Putin wants to put pressure on Lukashenka and increase the

Putin wants to put pressure on Lukashenka and increase the fear of Russia’s attack on Ukraine from Belarus – ISW

Volodymyr Putin plans to support Oleksandr Lukashenka in Minsk.  In addition, he plans to increase the fear of an attack on Ukraine from the territory of Belarus. Putin and LukashenkoPhoto – Tass

The visit of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to Belarus may be an opportunity to put pressure on his colleague Alexander Lukashenko. He also wants to strengthen information operations regarding the possible invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine from the territory of Belarus.

About this reports American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

It is noted that the Russian occupiers have already conducted a large-scale missile campaign against critical Ukrainian energy infrastructure on December 16. It was one of the largest missile attacks, in particular, on Kyiv.

Russian strikes continue to threaten the civilian population of Ukraine, but do not improve the ability of the Russian military to carry out offensive operations.

Analysts emphasized that the Deputy Chairman of the National Security Council of Russia, Dmytro Medvedev, made provocative comments in support of current information operations. In particular, they are aimed at weakening the support of Ukraine from Western partners.

Experts assumed that Putin will put pressure on Lukashenka. He wants to get concessions on Russian-Belarusian integration at the meeting on December 19. However, Lukashenko is already creating informational conditions to reject Russia’s demands.

Also, Putin’s visit to Minsk may indicate the dictator’s desire to create conditions for a new assessment of the most dangerous course of action. In particular, regarding the resumption of the offensive on Ukraine, which may be on the north of Ukraine or on Kyiv, in the winter of 2023.

At the same time, the Institute’s experts said that the probability of a Russian invasion of Ukraine from Belarus is possible, but low. Putin and Lukashenko want to “strengthen the Russian information operation aimed at convincing Ukrainians and residents of the West that Russia can attack Ukraine from the territory of Belarus.”

ISW Key Findings:

  • A meeting between Putin and Lukashenka could advance a Russian information operation aimed at breaking Ukrainian will.

  • Putin ignored the worst estimates of the potential damage to the Russian economy before launching a full-scale offensive against Ukraine.

  • The Russian Federation is facing economic problems due to the war against Ukraine.

  • The Russian invaders continued their offensive in the Bakhmut and Avdiiv-Donetsk directions.

  • The occupiers are also defending themselves on the left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro River.

  • It is likely that the Russian leadership will have problems with additional recruitment of military personnel under contract.

  • The occupying power seizes civilian infrastructure facilities in order to treat and provide assistance to Russian soldiers in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

We will remind you that on December 16, Russia struck a new blow – it fired 76 missiles at the critical infrastructure of Ukraine. 60 of them were shot down by air defense forces. This was announced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhnyi.

More than 40 rockets flew at Kyiv today alone. Air defense shot down 37. 10 missiles were launched in Kharkiv region.

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Source: Putin wants to put pressure on Lukashenka and increase the fear of Russia’s attack on Ukraine from Belarus – ISW

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