Belarus was a strategic geographic area when Russia began deploying troops along its border with Ukraine earlier this year in January and February. While Russia was assembling troops, it was conducting joint military exercises with Belarus, its cozy neighbor that sits on Ukraine’s northwestern border.
As the Russo-Ukrainian war enters its 236th day, Belarusian officials now say they are preparing for war in their homeland.
Belarusian head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations Vadym Sinyavskyi told TV channel ONT that weapons were distributed across the country to “protect the motherland”.
“Today, all planned weapons were received by the Ministry of Defense and placed in our weapons storage rooms,” Sinyavskyi said, according to Pravda. “Calculations were made, personnel training was carried out. If necessary, active participation in certain issues related to “the protection of the homeland”, these calculations were submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the heads of the Air Force at the regional level, as well as to the Bundeswehr – if necessary, calculations on the Participation in the relevant actions formed.”
Sinyavskyi added that Belarus has secured more than 5,000 different closed structures inside the country in case they endure rocket attacks.
“The leadership of our country is taking all measures to prevent this [a military conflict in Belarus] prevent it,” he said. “But we understand that unfortunately the world is such that there may be a situation where we need to act quickly. Especially in the context of civil protection.”
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Just last week, while pointing to Russia’s nuclear capabilities, Lukashenko told the American press not to corner Putin or the consequences could be devastating.
“When you corner a person or a country, there is only one way out — forward,” Lukashenko told NBC during a summit of post-Soviet leaders in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. “So don’t cross red lines, you can’t cross them.”
Lukashenko was asked if Russia would use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. His answer was somewhat negative, but only if there was no attack on Russia itself.
“If, God forbid, there is an attack on the territory of the Russian Federation, Russia can use all kinds of weapons if necessary,” he said. “President Putin or the Russian leadership have never, ever set themselves the goal of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.”
Russia began massing troops along Ukraine’s northern and western borders in late January, while also conducting military operations with Belarus. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24 this year and there were heavy casualties on both sides. These include Ukrainian civilians, foreign fighters, Ukrainian military and about 65,000 Russians, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.
The harsh winter months are approaching, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said even if Russia surpasses 100,000 deaths in the war, it will not affect the Kremlin’s strategy.
news week turned to Belarusian officials for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/russia-ally-belarus-preparing-war-ukraine-fight-drags-winter-1752259 Russia’s ally Belarus prepares for war as fighting in Ukraine drags on into the winter