News World Russia-Belarus, a relationship reinforced by the war in Ukraine

Russia-Belarus, a relationship reinforced by the war in Ukraine

On Friday, February 24, it will be exactly one year since the beginning of the aggression unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. On that day, Russian troops launched part of their full-scale invasion from Belarus.

They advanced south towards the Ukrainian capital kyiv but were repulsed and, after suffering heavy losses, were forced to withdraw at the end of March.

At present, according to the Ukrainian media, citing the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (GPSU), about 11,000 Russian soldiers are stationed on Belarusian territory, but their number changes periodically.

Can Russian troops launch a new offensive for the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine and try to capture the capital?

The GPSU assessed the possibility of an attack on kyiv from the north from Belarus.

Andrei Demchenko, a spokesman for the GPSU, says there are Russian troops along the Ukraine-Belarus border, but the situation there is under control. At the same time, Demchenko specified that there is no strike force of Russian troops on the border with Belarus, so there is little chance of a repeat of the events of February 24, 2022. But never say never.

Is the State Border Guard Service prepared for any unexpected scenario at the border?

As Demchenko noted, experts continue to carry out measures to strengthen the border and constantly assess the possibility of an enemy attack.

“There is no elevated risk” of Belarus sending troops

In a speech at the Munich Security Conference last weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that there is currently no high risk of Belarus joining the war against Ukraine on Russia’s side. .

At the same time, Zelensky said that the Kremlin will try to involve Belarus.

“But, I want to say that this would be a big mistake on the part of Belarus. A big historical mistake. Because it is one thing to fly planes or missiles from its territory, from some airports controlled by Russia, and another thing is to deliberately go into the offensive and join the Russian terrorists. Because at that moment you become a terrorist. And by doing so, you make Belarus a part of Putin’s terrorist regime and this war of conquest,” warned the Ukrainian president.

According to Zelensky, the forces of the Belarusian Army are not enough to enter the war.

But is Belarusian support for Russia really necessary?

Pavel Slunkin, a visiting member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, does not believe that Belarus’ support for Russia is necessary.

“On the contrary, we see opposite processes. Russia forgives debts, grants new loans to Alexander Lukashenko, maintains preferential prices and probably the cheapest in the world for natural gas and oil that it sells to Lukashenko. On the other hand, we see that Alexander Lukashenko allows Vladimir Putin to use Belarusian territory to carry out a military campaign against Ukraine. Belarusian territory is used for shelling, attacks on Ukrainian cities and energy and infrastructure facilities.”

“Russian military personnel are based in Belarus. Russian recruits train in Belarusian training camps. Since the beginning of the war, Belarus has been sending its own weapons to Russia. All this indicates that the current role that Putin and Lukashenko Allocated to Belarus is much more beneficial than using 10,000 to 15,000 Belarusian professional soldiers, which would still not change the status quo in this conflict.On the other hand, Ukraine would bomb the territory of Belarus, and all these infrastructure facilities that are used by Russia for its invasion war”, explains Pavel Slunkin.

Lukashenko stated that Belarus would only start hostilities against Ukraine in case of aggression

Lukashenko stated that Belarus would only start hostilities against Ukraine in case of aggression by the latter. “We do not want war. And in no way are we going to send our troops to the territory of Ukraine. Unless an aggression against the territory of Belarus is committed from there,” he specified.

What does aggression mean for Belarus?

“In case of aggression, the response will be fast, harsh and adequate,” Lukashenko warned. But what exactly did he mean by “aggression”?

“He meant that if attacks were launched from the territory of Ukraine against the territory of Belarus, or if Ukraine carried out some belligerent actions, committed military aggression against Belarus from its territory, then in this case, the Belarusian army would inevitably unite to war,” Slunkin explained, adding, “I think this is Lukashenko’s attempt to prevent negative scenarios for himself. He does not want to get involved in the war. The participation of the Belarusian army in this war is not profitable for him, because for “It is a serious internal political and social problem. In Belarusian society there is a monolithic consensus that the Belarusian army and Belarus as a state should not participate in this war.”

This tweet explains Belarus’ tactical support for Russia.

There are no signs” of Russian pressure on Belarus

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believe that Russia may use part of the Belarusian military-industrial complex as part of Moscow’s efforts to rearm the Russian military for a protracted war with Ukraine.

Is Minsk being forced to make concessions in order to prevent the direct involvement of the Belarusian army in the war?

“I don’t see a single indicator, not a single sign indicating this pressure. I think Vladimir Putin and Alexandr Lukashenko agree on the degree and role of Belarus,” says expert Pavel Slunkin.

Russia is interested in using the Belarusian military-industrial complex. The Belarusian side transferred full control of two military airfields, including flying equipment, to Russia. Belarus supplied its own weaponry from the start of the war. They sent to Russia dozens of tanks, dozens of infantry fighting vehicles. There was also the involvement of Alexandr Lukashenko in the nuclear blackmail of Moscow, when he said that Russia could deploy nuclear weapons here, in Minsk, “detailed Pavel Slunkin.

Lukashenko, in a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, stated that Belarus is ready to start production of the Su-25. This plane, in his words, “works well in Ukraine: an attack plane, a workhorse.”

The Belarusian president added that the Belarusian MAZ has started production of components for Russian heavy truck maker KamAZ, also expressing readiness to help Russia produce electronic components to make up for the loss of Western production.

Slunkin admits to the possibility that Putin might at some point want the Belarusian army to go to war, but definitely not now.

“I think (Putin) has enough instruments of pressure. He can quickly cut off Lukashenko’s economic and budgetary sources. Lukashenko will simply have no choice but to follow Putin’s insistent instructions. Now, it seems to me, we have not reached this. Russia yet it has sufficient human resources of its own, mobilized. And Russia will continue to use the Belarusian military-industrial and civilian complexes for combat operations,” concludes Slunkin.

Source: Euronews Español

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