Putin’s upcoming trip to Belarus may serve to threaten fresh northern offensive, believes ISW

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Read also: Shoigu’s visit likely attempted to push Belarus to invade Ukraine, intelligence says

ISW analysts speculate that Putin wants to tighten the screws on Lukashenko, in order to “resolve” Russian-Belarusian integration issues and discuss unspecified military-political issues, as well as implement programs related to the ‘Union State’ supranational body, in his first meeting with Lukashenko in Minsk since 2019.

The ISW stated that Lukashenko is already setting conditions to deflect Russian integration demands as he has done for decades.

Read also: Russia is ready: What Putin has planned for Belarus, Lukashenko and the north of Ukraine

Beyond bilateral aims, Putin also wants to demonstrate an intention for a renewed offensive against Ukraine — possibly in the north of Ukraine or Kyiv — in winter 2023. Currently, the ISW assesses the possibility of a fresh northern offensive on Kyiv from Belarusian territory as low, but possible.

On Dec. 13, Belarus suddenly announced a combat readiness check for its military.

Read also: Belarus transferring tanks to border with Poland and Lithuania, say local monitors

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov stated that a new invasion from Belarus isn’t likely. He believes Belarusians don’t want to repeat the fate of Russians.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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