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Ukrainian Media: Lukashenka Trapped Himself

Ukrainian Media: Lukashenka Trapped Himself

Anti-war sentiments are gaining traction in Belarus.

Lukashenka trapped himself in a situation of pressure both because of the risk of losing power due to an invasion and because of Putin's aggressive plans, which he is less and less able to ignore, according to telegraf.com.ua.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in his evening address on June 26, devoted a significant part of his speech to the citizens of Belarus and urged them not to let themselves be drawn into the war in Ukraine. According to the head of the Ukrainian state, the Kremlin has already decided everything for the Belarusians and will force them to participate in hostilities even more strongly than it was in the first days of the war and in the spring months.

According to the General Staff of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the leadership of Belarus has deployed Russian artillery and aviation on its territory and has just sent another consignment of weapons up to 20 rail cars to the Belgorod region. Also, one of the Belarusian Telegram channels reported on training voyages of the Air Force of the Republic of Belarus in the regions adjacent to Ukraine.

It is not clear whether they will launch an offensive from Belarusian territory. Experts and officials give controversial predictions.

Actual intelligence

The information of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine shows the growth of military activity beyond the northern border began, despite the fact that their representative Vadim Skibitsky expressed doubt in an interview with RBC-Ukraine that Belarus would be able to independently launch an offensive against Ukraine.

The intelligence indicates risks of provocations against infrastructure and the civilian population of Belarus, in particular. According to them, disguised Russian saboteurs and mercenaries of Russian private military companies (PMC) have already arrived in Mazyr in the Homiel regions. In all likelihood, they are planning a series of attacks on hospitals, homes, schools and a local oil refinery. The purpose of these actions is to accuse Ukraine of crimes and give a formal reason for the Belarusian usurper Aliaksandr Lukashenka to invade. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the beginning of the evacuation of the families of Belarusian military officers from Mazyr evidenced it.

Also, according to the latest data from the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Russia has begun to build up its military presence in Belarus. They are expecting the units of the Russian army withdrawn from the north of Ukraine to return to the Homiel region at the end of March, in particular. Ten Russian aircraft are to arrive at the Baranavichi airfield disguised as preparations for joint patrolling of the airspace. Furthermore, the mobilization exercises continue in the Republic of Belarus.

They can invade, but the price is too high for Lukashenka

Military expert Oleh Zhdanov believes that June 30 and July 1 will be decisive for drawing Belarus into the war. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Minsk these days, and some observers predict that he will use this to put pressure on Lukashenka. According to Zhdanov, the self-proclaimed leader of Belarus can succumb to Putin's urging, but it will end badly for him.

“I think that he can agree, yes, although, in my opinion, this will be a verdict for him that will remove him from power,” Zhdanov said in an interview with Radio NV.

However, the mobilization, according to the expert, will only exacerbate anti-war sentiments in the Belarusian army, filling it with peace-loving citizens.

“It may be the last order that Lukashenka will give either in the position he holds illegally or in his life for. The fact is that such an order can lead to an explosion of public anger. Anti-war sentiments are gaining traction in Belarus. The people are not choosing targets for war, they just do not see reasons for war there," he explained in a commentary for Channel 24. ---

However, Zhdanov does not preclude risks of terrorist attacks in Mazyr.

"I think that they (the Russians - Ed.) will take such a step. Moreover, Mazyr is not a random target. The fact is that Russia solves two tasks at once: firstly, it creates a casus belli for Belarus, an excuse for war. Secondly, if they manage to cause diversion not only against residential buildings but also against the Mazyr Oil Refinery, then Belarus becomes completely dependent on Russian fuel supplies. This will create one more leverage to manipulate Lukashenka," he explained.

The deployment of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems in Belarus is also evidence that Belarus can try to enter the war, according to the expert.

"They are strengthening the air defence of Belarus. We understand that this is not just the case. Most likely, Belarus is preparing for the upcoming military operations against Ukraine. This may indicate the inclusion of the Armed Forces of Belarus in the war, as Putin wants. Perhaps Russia will start hostilities with small forces. The Russian tactical aviation that carried out fire strikes returned to Homiel. Belarus has Iskander-M missile systems they used earlier to strike Ukraine. They could not strike back or destroy their aircraft, they are deploying additional air defence systems," Zhdanov told Gazeta.ua.