Minsk declared a threat to the integrity of the territory and began exercises. Experts say Putin is once again trying to directly drag Lukashenka into the war.
The General Staff of Belarus announced the strengthening of the grouping of troops in the border areas and the second phase of a surprise analysis of the reaction forces, linking the decision to the “formation of military contingent of countries in West near the borders of Belarus. ” Armed forces were released on the border with Ukraine. Athletistic saying what it means.
Lukashenka said he was preparing troops for war
On May 10, the Belarusian Defense Ministry announced the start of the second phase of a surprise evaluation of the rapid reaction forces. This happened after a meeting of representatives of the ministry with the dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, during which the state defense mandate was discussed.
According to Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus Viktor Gulevich, at this stage, battalion-tactical groups advanced in the Western and North-Western operational regions, and to strengthen them-air defense units, missiles troops and artillery, ensuring their defensive work.
According to Gulevich, units of special operations forces were moved in three tactical directions of the southern direction. That is, on the border with Ukraine.
At the same time, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus announced the call for 430 military personnel for training in territorial defense in the Brest and Grodno regions.
Explaining such decisions, Gulevich said the United States and its allies are building their military presence near Belarus’s state borders.
“The group created in the past six months has more than doubled in quantity and quality. The groups carrying sea and air-based cruise missiles have appeared in the waters of the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, and the aviation group in Poland and the “Baltic countries have increased. All this indicates a growing threat to Belarus,” he said.
Lukashenka, at the same time, noted that in this way Belarus was trying to prepare its troops for war.
“This sudden check means we will suddenly withdraw units in case there is a war … We have seen some scenarios. And according to these scenarios, if God forbids to have thus, we must respond, “he said on May 10.
In general, the Belarusian military explained the check of combat readiness by the fact that near the borders of Belarus, mainly in Poland, NATO member countries have deployed their troops numbering 40,000 soldiers. We are talking about the Defenders of Europe exercises and the Rapid Response. In Minsk, they say the alliance threatens the security and independence of the republic.
An hour before the announcement of the sudden inspection, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that there were no signs of the formation of offensive groups in the direction of Volyn and Polesye. But they added that to assess readiness, a missile division of Belarus’s 465th missile brigade is moving from the point of permanent deployment to the destination area.
The Belarusian Defense Ministry announced a surprise review of reaction forces on May 4 after Lukashenka’s talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin
The country’s agency, which has been the springboard for Russia for attacks and missile attacks in Ukraine (and it has more than 630 missiles), then ensured that the inspection “does not pose any threat to the community. of Europe as a whole or in neighboring countries in particular. “
They also added that it is planned to move a large amount of military equipment, roads can be loaded.
“Russia is likely to try to increase the threat to Ukraine by these exercises in order to secure Ukrainian forces in the north and prevent them from focusing on the battle for Donbass,” British intelligence said.
However, they did not notice signs of deviation from the normal cycle of exercises to actually pose a threat to allies and partners.
After February 24, Belarusian troops were brought to a state of high combat readiness several times. There have been repeated reports that they may have joined the continued Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine. However, until now the Belarusian military has not been directly involved in the war against Ukraine.
In an interview with the AP, released on May 5, Lukashenka said he did not expect the war in Ukraine to “last this way” and assured that he himself was doing everything to stop the fighting.
He also said that the war in Ukraine could stop within a week and even earlier, “if the United States and Great Britain are interested in it.”
Lukashenka explained the direct non -participation in the war against Ukraine by the Belarusian army by the fact that everything that Minsk could and could offer Russia, he had. “Therefore, there is no need to take part in this special operation,” he said.
Such statements in the Ukrainian media space are considered Lukashenka’s desire to “jump” and a sign of another collapse in allegiance to the Kremlin.
The Pentagon said on May 6 that it had not yet seen any signs that Belarus intended to actively participate in the war with Ukraine.
