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June 24 – June 30, 2024
Security issues

Is the Regime Preparing Belarusians for a Future Casus Belli with Ukraine?

The situation got worse
Is the Regime Preparing Belarusians for a Future Casus Belli with Ukraine?
photo: elements.envato.com

The Lukashenka regime is escalating tensions with Ukraine by conducting a sudden readiness check of the Armed Forces and accusing Kyiv of intending to deploy sabotage groups and carry out terrorist attacks on Belarusian territory. This behavior cannot be interpreted as an immediate readiness of Minsk to attack Kyiv from the north (for this, joint strike groups with the Russian Armed Forces are needed). However, through its statements, the Belarusian military-political leadership is preparing society for the necessity of entering the war in the future.

There has been a new turn in the ongoing sudden readiness check of the Belarusian Armed Forces on the southern borders. First, the State Border Committee (SBC) announced the presence of the “Russian Volunteer Corps” (RVC) within the responsibility zone of the Zhytomyr Border Detachment of the Ukrainian Border Service, known for its raids into the Bryansk and Belgorod regions of Russia.

In particular, Belarusian border guards reported reconnaissance of the area and active intelligence activities, including reaching the Belarusian state border. The SBC also reported reconnaissance flights of Ukrainian drones along the border, allegedly for the purpose of scouting industrial facilities and infrastructure in the area. According to the Belarusian border agency, standard weaponry and electronic warfare means were even used against Ukrainian UAVs. In the Yelsk District of the Gomel Region, a border patrol found a cache “with components for making improvised explosive devices.”

Following this, the spokesperson of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) stated that tensions on the border with Ukraine were increasing. The goal, according to them, is to drag Belarus into the war. They claimed that Kyiv is amassing a large number of personnel, weapons, and military equipment at the border. Allegedly, there are passages in mine-explosive barriers for sabotage-reconnaissance groups (SRG) of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to infiltrate Belarusian territory and conduct sabotage and terrorist acts. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have also deployed radio-electronic reconnaissance systems near the borders and have employed drones.

Furthermore, Belarus has deployed additional air defense forces and means to designated areas to cover the southern borders and critically important objects, due to a sharp increase in the number of drones conducting reconnaissance near the border.

The Belarusian General Staff also reported the presence of Ukrainian special forces units near the border. The General Staff fears the infiltration of sabotage-reconnaissance groups and provocations from the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Therefore, Belarusian troops are forced to move units to the border, interact with border service agencies, reinforce certain directions, prepare for coverage, and move artillery (specifically, the Polonez MLRS) to prevent potential threats.

Currently, there are no strike groups on Belarusian territory capable of creating a threat from the north to Ukraine. For this, Russia would again have to deploy the Regional Group of Forces, as it did before the large-scale invasion in the winter of 2022 under the guise of the “Allied Resolve” exercises.

The fact that this is not happening now does not mean it will not happen in the future. Especially since the Belarusian Railway has begun preparing to receive the Russian part of the RGF. In turn, Ukraine is unlikely to expand military operations into Belarusian territory, stretching the front by another 1,000 km along the border without guarantees of joint actions from Western allies.

However, to justify the participation of the Belarusian Armed Forces in this new northern campaign, the Lukashenka regime needs to construct its casus belli (the alleged preparation by Kyiv to deploy Ukrainian SRGs and conduct terrorist acts) for society. The goal of the provocation is to once again show “where the attack was being prepared from” and, according to the new Military Doctrine of Belarus, to preemptively counter the threat together with the Russian Armed Forces.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.
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