“One of the underappreciated aspects of Russia’s war on Ukraine has been the strategic role of Belarus in both the initial invasion and subsequent conduct of the war. In his quest to shore up his own position following the mass pro-democracy protests of 2020, Belarusian dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka has positioned Belarus as a vital component in the Kremlin’s war effort; in so doing, he has contributed directly and deliberately to attacks on Ukrainian soldiers and civilians as well as the destruction of Ukrainian cities, towns, and villages.
Lukashenka’s support for Moscow covers five key areas: providing logistical and material support for Russian forces; acting as a launchpad for missiles against Ukrainian targets from Belarusian territory; broadcasting propaganda and disinformation against Ukraine; hosting Russian military hospitals on Belarusian soil; and the suspected regime-sponsored orchestration of cyberattacks against Ukrainian infrastructure.
The impact of this support has been significant. Russian troops deployed to Belarus on the eve of the invasion played a key role in the Kyiv offensive during the first month of the war, with the horrendous atrocities in Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs carried out by Russian units which had crossed over from Belarus. During the initial assault on Kyiv, logistical support from Belarus allowed Russia to resupply and replenish its troops as they fought to capture the Ukrainian capital. …”Top