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Moscow may use joint military maneuvers with Belarus to invade Ukraine—State Department

The Russian Federation may resort to a new attack on Ukraine during the Russian-Belarusian military exercises. The maneuvers would give the Kremlin more leverage in a potential invasion of Ukrainian territory, a US State Department spokesperson stated, according to Voice of America.

The outlet’s interlocutor is convinced that the military exercises will give Moscow access to more resources and means to attack. He adds that this time more Russian soldiers are engaged in the maneuvers than usual.

Military expert Rob Lee notes that if Russia deploys long-range missile launchers in Belarus, its forces will be able to strike even at areas near Kyiv without crossing the Ukrainian border. He does not rule out that the Russian Federation could resort to deploying electronic warfare equipment on Belarusian territory that could disrupt the work of satellite communications used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Context. The military exercises that will last in Belarus until February 20 are held in order to work out the scenario of "external aggression in the course of a defense operation, countering terrorism, and protecting the interests of the union state." Russian soldiers and equipment began to arrive on Belarusian territory on 17 January. The maneuvers will be held near the western border with Poland and Lithuania and near the southern border with Ukraine.

Recall: the Kremlin denies plans to attack Ukraine but is trying to take advantage of the situation to obtain security guarantees from the West, including an official veto on Ukraine joining NATO.

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