Ambassador Flees Ukraine – Hinting At New Attack

Belarus

Russian President Vladimir Putin seems poised to carve open a brand-new front of the war against Ukraine in Belarus putting added stress on Kyiv’s defenders and also possibly cutting their supply lines with Western allies, European officials fear. The mobilization of about 30,000 soldiers to Belarus under the semblance of joint armed forces exercises allowed the Russian military to introduce a direct attack against Kyiv along with 2 various other lines of attack from eastern Ukraine, which borders Russia.

That staging ground likewise permits them to “keep this pressure on the western Ukraine and the possibility to cut off humanitarian deliveries to Ukraine,” senior European authorities said, particularly if Putin can induce Belarusian totalitarian Alexander Lukashenko to order his forces into the battle…

Ukrainian officials suspect that such a strategy remains in movement “in the Volyn direction,” the northwestern Ukrainian district where the borders of Ukraine, Poland, as well as Belarus meet …

“In the Volyn direction, there is a high probability of provocations by the special services of the Russian Federation at Belarusian facilities in order to involve the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus in a military operation against Ukraine,” the Ukrainian defense ministry said in a late Saturday update.

Belarusian Ambassador Ihar Sokol’s abrupt withdrawal from Ukraine on March 18th amidst ongoing negotiations strikes numerous European authorities and Belarusian dissentors as a threatening portent.

“Certainly, them leaving right now raises all kinds of possibilities,” a second senior European official told the Washington Examiner. “So, it is very well possible that their embassy or diplomats moving out may mean that they are close to joining the war overtly on the side of Russia, among other things.”

A straight Belarusian attack on Ukraine would gravely aggravate the divide between the two countries. Putin has identified Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus as “a triune people”– a statement that suggests his desire to bring both countries under Moscow’s control, however also one that reflects real societal and cultural web links between the nations that he explains in a now-infamous and lengthy essay.

The Belarusian ambassador’s exit featured a tense exchange with a Ukrainian border safety and security officer. A video of the conflict revealed the border guard advising the leaving envoy to bring a bag of cash– “these 30 pieces of silver”– back to the Belarusian boundary authorities…

The Belarusian ambassador realized the allusion to the scriptural story of Judas, the disciple who took that sum as repayment to betray Jesus Christ, refused the cash. “We despise you,” the guard spat, according to a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty translation of the conversation.

That Ukrainian rage has simmered because Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko permitted Russian forces to strike Kyiv from his facilities. Lukashenko has prevented participating directly in the problem, but he has claimed that “Americans and their partners” are trying to “provoke” Belarus right into throwing their forces into the assault.

“If only Ukraine continues escalation against Belarus, we will respond,” Lukashenko said Thursday. “This is why if they provoke us constantly, we will be forced to respond.”

Lukashenko claimed that Ukrainian forces have fired two missiles into Belarus and violated Belarusian airspace on several occasions. He aired those allegations one day before the Belarusian ambassador exited Ukraine.

“This is my worry — what if, at the end of the day, Lukashenko will be forced also to declare war against Ukraine?” a third senior European official said.

Senior European authorities from nations supporting Ukraine scoffed at the idea that Ukrainian forces would be attempting to entice Belarus to attack them.

“There would be no tactical or strategic rationale to do it,” the second senior European official said. “Let alone the fact that they are just so preoccupied with resisting the Russians. It would be, even, madness to think of them using their forces and resources to try to even expand this conflict.”

Lukashenko is regarded by European officials and objectors as hoping to avoid sending Belarusian soldiers right into the conflict.

“For now, Lukashenko tries to play the role of a good policeman, even though he is fully an accomplice in the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Hanna Liubakova, a media advisor to Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, told the Washington Examiner. “If Putin loses, Lukashenko could safely say that he endured the pressure the Kremlin put on him.”

The 3rd senior European official theorized that Lukashenko may be afraid of subordinating himself to Russia, following them into defeat.

“And you know, why he doesn’t want to enter the way? I think it’s a very simple reason: What if Russia loses? I think this is his first consideration,” the official said, before surmising that Lukashenko’s latest appearance amounts to an attempt to offer rhetorical support in lieu of a direct military offensive. “I believe the more Lukashenko talks about the war, the less he wants to engage … the less he wants to really fight. I think he doesn’t want to enter the war on behalf of Russia.”

Lukashenko might not have a choice. “It is doubtful that Lukashenko is still able to make such decisions and resist the deployment of Belarusian troops in Ukraine,” Liubakova told the Washington Examiner. “It seems that it has not happened yet only because Putin did not press enough.”

That pressure could be increasing though, given Russia’s evident need to locate even more reserve forces to throw into the battle. Putin has talked publicly concerning approving foreign volunteers, as the Russian campaign has actually raged longer than Moscow appeared to anticipate. British authorities say that Russia’s field of battle losses have actually stimulated Moscow to recruit mercenaries and Syrian boxers to strengthen the Russian regulars.

“The Russians need bodies. They’ve already had a few thousand Chechens and now they’re talking about flying in Syrians,” French defense analyst Francois Heisbourg told the Financial Times. “For the urban combat phase in particular you really need a lot of manpower and that’s exactly what the Russians don’t currently have. So the notion of filling in with Belarusians … would actually make a lot of sense.”

The Belarusian military is not well-respected as a fighting force, and its effectiveness might be diminished by low morale and opposition to the war. “For now, it might be clear to both Lukashenko and Putin that the deployment of troops would mean discontent among the army, elites, and people,” she said.

Keeping that in mind, she kept in mind, it may be that the Belarusian ambassador withdrew in order to prevent himself from getting captured in a much more crippling Russian strike.

“Judging by what Putin says, he has not yet abandoned his plans to seize Ukraine, even though the death toll is rising, cities are turning into ruins,” Liubakova said.

Still, even a low-quality Belarusian intervention would force Ukrainian fighters to “spend more people and ammunition in areas” where they had not previously faced an attack, the second senior European official said, and alter the political character of the war for Ukraine and the NATO allies seeking to aid Ukraine without getting involved directly in the conflict.

Still, even a low-grade Belarusian military intervention would compel Ukrainian fighters to “spend more people and ammunition in areas” where they had not previously encountered any opposition, the 2nd senior European authorities stated, and also change the political nature of the war for Ukraine and the NATO allies looking for to assist Ukraine without getting involved directly in the conflict.

“Their addition to the battlefield won’t bring any strategic change in terms of military capabilities, but of course politically, that would be a huge change … in terms of having another country join the war against its neighbor,” the second official said. “And, through that, also effectively making the current contact point between NATO and Belarus also the line between NATO and a country in war.”

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