Belarus at ‘war’ with fictional country31/08/17Defence
A country invented as part of military exercises in Belarus has caught the imagination of locals, who have created a foreign ministry, flag, and history for the fictional nation.
Veyshnoria is one of three states created for the Zapad 2017 military drills, which – according to the scenario – seek to invade Belarus and sow discord between Minsk and Moscow.
The map of the exercise, made public during the General Staff briefing on 29 August, shows Veyshnoria in the northwestern regions of Belarus, with Vesbaria and Lubenia lying in Lithuania and Poland, the Nasha Niva website reports.
Some commentators noted that the border between Belarus and Veyshnoria ‘strongly resembles’ the border between the Soviet Union in Poland in 1920-39. ‘This means that under the Zapad 2017 scenario, Belarusians will have to attack the territory of Belarusians,’ lifestyle website kyky.org said.
In comments on Facebook, political historian Pavel Usov said: ‘Veyshnoria is a peaceful democratic country which has never been aggressive towards its neighbours.
‘It is likely that Moscow provoked a conflict between Minsk and Giradis (the capital of Veyshnoria) in order to fully establish control over Belarus and not allow Veyshnoria to join NATO and the EU.’
The online activity around Veyshnoria mostly centres on the satirical Twitter account of its ‘foreign ministry’, @Vaisnoria_MFA.
Tweeting in Belarusian and Russian, the ministry expressed concern over the ‘concentration of Belarusian military equipment outside Veyshnoria’s borders’, declared a partial mobilisation and exchanged pleasantries with the parody account of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
It also promised ‘stew, honey, bread and lard’ to Belarusian soldiers who choose to surrender, and announced an entry ban on the Belarusian chief of the General Staff, Aleh Belakonew.
A separate website was set up for Belarusians wishing to apply for Veyshnoria citizenship, with hundreds applying for the imaginary country’s passport.