Belarus Lays Out What It Would Take To Join War In Ukraine – Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko warned on Thursday that his soldiers could join the fight in Ukraine, fighting alongside the Russians, if Belarus is attacked on its own soil.
The comments could be easily interpreted as Lukashenko expressing disinterest in joining the war.
Lukashenko made the comments during a press conference in Minsk ahead of a meeting set to take place between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
“If they commit aggression against Belarus, the answer will be immediate,” Lukashenko said.
“The war will acquire a completely different scale.”
“Things may come to the point when the military will come to Kyiv and twist the politicians’ necks – Zelenskyy’s too,” Lukashenko told reporters.
“The Ukrainian military will come to Kyiv and put everyone into their places. Because they are in the meat grinder, while the Ukrainian authorities are touring around Europe asking for weapons, fighter jets and so on to standing ovations.”
The comments appear to be out of sync with public opinion in Ukraine.
Is He Being Honest?
Lukashenko could well be telling the truth, and his many previous comments about the war seem to suggest that he is. Lukashenko has refrained from sending in his own troops to fight in Ukraine, despite his support for the Kremlin – and whether or not that’s because of concerns that his soldiers may be unreliable, it could well still be true.
That being said, however, it’s also possible that Lukashenko is preparing an excuse for sending his troops into war, and he may have been influenced by the Russian president.
It’s hard to know what is being said behind the scenes, but with Russian troops already training with Belarusian soldiers on the border, and with Russia struggling to take control of even just the Donbas region, Lukashenko may simply be issuing this threat as a precursor to sending in some troops to Russia.
This is, of course, entirely speculation – however, given that Ukrainian officials believe that Russia is about to launch a new offensive from Belarus, Lukashenko’s warning could be enough for Ukraine to refrain from launching any major attack on the Belarusian border, regardless of whether it’s Russian or Belarusian troops advancing from the west.
If it is Lukashenko’s intention to scare Ukraine into holding back from responding to a Russian offensive launched from Belarus, then his words could have some impact.
At the same time, though, Ukraine has already shown that it is willing to engage on Russian territory, to launch missiles deep into Russia, and potentially even go head-to-head with Belarusian soldiers if it becomes necessary.
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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.