Belarussians on both sides of the conflict

But in a poll published by the Institute for Independent Social and Economic Political Research (IISEPS) in December 2013, 36.4% of Belarusians were in favour of closer ties with Russia, against 44.6% in favour of the EU. In March, as the crisis in Ukraine escalated, that figure changed to 51.5% in favour of further integration with Russia, over 32.9% choosing integration with the EU.

With opinion divided in the way, it is perhaps unsurprising that Belarusian nationals have reportedly been appearing as volunteers on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine.