By Paul Goble
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has replaced the chief of the inspectorate of the Belarusian Armed Forces, the individual who is charged with ensuring that orders from the president are carried out by the country’s military – an especially important post as the beginning of the joint Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2017 exercises approaches.
The appointment of Colonel Ivan Boguslavsky was announced yesterday by the Belarusian state news agency. Earlier, he had been acting head of this inspectorate but his appointment gives him significantly more authority in dealing with commanders (belta.by/president/view/boguslavskij-naznachen-nachalnikom-glavnoj-voennoj-inspektsii-vooruzhennyh-sil-belarusi-259745-2017/).
In its commentary on this development, the Charter 97 portal notes that “the chief military inspectorate of the Armed Forces of Belarus was founded 25 years ago” and is particularly charged with ensuring that all Lukashenka orders are carried out (charter97.org/ru/news/2017/8/2/258386/).
Making this appointment now may give the Belarusian leader a better handle on the situation as the exercises go forward.