Top Putin ally keeps forces away from Russia’s mobilization

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has no plans to mobilize his forces despite a partial mobilization in Russia.

Lukashenko told reporters on Friday that Belarus’ opponents speculated that the country might announce a similar draft, but this was wrong, according to Belarus’ state-run news agency BelTA. It was not immediately clear who the Belarusian president was referring to when he said opponents had spread rumors of mobilization. news week contacted the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for clarification.

Putin on Wednesday announced a partial draft designed to mobilize Russian citizens in the reserve and those who have served in the army with “certain military specializations and relevant experience.” The Russian president said the order, which will call for up to 300,000 troops to join the ongoing war in Ukraine, was necessary to “protect Russia’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity”.

The mobilization met with strong resistance from many Russians. An anti-mobilization petition had garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures as of Thursday morning, while protests that erupted against Moscow resulted in more than 1,300 arrests, according to independent human rights project OVD-Info.

Lukashenko distances country from Putin mobilization
Above: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit May 16 in Moscow. Lukashenko, a top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has no plans to mobilize his forces despite a partial mobilization in Russia.
Contributor/Getty Images

A senior Slovakian official predicted on Thursday that the draft would result in Putin being ousted from office due to the “complicated political situation” it has caused.

“It’s about time we realized one thing – if he starts calling the sons of Russian mothers, he’s clearly getting involved in a very complicated political situation, and I therefore assume that as President of the Russian Federation, Putin will.” be overthrown in the end,” Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said in a statement released through the ministry’s website.

Lukashenko’s regime is one of the few that has stood by Putin since he invaded Ukraine on February 24. Lukashenko has not sent any troops of his own to the eastern European country, but has played a role in the war by allowing Moscow to station troops inside the country and launch airstrikes from its sovereign territory.

Meanwhile, at a bilateral forum in the Belarusian city of Grodno in July, Putin said the “unprecedented” sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus in response to the invasion pushed the two countries toward “unification.”

While Belarus will not mobilize its troops with Russia, the country will respond to potential threats against it, Lukashenko said. He added that Belarus regularly holds military exercises to ensure people are ready to defend the country with the necessary military skills.

The Belarusian president also said, according to BelTA, that his country will not join any war.

“We will only fight if we have to defend our homeland, our country,” said Lukashenko.

As the Belarusian Defense Ministry launched routine training exercises earlier this month, the British Defense Ministry said in an intelligence report that they were unlikely to precede Lukashenko in sending troops to Ukraine.

“Although Russia’s use of Belarusian territory was a major contributor to Russia’s failed advance on Kyiv early in the invasion, the Belarusian armed forces have limited offensive capabilities and there is a slim chance they deployed forces into Ukraine,” das said Ministry in its update. “It is highly unlikely that these exercises are indicative of preparations for direct Belarusian involvement in the Ukraine war.”

news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment. Top Putin ally keeps forces away from Russia’s mobilization

Rick Schindler

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