Dependency, border, military capability… five questions about Belarus’ support for Moscow

Belarusian troops on Ukrainian soil soon? That’s the question after recent statements by Russia’s ally Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. The head of state made the announcement on Monday, accusing Ukraine of preparing an attack against his country. “Russian-Belarusian Group”, without giving further details of its nature or location. Minsk stated on Tuesday, October 11 that the group’s objectives were: “Totally Defensive”.

However, the previous day, “Guided rocket fire (…) took place from the territory of Belarus towards Ukraine“, assured AFP Pierre Grasser, French researcher (Sirice) associated with the Sorbonne Center, Identities, International Relations and Civilization of Europe (Sirice) To what extent is Belarus involved in the war between Kyiv and Moscow? Alexander Lukashenko’s announcements mark a turning point in the conflict?

What do the Minsk Declarations mean?

A deployment “Russian-Belarusian Group” Belarus was skeptical about entering the war. “The first interpretation of this announcement is that the sending of Belarusian soldiers to the Ukrainian territory may be facilitated in the future”, analyzes Yauheni Kryzhanouski, a researcher in political science at the University of Strasbourg. However, according to him, an impossible hypothesis.

“It will be resented by the population, but also by military circles. The war is very unpopular from the Belarusian point of view.”

Yauheni Kryzhanouski, political scientist

At franceinfo

A second hypothesis surrounding the Minsk commitment, which is more plausible, is to give Moscow easier access to the northern part of Ukraine, including its capital, Kyiv, through Belarusian territory. Its objective may have been to strengthen the presence of Russian troops in Belarus so that Kiev could be attacked more easily., says the analyst. Also, at the beginning of the war, “Attack on Kyiv started from Belarus”Arnaud Dubien, Director of the Franco-Russian Laboratory, recalled on Monday, when he spoke A conference organized by the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Why is Belarus reaffirming its commitment now?

After last week’s advances by Ukrainian forces in the south and east, Moscow is trying to regain control. However, Belarus’ help will be invaluable to it “Strengthen Northern Front to weaken Ukrainian counteroffensive” And “Plan a Revenge Strategy”Yauheni Kryzhanouski explains. A strategy that can already be seen clearly. Vladimir Putin confirmed a campaign “big” Russian forces began bombing Ukraine on Monday. He promised copies “severe” In case of new Ukrainian attacks. kyiv also accused Russia of launching Iranian drones from Belarus.

See also  A Pentagon admiral has warned that the war in Ukraine is nothing compared to the bigger conflict to come.

As a rule, Minsk has no choice but to follow the Kremlin’s wishes. Isolated from the West, Belarus has Moscow as its only ally since protests against the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as president in 2020. Economically, the country is also dependent on its imposing neighbours, which provide it with raw materials and create a large market for the resale of processed products.

“Belarus Becomes Hostage to Economic Dependency in Moscow.”

Yauheni Kryzhanouski, political scientist

At franceinfo

Since the start of the war, has his support for Russia been clear?

Although the Belarusian army has never taken part in combat since the beginning of the war, the country serves Logistical support to Russian troops. “Belarus’ support for Russia has always been very clear. Moscow uses its infrastructure, such as hospitals or railways. Also, the first attack in Q came from the Belarusian border. Minsk is helping the Russian occupation.”emphasized Yauheni Kryzhanouski.

However, Alexander Lukashenko tries to be discreet about his role as a facilitator of war, as his regime is built on stability and peace. “Belarus lacks political freedom, but has peace and better economic conditions than Russia or Ukraine. Alexandre Lukashenko If the country is actively at war, this discourse of stability can no longer be believed.”A political scientist does analysis.

Is Belarus a critical power dependent on Moscow?

Its geographical proximity to Ukraine is valuable to Russia, but Belarusian forces are not considered equal by experts. “Belarusian army is not very efficient”highlighted Arnaud Dubien believes only about 100,000 players “a few ten thousand” Combat units. By comparison, at the beginning of the conflict in late February, the Russian army had 900,000 soldiers and the Ukrainian army almost 200,000. “It cannot change the meaning of war, it is not elite troops”Yauheni Kryzhanouski adds about Belarusian forces.

See also  For Volodymyr Zelensky, the Olenivka prison bombing was a "deliberate Russian war crime."

How did the international community respond to his announcements?

The G7 countries, on Tuesday, October 11th, the day before the hasty Russian strikes, especially on Kyiv, were attacked on Minsk. A declaration of creation of a common military force is formed “The most recent example of complicity” According to G7 leaders, Belarus along with Russia. “We once again urge the Belarusian authorities to stop allowing the use of Russian armed forces” Their territory to act against Ukraine, they added.

Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna said Tuesday morning France Inter That Minsk “Well advised” Don’t get into conflict. “We must send a warning to this country. Any further support for Russia’s war in Ukraine will lead to additional sanctions.”Recall that Belarus is already under sanctions.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrid Simonite also slammed Minsk’s stance. “I consider that Belarusian diet Complicit in the war waged against Ukraine since February 24. The fact that his army had not yet fought seriously did not change the matter much. (…) Belarus turned from a sovereign state into a Russian military base”she said Picaro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.