Ukraine Monitor presents the latest news concerning internal and external matters of Ukraine – a unique country where the interests of the East and the West clash almost every day.
Date: 19 December 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Will Belarus Join Russian War in Ukraine? Possibly in a Month
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on December 13 announced a snap military inspection, the latest in a burst of exercises that have prompted concern from neighboring Ukraine. Yet this is unlikely to happen now. Such alarming reports have proliferated in recent months.
Russian and Belarusian military movements seem unlikely to launch an assault southwards––rather than an attack, it looks like an information game to drag some Ukrainian forces out of the war theater in the south. The Russian objective is to stretch the front line as far as possible to prevent the Ukrainians from regrouping and launching a new assault. As Belarusian troops and some 12,000 Russian soldiers were moved to the Belarusian region of Brest, fears of a joint attack on western Ukraine mounted, with many claiming such an assault could cut the country off Poland and related equipment supplies. Ukrainian and U.S. military officials commented on the matter immediately, saying a Russian attack from Belarus is not imminent at this time. The UK defense ministry said neither Belarusian troops that are now involved in drills nor mobilized troops sent to Belarus are capable of launching a successful attack on northern Ukraine. The head of the UK’s armed forces said that Russia is losing in Ukraine as it faces a critical shortage of artillery munitions. However, Ukrainian officials began more urgently claiming there would be a renewed Russian assault from Belarus. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that at the turn of January and February it is possible for the enemy to launch a new large-scale offensive, the first in many months. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, head of Ukraine’s armed forces, said that there will be a new offensive against Ukraine’s capital by Russia in February or in March in a better-case scenario or even as soon as in January, worse enough for Kyiv. Perhaps enemy forces will enter from Belarus into Kyiv, Chief Commander Valerii Zaluzhnyi said in an interview with the Economist. But this incursion is not unlikely to happen as forces stationed north of Ukraine are far too modest. Yet thousands of freshly mobilized troops will be arriving in Ukraine and Belarus each day.
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