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Putin demands that Belarus join war, while Lukashenko keeps wiggling – Danilov 19.12.2022 21:40 https://www.ukrinform.net
During today’s visit to Minsk, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, pressured the self-proclaimed President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to deploy Belarusian troops in Ukraine. However, Lukashenko isn’t willing to take the step.

That’s according to Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, who commented on Putin’s visit for national television, Ukrinform reports.

“Putin demands Belarus’s direct intervention in the war with our country. As far as we understand, given the information that we have, neither Lukashenko nor his citizens are willing. But the Russians will now be doing everything possible and impossible to force Lukashenko to take part in this. We will see what decision will be made in the near future,” Danilov emphasized.

He assured that Ukraine is preparing for any developments.

Danilov also recalled that on December 18, another meeting of the Ukrainian President’s War Staff was held where the issue of Belarus was on the agenda.

“We understand what’s happening, what we need to prepare for,” he added”. https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3637472-putin-demands-that-belarus-join-war-while-lukashenko-keeps-wiggling-danilov.html

What is the likelihood of Lukashenka giving the order to invade Ukraine with the Belarusian ground troops?

— I think there is far too much to lose should Belarus attempt to invade Ukraine. So, I think it remains a lot more unlikely than likely.

There’s a whole raft of practical reasons that makes such an attempt risky. The terrain is difficult — it is now extremely well defended. It is not clear that the Belarusian Armed Forced have the requisite number of skilled fighting troops to deploy for combat. Finally, there are also, perhaps, some equipment issues.

Then, there’s the political side. To undertake such a risky venture would threaten this illegitimate regime. Although it looks strong from the outside, inherently, it’s not stable — and that’s obvious. So, should he engage in a ground war in Ukraine when the vast majority of Belarusians are obviously very much against the war, he would be taking a huge risk: you couldn’t exclude some sort of demonstrations, if reports are to be believed there is already quite a lot of unhappiness in Belarusian armed forces.

Finally what would he do if Ukraine was to strike back? We’re already dealing with a rather unstable situation. Ukraine has shown extraordinary levels of patience up to now putting up with missiles being lobbed over in their direction from Belarus. Should Ukraine run out of patience and decide to strike back, and since the population is already against the war in Ukraine, that would be extremely poorly received and, I think, Lukashenka would have a real problem.

So, for all of these reasons, I just think the stakes are far too high. And I assume that he and Putin would have had some sort of discussion about the problems that could arise through forcing Belarusian troops into Ukraine…” Excerpted from “Rosemary Thomas: There Is Some Unhappiness Within The Belarusian Army” 19.12.2022, 19:35. https://charter97.org/en/news/2022/12/19/528866/