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Can Belarus use the Collective Security Treaty Organisation to fend off Moscow’s pressure?
On 24 May, member state defence ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Eurasian intergovernmental military alliance acting as a multifunctional security organisation, held a conference on the establishment of a joint forces command and combined units...
18 May 2022
Belarusian government fears spill-over from Russian war in Ukraine

On 10 May, Belarusian General Staff Head Viktar Hulevich announced the country was facing a growing “military threat.” Minsk is worried about both the short-term danger of the war spill-over into Belarus after Putin’s failures in Ukraine and more...

25 April 2022
Anti-war resistance in Belarus: Rail partisans slow Russian troops

On 23 April, The Washington Post wrote about a clandestine Belarusian network of railway workers and dissidents who helped to stop Russia’s assault on Kyiv. Since the start of the war, certain Belarusians have disrupted the transit of Russian equipment through...

29 March 2022
Can the Belarusian army make a difference in the Russia-Ukraine war?

Last week, regional and international media, including major networks like CNN, again reported about the “increasing probability” of Belarus joining Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier, an advisor to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs said there was now a...

22 March 2022
Will Lukashenka join Putin in invading Ukraine?

Speaking to Japan’s TBS TV on 17 March, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka stressed that Belarus may be the only country to support Russia in current conditions, but “we are not going to join the war.” Despite Belarus’s dependence on...

28 September 2020
Belarus reluctantly reverses its security policies

Meeting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka on 14 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that in the next year Belarus and Russia would hold joint exercises or similar events almost monthly. Belarusian special operations forces on 21 September joined the...

23 August 2020
Lukashenka runs to Putin amid protests

On 22 August while meeting military personnel in Hrodna Province, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced that his opponents had — with the aim of bringing about a “colour revolution”— been attempting to divert his attention from the domestic situation by...

19 August 2020
The best ever opportunity for Putin to intervene in Belarus?

On 18 August, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka convened his National Security Council with a focus on “external intervention” in the current protests in Belarus. He cited military threats on the “Western borders”, although a couple of weeks ago he had...

17 August 2020
Is Lukashenka about to introduce martial law?

On 13 August, the Belarusian authorities stopped deploying special riot police against presidential election protesters. This move appeared to be a step toward a peaceful solution. Yet in two phone conversations with Vladimir Putin this weekend, Belarusian president Alyaksandr...

8 April 2019
The potential ‘anschluss’ by Russia: will Belarus resist?

On 5 April 2019, the Russian Ambassador to Belarus Mikhail Babich informed that Alexander Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin agreed to conduct further consultations on the inter-state integration. However, both Belarusian and Russian media continue discussing the possibility of the...

13 June 2018
Belarus’s balancing between NATO and Russia: Squaring the circle?

Speaking in Brussels on 1 June, Belarusian foreign minister Uladzimir Makei warned that a proposed US military base in Poland would trigger a response in the region. Moreover, if tensions grow as a result, the Belarusian government could soon...

25 April 2018
Russia provokes religious conflict in Belarus?

On 20 March 2018, Metropolitan Pavel (also known as Georgy Ponomarev) – the Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslaŭje, and Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus – stated his wish to organize the visit of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to Minsk. He scheduled the...

13 March 2018
How many divisions does Lukashenka have?

On 18 February President Alexander Lukashenka offered to deploy a 10,000-strong Belarusian contingent as peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine. This represents a rather large commitment for the Belarusian army comprising in total 46,000 military personnel. Minsk pays increasing attention to its...

28 February 2018
Belarus reviews defence policy after Russia disappoints

On 13 February, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka complained about Russia’s unwillingness to arm the Belarusian army. On 23 February, the ideological periodical of Belarusian government published an article by the defence minister, Andrei Raukou, who described how Belarus would defend itself...

13 February 2018
Belarusian arms exports grow with new rockets and missiles planned

On 31 January, Belarus’s state military-industrial committee reported that the export of Belarusian arms in 2017 exceeded the previous year by 15%, reaching more than $1bn sales. Growth occurred despite problems in accessing Russian military orders, an unclear situation...