. Major General Andrey Burdyko, Deputy Minister of Defence for Logistics, who approved the purchase of tokens, also has ties to Russia. He was born in the village Pleshchenitsy, Logoisk district, but studied in Russia – graduated from Volsk Higher Military School of Logistics in Saratov region. In 2003, he graduated from the Military Academy of Logistics and Transport of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. In 2012, Andrey Burdyko graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. After the start of the war in Ukraine, Andrey Burdyko was put on the EU and UK sanctions list.

The draft was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Novikov, head of the Armed Forces Orders and Procurement Department. According to the draft, the badges will be made of aluminium alloy in the form of a rectangular plate with rounded corners, about 1.5 mm thick. The token size will not exceed 46 mm horizontally and 26 mm vertically. The inscription “Belarusian Armed Forces” will be placed in the upper part of the badge, and a table of blood groups and rhesus factors – below the line in the lower part. The Ministry of Defence will spend 10,800 roubles (over 3,000 euros) to purchase the badges. The order is expected to be fulfilled no later than August 9, 2022.

August 9 is a sacred date for Belarusians – in 2020, it was the day when large-scale protests against election fraud began all over the country. The illegitimate dictator responded with violence. People beaten by the security forces say: Lukashenko resorted to the help of the Russian riot police. Yuri Hershen was detained at one of the marches. In an interview with the NEXTA channel, he said that the riot police dragged him into a minibus, and one of the law enforcers dropped the phrase: “I came from Moscow to help you”. When Yuri was brought to the police station, the same law enforcement officer added: “Pray that you are taken by the Belarussian riot police and not by us”.

So far, there are reports that the Belarusians, who receive income from Russian PMCs, are fighting on the side of the enemy in Ukraine. But the Belarusians have not yet officially joined the war in Ukraine – it is probably planned for August 9. In this way, Lukashenko will not only thank Putin for his help in 2020 but also stress that he considers himself the victor in the fight against his people. He is ready to send 20 thousand young Belarusians to their certain death. By the way, only 45 thousand of them are serving in the Belarusian army. It means that almost half of them risk dying in the battle with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which are defending their country.

As part of the “NO means NO” campaign, we are doing everything we can to prevent the Belarusian military from entering Ukrainian territory. We are succeeding in this – so far, the Belarusian army has not attacked its southern neighbours, although information about threats appears regularly. We very much hope that the Belarusians understand: in Ukraine, they will face a real war, not a drill, and may well be killed. Therefore, we once again ask the Belarusian military to surrender if they find themselves on Ukrainian territory.