In what looked like a flashback to the cold war, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko rolled out a giant map to show how his country would assist Russia with its invasion of Ukraine. Lukashenko looks like he was plucked from central casting to play the part of a Soviet-era leader. He looks brash, talks loudly and judging by how much he is stretching, that suit does not pass up very many meals.
During the meeting, he pointed out expected troop movements and indicated how his country would assist Russia with the invasion of Ukraine. Lukashenko probably has not been this excited since he became President in 1994 (the longest-serving European president). In his exuberance, he forgot to redact the map of what could be some sensitive material in the coming days.
Since there has not been an invasion of Moldova, this map was a surprise to everyone outside the Kremlin, especially the Moldovans. If you do not know where Moldova is, that is ok. Almost no one does. It only has 2.6 million people and is often a Jeopardy question that stumps people. This error takes its place high atop other inadvertent revelations with classics like:
Now I like Mike Lindell, but even I had to say “settle down pillow guy” on that one. Some will point out that these moves are attempts at disinformation and done on purpose. I understand the 4D chess angle, but it is much safer to assume arrogance or incompetence in these situations. President Lukashenko’s gaffe is more likely a mistake than done on purpose.
President Putin of Russia has gone on the record saying that the fall of the USSR was a disaster for the Russian people. He has also expressed a desire to absorb former Soviet Republics, of which Moldova is one. If things go well in Ukraine and the West does not do anything substantive to stop him (think troops), Putin must at least think about making a move on Moldova.
If I had to bet, President Lukashenko got a cold call from his handlers in Moscow about his giant map presentation. Time will tell if this was just theater or the plan from the start.