Belarusian military analyst Aliaksandr Alesin warned that sending Belarusian troops to fight in Ukraine could also lead to mass refusals to follow orders. With the country’s 45,000-member army, this could be a significant problem. Additionally, Russian nuclear-tipped missiles stationed in Belarus could potentially reach Ukraine, as well as the entire territory of Poland, the Baltics, and part of Germany.
Belarus’ economy has been hit hard by Western sanctions, which caused it to shrink by a record 4.7% last year. President Alexander Lukashenko has turned to Russia for political and economic support, welcoming a 70% surge in trade with Russia in the past year in hopes of softening the sanctions’ impact.
However, the Belarusian people are deeply opposed to their country’s involvement in the war. According to opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, hosting Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus will only turn the people into hostages and lead to the toughening of Western sanctions, which have already had a crippling impact on the economy.
There is also concern about the development of a guerrilla movement in Belarus. Valery Karbalevich, a Belarusian political analyst, has noted that members of this movement have blown up railway tracks and attacked Russian and Belarusian official websites. With tensions high, there is fear that Lukashenko and Putin’s war games have gone too far and could result in further problems for Belarus.
For now, Lukashenko has avoided having Belarus take part directly in the fighting. However, there is a growing concern that the country may be drawn in, especially with thousands of men being summoned for military training and thousands of Russian troops now in Belarus.
Belarusian analysts believe that if Belarus were to send its army to fight in Ukraine, it could rekindle public anger against Lukashenko and erode his grip on power. This would be a significant problem for the president, who has already faced protests and criticism for his handling of the country.
The construction of storage facilities for Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is set to be completed by July 1, and Russia has already modified Belarusian warplanes to carry nuclear weapons. Russia has also given Belarus its Iskander short-range missiles, which can be fitted with a nuclear warhead. With tensions already high, the presence of these weapons has only added to concerns about the situation in Belarus.
Belarusians are deeply concerned about their country being drawn into the war between Russia and Ukraine. With thousands of men being summoned for military training and thousands of Russian troops now in Belarus, there is a fear that the country could become a military barracks.
President Lukashenko has turned to Russia for support, but the Belarusian people are opposed to their country’s involvement in the war, and there is a growing concern about the development of a guerrilla movement. If Belarus were to send its army to fight in Ukraine, it could have significant consequences for Lukashenko’s grip on power. With tensions already high and the presence of nuclear weapons in Belarus, the situation is concerning for many.