On May 10, along with news from Belarus, US National Intelligence Director Avril Haynes said Putin was preparing for a protracted conflict in Ukraine, where he still hopes to achieve goals outside Donbass.
Putin’s decision to focus military efforts in eastern Ukraine is likely a temporary step to regain the initiative. It is possible that the Russian leader aims to increase the land corridor – from the Donbass regions to the self -proclaimed “republic” in Transnistria, he said.
In the coming months, the trajectory of the conflict could become increasingly unpredictable and potentially escalating, Haynes said.
The head of American National Intelligence also noted that Putin had to deal with the mismatch between his ambitions and the potential of the Russian army, making Moscow’s decisions about Russia’s actions in Ukraine “situational”. Haynes believes this increases the likelihood of a declaration of martial law in Russia.
What experts say about the expected attack of Belarus
Until now, Belarusian troops have not been directly involved in Russia’s war against Ukraine, but talks continue about opening the Belarusian front against Ukraine.
As previously suggested by the Ukrainian Air Force, in early March, Russian aircraft attacked Belarusian territory on the Ukrainian border, likely to drag Belarus into war.
Belarus is connected to Russia through several military agreements. In theory, according to documents within the framework of the CSTO, Belarusian military personnel could be involved in Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, in this case, a number of factors must come together, the Belarusian edition of Zerkalo notes.
First, the Kremlin must declare the fact of Ukraine’s aggression on its territory (incidents in the Belgorod region make it possible to do so) and request appropriate assistance from CSTO allies.
Then the leaders of all the participating countries, forming the contingent of the collective force of rapid reaction, must agree to provide such assistance. Even if this happens, according to Belarusian laws, only contract soldiers can be sent to serve outside the country with their permission.
As for the military doctrine of the Union State, experts say that Belarus has no real choice whether to go to war or not.
“In the event of a genuine declaration of war by Russia, and this is likely to be done under the guise of an attack on Ukraine … Belarus will consider such an” attack “as an aggression on the State of the Union as a whole and will take appropriate retaliatory measures using all forces and means also available to the CSTO, where such “aggression” shall be treated as [агрессия] against Belarus, and at Russia’s request, Belarus will immediately provide it with the necessary assistance, including military assistance, ”Belarusian expert Yegor Lebedok wrote on his blog.
Military expert Oleg Zhdanov, in an interview with RBC-Ukraine, suggested that during the meeting between Lukashenko and Putin, the Russian leader tried to drag Belarus into a war against Ukraine.
“… for the Belarusian army to strike in the direction of Lutsk – Lvov. Although Lukashenka escaped even though Putin was at the top of Olympus – when the war was just beginning. And now he is not even intervene, I believe. But Putin will put a lot of pressure on him strongly, “the expert said.
In an interview with Radio NV, Zhdanov said that the exercises in Belarus had convinced him that Lukashenka was trying to distance himself from the war as much as possible.
“As they say, there is a presentation with an actor, and here is a presentation for an audience. In these sudden checks of Belarus’s combat readiness, Lukashenka is trying to show violent activity in front of Putin. He is mimicking a threat from the West so that Putin will not ask him to intervene in this war and send troops to Ukraine, ”he said.
The expert noted that Lukashenka is a very experienced and cunning politician who understands that the war against Ukraine will not end well for Russia.
Conflict Intelligence Team researcher Kirill Mikhailov said that Belarusian troops are only capable of demonstrating actions – their effectiveness in combat is worse than Russian. About the state of the Belarusian army in detail in the material War against Ukraine: the Belarusians are ready to fight.
“Some provocations are possible, but I don’t think it will be a real attack. If something happens, it will be just demonstrations to keep Ukrainian troops on the border with Belarus … Considering the state of Belarusian troops, local defense of the territory will prevent them “, Mikhailov told Channel 24.
He stressed that Belarus’s special forces are ordinary paratroopers, enlisted in special operations forces several years ago. They were somewhat more prepared to fight than other Belarusian troops, but most of them were conscripts who were likely to surrender or go to the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
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