It is noted that the armed leadership of Russia has gathered approximately 150 thousand troops in the territory of Belarus close to the border areas of Ukraine. At the same time a number of Russian tanks, artillery and military vehicles have been sent to Belarus and all of them have been engaged in battle training.
Russia has been also preparing the army of Belarus to enhance its capability to fight in the battles.
It is reported that the Belarusian army consists of about 500 thousand soldiers, but the total number of forces with mercenaries in its territory is about 225 thousand.
To What extent could it be true that Russia would launch a new large-scale attack on the northern territories of Ukraine in the direction of Belarus?
In his comments to Ednews, Sebastian Schäffer, an expert for Eastern and Central Europe noted that Russia could make any attempt to take Kyiv.
“I think that we should all have learned by now that only a very limited number of people are having an insight into what Putin might do next. The change in the military command might indicate a change of tactics as well or just be a diversion in itself. However, the signs pointing to a new mobilization of additionally up to 500.000 soldiers could indicate another attempt on taking Kyiv. However, the casualties of the Russian army are very high and the ill equipped as well as poorly trained recruits already fighting in Ukraine need constant replacement. So it might also simply be out of necessity. It will be interesting to see if Belarus will follow with a mobilization itself and become an active part in the war”.
Noting the present maneuvers of Russia in Belarus to divert the attention of the Ukrainian army from the strong battles going on in the eastern front to the north, he stressed that it could create opportunities for the Russian armed forces to regain the lost strategic areas in the east.
“It certainly could be a diversion to open a new theater of war in order to alleviate the situation for the Russian soldiers fighting in Eastern Ukraine. According to some military analysts, currently there is no real capacity to take Kyiv for the Russian army. However, this might change due to additional forces being drafted, new belligerents, and/or lack of support for Ukraine”.
Touching upon the next steps by the Ukrainian army to defend its northern territories from the threat of Russian invasion, Schäffer said that the Ukrainian armed units need the continuous supply of the well-equipped weapons.
“I think that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are very capable of defending Kyiv as they have proven before. What they need is further military equipment and here especially tanks. As I am just following the discussion without any further military expertise, however, I believe that ultimately the reasons for stalling the delivery of further equipment are futile. If we want Ukraine to be able to withstand to be expected further escalation from the Russian Federation, it doesn’t matter if tanks are labelled as defensive or offensive, they need to serve the purpose to help Ukraine to fight back the invasion and win the war”.
By Yunis Abdulayev