Is It Beginning In Belarus? ‘Little Green Men’ Appear Alongside Russian Troops In Vitebsk – OpEd


A man from the Belarusian city of Vitebsk, a city not far from the Russian border, has posted on Facebook pictures showing Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms there something that will undoubtedly exacerbate existing fears that Moscow will use the upcoming Zapad-2017 military exercises to carry out regime change in Minsk.

The blogger, who uses Drug Syabar as his screen name, says that in the photographs, one can see that “Russian soldiers are already beginning to arrive for the so-called military exercises. The arriving troops are beginning to take locations throughout all cities. But there are also appearing people with automatic weapons in military uniforms bearing no distinguishing marks”(

The pictures also have been reported and described, in among other places, at,, and

Given that such people became known as “the little green men” who led Russia’s invasion forces in Ukraine, such reports from Belarus now will only intensify existing fears about Russia’s intentions in Belarus even if it turns out as may be possible that those pictured are simply support elements for Russian forces rather than a genuine invasion force.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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