‘Mobilise everyone’: Belarusian dictator accused of ‘trolling’ Putin as he calls on citizens – to help with the potato harvest

It is a move which has been feared by international observers worried that the war could escalate further – that Vladimir Putin could convince his closest ally to mobilise his citizens to fight on behalf of Russia.

Now Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has been accused of ‘trolling’ Putin as he called for his citizens to mobilise – to help with the country’s potato harvest.

“Mobilise everyone!” he commanded, adding that students, workers, civil servants and even school children would all be sent to work in the fields to harvest this year’s crops.

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He said there was a “need” to finish the harvesting campaign well and on time, with potatoes, sugar beets, corn and flax among the crops which need to be collected.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Belarus' counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi last week.
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The command comes just days after the Russian president announced a “partial mobilisation” of Russia in its war against Ukraine. Some observers have raised the question as to whether Lukashenko would follow suit and mobilise his own population to support his ally. Russian military forces lined up along the Belarusian-Ukraine border at the beginning of the war.

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Belarusian journalist Hanna Liubakova posted the news of the potato mobilisation on Twitter with the comment “I’m not kidding.”

She added: “But don't ask me whether he trolled Putin with this ‘mobilisation’.”

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Lukashenko also dismissed the fact that the rules of some educational establishments prevent children being taken away from their studies to work on farms.

“I can't imagine anything more ridiculous,” Lukashenko said. “We are trying to bring up our schoolchildren in the right way. Working five to six hours a day will keep children in good shape and make parents happy.”

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