Belarus on the Cusp of Joining the War in Ukraine

CNN is reporting that both the United States and NATO are expecting Belarus to join Russia in attacking Ukraine. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally of Putin. Although Lukashenko is short on military power, his country’s entry into the conflict would have a strong psychological impact.

Such an act would immediately destabilize the conflict. Right now, it is a standard kinetic war between Russia and Ukraine. Every additional country that is added to the battle, even a small country like Belarus, exponentially increases the chances of the rest of the world being drawn into direct military confrontation with Russia.

There have already been acts of sabotage on Belarus’ railway system to try and stem the flow of Russian armaments into Ukraine. These attacks on the infrastructure will also make any invasion for Belarus more difficult.

Although it is not a given that Belarus is going to attack Ukraine, Lukashenka is making serious claims in media interviews.

It is unclear who Lukashenka’s claims are aimed at. It is possible that Lukashenka is just sending a signal to Putin of his public support, but the Russian President already had that.

Perhaps the Belarusian President is trying to control public opinion in his own country. There are no reliable polls about how much support the Belarusians have for military action, but if the protests in Russia are any indication, President Lukashenka may have to fight a rear-guard action against his own people if he invades Ukraine.