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Is Belarusian army ready for major offensive against Ukraine?
Recruits of the Belarusian Armed Forces prepare for their first parachute jump / photo by the Belarusian Ministry of Defense
British intelligence reports that Lukashenka is trying to keep the balance and does not want to drag Belarusian troops into the war. Can the Belarusian invasion of Ukraine help Russian "liberators" become a reality?
"I really don't think Lukashenka is balancing something there," military expert Yahor Lebyadok doubts the British intelligence data. "He is a staunch ally of Putin. He can ideologically hold on to his power here, but by no means is he balancing".
As to whether [Lukashenka] will go to war, preparations are in full swing in all directions, and military and ideological support are visible. But political decisions are difficult to predict. If he wants to, that's it.
There are suicidal political decisions. Despite all the unpreparedness and reluctance, they are made. Because they are either wrong, or it seems that there is a chance they will work. Like Putin, for example. It seems that the grouping had been prepared, but the strategic plan was so stupid that part of this grouping was destroyed. In the end, they got into a hole, so to speak. It could be the same here.
Let's imagine that contrary to common sense the order to attack is given. What awaits the Belarusian troops in Ukraine?
"The Ukrainians have already had a lot of fighting. They are prepared and seasoned fighters. They are not eighteen-year-old soldiers but grown-up men," says Yahor Lebiadok. "The army [of Belarus] didn't fight anywhere, it didn't even take part in full-fledged peacekeeping operations. Kazakhstan was, so to speak, just a circus [referring to the dispatch of a peacekeeping contingent from Belarus in January 2022]. So there is a problem.
Even if the army has fought, we should not exaggerate this fact, saying that there are "mega-terminators". All people are afraid of death. The main point is how smart the military leaders are. The Ukrainians have done very well in terms of strategic defense structure, they have worked it out, no doubt about that. They have met the enemy in a proper way.
In terms of readiness, despite the statement "we will take Lithuania in three days," it is hard to say that the Belarusian army was ready for a large-scale offensive against any country, even Lithuania. There were many such "heroes". Kyiv was also supposed to be taken "in three days".
Should Ukraine have responded to missile attacks from Belarus?
"From the military point of view, we must bear in mind that Ukraine's resources are not unlimited," says Yahor Lebiadok. "They say Russia is running out of resources, and it has been going on for three months. Ukraine also has limited resources of missile and artillery armament. Although, of course, missile systems on our territory is one of the priority goals.
As for the political part, the decision [not to strike Belarus] is naturally the right one. This is a demonstration that we are waging a purely defensive war for the independence of the state. "Get out of here, and no one will attack you [Belarus]" is the message. They [Ukrainians] have been accused that an attack is being prepared from their territory but they did not attack. And this ruins all the dogmas of Putin and Lukashenka and helps to build effective communication in the international arena. Among other things, it helps to get support with weapons.