Where is Belarus’s invasion?

Belarus was widely expected to join the Russian invasion of Ukraine but indications are growing that the Belarusian military is strongly opposed to any involvement in Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has turned Belarus into a staging area for Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Russian military supplies are flowing by rail and road into Ukraine via the country’s northern frontier with Belarus, while missiles are raining down on Ukrainian cities from across the Belarusian border.

Until recently, it was widely expected that Belarusian troops would also be joining Russian forces in the invasion. However, there are signs of a rebellion within the ranks of the Belarusian military.

Franak Viačorka, an adviser to exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, told the newspaper Israel Hayom that several senior military officers have resigned, fled the country, and contacted him and other opposition figures living abroad.

According to Viačorka, “there is a high degree of demoralization” among both officers and conscripts. He claimed that many “are fleeing the country’s borders en masse to any destination possible.” Viačorka added, “We have seen growing pressure from commanders of military units not to intervene in the fighting in Ukraine. There are officers who took sick leave and others who have asked to end their contracts with the military.”

As a result of this opposition, Viačorka reported that Belarusian units have yet to enter Ukrainian territory and units stationed adjacent to the border with Ukraine have been returned to their bases. “It seems the decision to involve the Belarusian military in fighting was changed as a result of pressure from top brass and the refusal by soldiers to fight,” he claimed.