RIGA - Not only Ukraine, but also NATO and the Baltic States must monitor the movement of Russian armed forces in Belarus, Marcis Balodis, a researcher at the Center for East European Policy Studies, told LETA.
The Belarusian National Resistance Center has announced that Russian army engineers are arriving to Belarus to build barracks and camps. Most of the barracks are planned to be built in the Brest area, where Russian rear units arrive.
The researcher noted that it is also important to talk about the regional group of troops of Russia and Belarus, which was announced in mid-October. The main concern related to this is the fact that the assistance provided by Belarus to Russia in the war against Ukraine is becoming deeper and also more active - Russia plans to use Belarusian resources for the training and preparation of mobilized troops.
According to Balodis, information that appeared in mid-October shows that Russian soldiers, some of whom are mobilized, are arriving at Belarusian military bases. In this way, Russia is trying to find ways to relieve its resources by using Belarusian military bases, which are relatively lightly used. Perhaps Russia will also use Belarusian human resources - officers and instructors, who are in demand both at the front and in training.
The researcher pointed out that the arrival of Russian army engineers in Belarus could also indicate that the presence of a regional group of Russian and Belarusian troops in Belarus is not being planned for days or weeks, but for a much longer time. He emphasized that the end of autumn and winter is approaching, during which the hostilities will not stop, but the pace of the ground war could decrease. This opens up opportunities for Russia to prepare for the end of winter or the beginning of spring, when the intensity of the battles will increase, to mobilize and form armed forces units.
Balodis emphasized that the involvement of Belarus and its support to Russia is not a surprise and is nothing new. Belarus' support is gradually becoming more active and intense. According to the researcher, one of the questions is whether Belarus itself could directly get involved in the war. Although there are different opinions, there is an impression that this is not being planned for the time being, because the regional group of Russian and Belarusian troops is numerically small, moreover, the Belarusian armed forces have no combat experience, and their motivation to fight in Ukraine is questionable. Likewise, the Lukashenko regime has no political interest in directly engaging in hostilities.
The researcher pointed out that the presence of such forces on the territory of Belarus to some extent forces Ukraine to shift some of its attention to the border area with Belarus. Considering that there are nuclear power plants in the northwestern part of Ukraine, Ukraine must monitor the movement of armed forces in Belarus.