National Security

Ukrainian War Update: Belarus Ploy Wants To Keep Ukes Away From Donbas

It is the expected move.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The Russians want to get Belarus to invade (maybe just a minor border incursion) Ukraine, or seem to be set to do so, to keep Ukrainian troops busy watching the border or fighting there. Thus the Ukes would not be able to redeploy for the fight in Donbas. But no doubt Zelenskyy is aware of this simplistic plan and will not take the bait.

“Russia will likely try to inflate the threat posed by Belarus’ military conducting seasonal exercises across Ukraine’s northern border to force Ukrainian soldiers to stay in the north, preventing them from being committed to the battle for the Donbas,” Britain’s Defense Ministry said Thursday morning.

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Belarus’ maneuvers are “in line with seasonal norms as Belarus enters the culmination of its Winter Training cycle in the month of May,” the report added. “Deviation from normal exercise activity that could pose a threat to allies and partners is not currently anticipated.”

***

Belarus strongman Lukashenko complains about the Ukraine op and then goes totally off the rails on nukes and planetary orbit.

“I am not immersed in this problem enough to say whether it goes according to plan, like the Russians say, or like I feel it. I want to stress one more time, I feel like this operation has dragged on,” Lukashenko said.

“Not only is the use of nuclear weapons unacceptable because it’s right next to us – we are not across the ocean like the United States. It is also unacceptable because it might knock our terrestrial ball flying off the orbit to who knows where,” said Lukashenko. Cue the boys in the white coats.

***

FNC: Russia has ramped up its aggression in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson by blocking humanitarian corridors and capturing local officials, authorities reported Thursday.

Located just north of the Black Sea, Ukrainian officials warned last month that Russia will look to annex Kherson as it attempts to take “full control” over eastern and southern Ukraine. Dominance over these regions would not only create a land bridge to Russia from occupied Crimea but would grant it complete control over all Ukrainian port cities.

“In recent days, they have blocked entry and exit from the region to Mykolayiv and other cities. This is a big problem,” the first deputy chairman of the Kherson Regional Council Yuriy Sobolevsky said in a translated post on Telegram. “We are not even talking about humanitarian corridors, we understand that they will not give them. They are interested in making us worse.”

***

US offers Sweden security guarantee. But hold on, didn’t we offer the same thing to Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum?

Swedish Foreign Minister Linde, speaking to Swedish media, said US security assurances “would mean that Russia can be clear that if they direct any kind of negative activities against Sweden, which they have threatened, it would not be something that the U.S. would just allow to happen… without a response.”

“Naturally, I’m not going to go into any details, but I feel very sure that now we have an American assurance,” she added. “However, not concrete security guarantees, those you can only get if you are a full member of NATO.”

***

Ukes still fighting in the steel plant in Mariupol. But it’s now close to hand to hand. “The extent of this Russian advance remains unclear, and Russian forces likely face further costly fighting if they intend to clear the entire facility,” the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War said late Wednesday. “The Kremlin likely hopes that the successful capture of Azovstal through a ground assault will cement the Kremlin’s growing effort to claim complete control of Mariupol by May 9, [Russia’s annual Victory Day] with Russian propagandists recently arriving in the city to set conditions for further claims of a Russian victory.”

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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