Alexandr Lukashenko is dependent on the Russian President to remain in power in Belarus.

But he's also adept at exposing and capitalizing on Vladimir Putin's weaknesses.

At 68, Lukashenko is two years younger than his Moscow counterpart, but has ruled since 1994, a good six years longer than Putin.

On Wednesday, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB) summit in Yerevan provided Lukashenko with another demonstration.

Frederick Smith

Political correspondent for Russia and the CIS in Moscow.

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The Minsk ruler described the plans of the Belarusian presidency in the defense alliance in the coming year.

At the end of the speech, Lukashenko said that recently “the mass media have been circulating the thesis that the life and fate of ODKB depend on the operation of the Russian Federation in Ukraine: 'If Russia wins, ODKB will live.

If, God forbid, it doesn't win, the ODKB will not exist.'

In our countries, too, many hotheads have started talking about this problem,” Lukashenko said to the group, which is dominated by autocrats like himself.

"I feel we have come to a unanimous view that if - God forbid - Russia collapses, our place is among that rubble."

Propagandists urge Kyiv to surrender

The recording that Lukashenko's in-house news agency "Belta" published of the speech then shows Putin.

He looks briefly at Lukashenko, then lowers his eyes.

"Belta" shows the last hapless warlord in close-up for twelve seconds.

Lukashenko then asserts that the ODKB will remain in existence, "no one will break down anywhere", if only there is agreement.

But the top was set.

Soon after, Putin's spokesman was asked if he shared Lukashenko's view that the future of ODKB depended on Russia's success in "special operations."

"One can agree with that, provided that there is no doubt about the future success of the special operation," said Dmitry Peskov.

Since General Sergey Surovikin took command of Russia's invading forces on October 8, massive attacks on Ukraine's energy supply are said to bring "success" closer.

Accordingly, Russia's state television reported triumphantly on Wednesday and Thursday about the power outages in Kyiv, Lemberg (Lviv) and Kharkiv.

In the program “60 Minutes”, for example, in the person of Igor Korotschenko.

The so-called military expert regularly raves to the Russians about the destructive power of their nuclear weapons without mentioning the risk of a second strike.

Now Korotschenko trumped that the Ukrainians had only two options: use demonstrations to get their leadership to give in to Russia, or too many millions to "flee to the EU via Poland".

On Thursday, Korotschenko and other propagandists quoted Russia's representative at the United Nations, Vasiliy Nebensia, in detail.

He portrayed the attacks in the Security Council as a reaction to Western arms deliveries and to "ludicrous calls from Kiev to achieve military victory over Russia".

As long as Kyiv does not take a "realistic position" and negotiate, the fighting power of the Ukrainian army will be broken by military means.

Since Ukraine liberated significant areas, Moscow has shown itself more willing to negotiate without backing down from Putin's annexations and other war aims.

Confidence in victory for Putin's audience

Nebensia said Ukraine was to blame for damage to homes and civilian casualties.

Their anti-aircraft defenses are set up in such a way that deflected missiles or debris hit objects "that Russia did not aim at."

The background to such statements is that it is also known in Moscow that attacks on civilian targets constitute war crimes.

For a long time, the damage in Ukraine was simply blamed on the defenders.

Now Putin's spokesman is also admitting the attacks on Ukraine's "critical infrastructure".

However, Peskow explains in formulations like Thursday's that the goals are "directly or indirectly linked to the military potential" of the opponents.

At home, Putin's audience should draw confidence from the attacks.

On "60 Minutes" they are fed by another guest, Apty Alaudinov: the Chechen special forces commander, who is said to have switched on from the war zone, says the attacks on the energy supply have "demoralized" the Ukrainian population and their soldiers "cut off from all of society's resources".