Maneuvers from Minsk?

Monday, 27 February 2023 — The van says…

Geography is destiny, but what does the future hold should Belarus enter the fight?


In the multitude of dynamics that make up the current conflict in Eastern Europe, a potential operation from Belarus cannot be dismissed. A previous article stated that

‘…recent rumors indicate not only a large buildup of men and machines in the Belgorod region, but also in Belarus. Another front opening on the Ukraine’s borders would open a real can of worms for Kiev and its backers, already overstretched resources now being taken way beyond breaking point. Some would say there is excellent logic behind Russia carrying out such a plan, yet viewed objectively, it would be madness for Russia to not follow such an agenda.’ 

This piece shall examine the possibilities offered should Minsk enter the fray, and what it may mean for both Kiev and the world as a whole.

‘Geography is Destiny.’

These famous words were allegedly uttered by Napoleon, yet despite the doubts regarding the origins of the quote, the truth is that with Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine being where they are, should a new front open to the north, this would be an absolute hammer blow to Kiev’s hopes regarding this conflict.

Belarus, Close and Convenient

Lying to the north of the Ukraine, northeast of Poland, east of Lithuania, southeast of Latvia and having Russia to its east and northeast, this small country has a little over nine million inhabitants and covers eighty thousand square miles. Its people for the most part view Russia in a favorable light and are well versed in the intricacies of the present war and what it means for both Minsk and Moscow. This means that not only is the country closely allied with Russia, should the government in Kiev start playing games, affairs will inevitably develop into something akin to Belarusian Roulette.

Belarus the Backer

The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko has stated that in spite of the close cooperation between Minsk and Moscow, his country will not participate in the conflict unless it is itself attacked. Recent reports now state that offensive actions by Kiev may now have occurred, and should this be the case, it can be guaranteed that operations that have been long in the planning will shortly be seen. Quite how they will develop is as yet difficult to ascertain, yet it doesn’t require a four-star general to make some educated guesses as to how this could assist Russia.

Belligerent Borders

With NATO member state neighbors such as these on their doorstep, it is little wonder that Russia and Belarus feel intimidated.

As mentioned, Belarus shares borders with three NATO member states, and should Minsk enter into the fray, we can be assured that along with the inevitable pressure coming from the Atlantic Alliance as well as Washington, there will be big military maneuvers in the Baltic states as well as Poland. Quite how far the collective West is willing to intimidate Minsk would be interesting to see, yet with arms and munitions now depleted and the Western public tiring of both the war and a recession, things have never been so bad for warhawks in many decades.

Baltic Bother

The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have been some of the most vocal proponents of anti-Russian politics within the Western bloc, they lambasting Moscow and its associates at every opportunity. Once the most prosperous area of the Soviet Union, since the fall of the USSR, all three nations have seen a very steep drop in both their economies and populations, the three territories being little more than squares on the chessboards of the alliances they have chosen to join.

Polish Problems

Along with its Baltic neighbors to the north, Poland has also been at the forefront of the Atlantic antagonism, this leading some to think that its loyalties lie closer to Washington than they do to Brussels. It has been reported that a number of Polish troops have already been involved in various facets of the conflict, all wearing Ukrainian uniforms in order that NATO does not officially embroil itself in the war. Should operations from Belarus officially commence, it is certain that Warsaw will become much more involved in proceedings than it already is.

Historic Homecoming

Before the Second World War, Poland’s borders were very different to those of today.

Much of what is today northeastern Ukraine has ties to Poland that go back centuries, and was part of Poland until the end of the Second World War. There are many who would like to see these territories brought back under Warsaw’s rule, even in spite of this region having crumbled under the last decades of rule from Kiev. Within this region is the city of Lvov which has been used frequently during the last year or so as the Ukraine’s ‘second city’, it being far enough away from the troubles in the east of the country to function relatively normally. Should forces head south from Belarus, this could potentially turn into a very dangerous flashpoint between East and West.

Belarusian Bridge?

A small piece of land could have a very large part to play should Belarus look eastwards.

One matter that has been frequently discussed yet is not generally known is that the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (covered in an older article here) is a scant thirty five miles from the western extreme of Belarus. The ‘Suwałki Gap’ as it is known, (covered in greater depth here) is a narrow stretch of land separating the two parts of Russia, and could be of even more importance to both local and world affairs than a Polish intervention in the Ukraine. Many Western warhawks have often dreamt of attacking Kaliningrad due to this part of Russia being isolated from contiguous Russia. Should circumstances dictate that NATO and a Russian-Belarusian union come to blows, a move such as this would not only be very beneficial to Moscow, it would also be a catastrophe for the West. At the same time that operations here would create a land bridge from Belarus to Kaliningrad, it would also cut the Baltic states off from the rest of NATO. Quite how Washington and its lackeys would react to a situation such as this is uncertain and better investigated in another article.

Stretching the Line

As affairs stand today, most all of the action in the Ukraine is seen in the Donbass region, the areas to the rear serving as a relatively ‘safe haven’ for troops to recover and regroup. This has allowed the authorities to retain at least a semblance of order, they just about getting by where conflict is not an imminent threat. Should a mass of assets suddenly rush southwards, this would cause a catastrophic collapse for what remains of the country. Zelenskiy has struggled to place as many assets as he has in the east, and there is little or nothing remaining to oppose forces advancing from another direction.

Broken Lines

This photo pretty well sums up the Ukrainian infrastructure network.

Much of the disarray seen in the Ukraine today is as much due to a shattered infrastructure as it is to actions on the battlefield. Roads and railways had been allowed to fall into disrepair in the decades prior to the conflict, and a year of Russian attacks has made a bad situation immeasurably worse. Not only does this make the redistribution of resources a pain, resupply both from within the country as well as from the West is also affected. It can be taken as read that should Belarus enter the fray, ground operations will be preceded by further precision attacks on the transport network. These, on top of the multitude of issues concerning electricity and fuel, will undoubtedly be one of the governing factors that bring this conflict to an ignominious end for Kiev.

Gnashing from NATO

Just as with the months before Russia launched its Special Military Operation, we can expect sanctions, sanctimony and who knows what else heading towards Minsk from the West, yet in light of the measures already leveled at the Belarusian government and their lack of real effect on either Minsk or Moscow, this will not be any real cause for concern. Quite what other responses are to be expected only time will tell, but short of NATO territory actually being taken, it’s pretty safe to say that the Western dogs of war will bark, yet the eastern caravan will move on.


The end of the Ukraine has already begun, yet should Belarus enter the fray, a very unhappy ending for Kiev will come all the sooner. An already exhausted nation that is struggling to hold an eastern line is simply in no position to fight on two fronts. Despite all the material assistance being rendered from the West, a lack of machines, men and their ability to move means that should there be maneuvers from Minsk, Washington’s favorite chessboard square will find itself in absolute checkmate.

It was red lines that started this war, and when the inevitable attack on Belarusian territory from the Ukraine happens, Minsk will see red; yet other than the Polish troops we know to have been in-theater, l as long as Moscow and Minsk do not touch NATO members, other than risk starting an all out war that it can ill-afford, there is nothing that the Atlantic Alliance can do.

Should the hotheads in the West go too far however, action in the Suwałki region could be a game-changer, Kaliningrad gaining a land bridge whilst the bellicose Baltic states find themselves losing access to the rest of NATO.

Either way that we look at the situation, Belarus becoming party to this conflict could either be the beginning of the end of the Ukrainian War or the end of the beginning of a far larger conflict…

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