According to a senior US defense official, Belarus may be preparing to deploy troops into Ukraine to support Russia this week, amid growing concern about Minsk’s military preparations.
Prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Belarus was used as a launching pad by Russian forces.
They collected there under the false pretense of joint military exercises before launching their full-scale invasion last week. There is growing evidence Minsk is moving closer to becoming a full-fledged participant in the war in Ukraine.
Following a referendum, Belarus announced on Monday it was going to revoke its non-nuclear status, enabling Russian firearms to be stationed in the country.
The decision sparked protests across the country, which were unusually loud.
Belarus joined Russia at war against Ukraine
— Anna Myroniuk (@AnnaMyroniuk) March 1, 2022
EU Chief Speaks Out About the Matter
The EU’s international affairs chief, Josep Borrell, last week said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had been allowing his country to become a Russian satellite state.
On Monday, representatives from Russia and Ukraine were scheduled to meet to discuss the conflict in southern Belarus, which is close to the Ukrainian border.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office announced on the Telegram app that his delegation, which included the defense secretary, Oleksii Reznikov arrived in Ukraine. Ukraine is a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
On Monday, images appeared on social media. These different images were purporting to show a convoy of the Belarusian Army’s 38th Air Assault Brigade near Kobryn in Belarus’s Brest region.
This convoy was also already sporting what was described as “friendly force” identification markers, which are used to prevent fratricide between allied forces.
To the Belarusian people: many of you took huge personal risks struggling for a free and democratic Belarus.
Now you are raising your voice against Russia’s war on Ukraine and Lukashenka’s decision to support it.
Thank you for your bravery. EU stands with you.#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/LzJsuRA7Xd
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) February 28, 2022
To Be Continued…
“This was to be expected, as it was part of Putin’s plan B,” said Gustav Gressel, a senior fellow at the EU Council on Foreign Relations, in response to the new buildup on the Belarussian side of the border.
“There will be more brute force.” He questioned the value of active Belarusian army forces on the ground, in terms of their utility to Russia.
“In regards to their effectiveness and morale, I have some reservations. They have been having problems with abandonment since 2020. So let’s see what happens.”
“Let us take a look at where they have been stationed. Will they attempt to cut off Poland from the rest of the world? “Will they advance on Kyiv, or will they retreat?”
Earlier this week, Anton Herashchenko, a senior adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, claimed that Belarusian Iskander missiles had been initiated towards the country.
“The launch of Iskanders throughout Ukraine, starting in the Mozyr region, we’ll start at about 1700,” he decided to write on Telegram.
He shared a video of a missile being fired, which he claimed was aimed at the Rivne region on the border with Belarus.