Alexander Lukashenko always for Vladimir Putin This necessary accomplice Because of his “special operations” in Ukraine. It was only at the beginning of the invasion that the Belarusian leader allowed the troops of his Russian counterparts to enter his country and deploy throughout the region. 800 km away boundary It is shared with Ukraine.From there, several Kremlin military columns reached the outskirts of Kyiv in less than 24 During the first week of the conflict, more than 70 missiles were fired from there.
although Belarusian involvement is evidentthe Lukashenko regime has been working hard mark a certain distance“We have not participated in hostilities and we will not do so,” he said in March. However, he later admitted he was “participate“, but clarified that “he didn’t kill anyone, and he didn’t send soldiers anywhere”.
Now, with the recent Russian army defeated On the battlefield and the illegal annexation of four Ukrainian provinces, the war has entered a new stageIsolated abroad and weakened at home, Putin managed to get his main (and only) partner to expand his participation in the game.
Just this Monday, Minsk announced Deploy military contingents Fight side by side with Russian troops near Kyiv. “An attack on our territory is not only being discussed in Ukraine today, it is also being planned,” Lukashenko said without giving evidence.
He took the opportunity to warn Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, “whether he or any other lunatic Even a meter of Belarusian territory dares to touch with dirty hands”. He added: “We have been preparing for this for years. We will respond if necessary. ”
Neighboring Poland is not slow to respond and urges Polish citizens in Belarus go abroad“We recommend that you leave the area either by available commercial routes or privately,” they collected on the government’s website.
Lukashenko’s decision just in time for Putin. On Saturday, an explosive partially blew up the Kerch Bridge in Crimea, the peninsula illegally annexed in 2014.
Poland urges its Belarusian citizens to leave the country
That attack sparked the ire of Russia’s president, who launched this Monday in retaliation massive air raid Major cities in Ukraine. At least 11 people were killed and more than 64 injured. during the bombing.
A few hours later, Putin responded to the threat again, saying he would make a “firm response” to the “terrorist attack”.The answer to which Lukashenko can participate from now on, even if it involves him a very fragile political position.
The regime of the president of Belarus, dubbed “Europe’s last dictator”, was shaken two years ago when people took to the streets to demand free elections.Lukashenko then managed to suppress the protests with brute force, but Special thanks to the Kremlin for their help. However, in a country ruled by the same people for 25 years, discontent persists.
“Lukashenko’s position is very fragile. People have the energy and the desire to bring about democratic change,” explained the exiled Belarusian activist and this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Sviatlana Tsikhanuskayato institutions Reuters.
“Lukashenko’s position is very fragile. People have the energy and desire to bring about democratic change”
In addition to this, sanctions imposed by the West to suppress the regime and support Putin’s war have dealt a heavy blow to the economy. Not only citizens are affected: Punishments are directed at politicians and high-ranking military officers.
This has weakened domestic allies’ support for Minsk’s leaders. Many, for example, openly disapprove Support the invasion of Ukraine to prevent further international isolation of Belarus and spark protests.
Because Putin’s “special operations” are also not popular with Belarusians. According to a poll by Chatham House, Only 5% are in favor of sending troops Support Russia, while about 70 percent say they refuse to participate in the conflict.
“A weakened Kremlin means Weakened LukashenkoTsikhanuskaya told Reuters. And the truth is that if protests break out in Belarus, as in 2020, it likely won’t be able to rely on Moscow’s financial and military support to stay in power.
Not to mention the complications that arise Actively participate in the scramble for allies. Most Belarusian army They are conscripts for compulsory military service, which means they are citizens who can share social chaos If they are forced to go to the front lines in another country, or even try to overthrow the current regime.
He stayed with the country’s special operations forces, a group of 4,000 and 6,000 officersaccording to Washington postHowever, they were involved in suppressing protests two years ago and are still in operation today. as a deterrent for social mobilization.In this sense, abandoning these troops would mean unprotected within their own confines.
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