Belarus looks like it might invade Ukraine to prop up the failing Russian war effort. But an exiled opposition leader is trying to get her countrymen to take a second look.
FNC: “Western allies and Ukrainian officials are growing increasingly concerned that Belarusian troops mounting at the border will invade Ukraine to join Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Belarus’ entry into the war could have broader implications in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, especially if Russian-commanded Belarusian troops enter through western Ukraine amid fears that the fighting could either purposely or unintentionally spill over the border into Poland, a member of NATO.
In a video message Tuesday, Belarus’ exiled opposition leader argued that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally and friend of Putin, “has already committed high treason” by allowing thousands of Russian troops to stage in Belarusian territory before invading Ukraine on Feb. 24.”
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, forced to leave Belarus, said on Tuesday, “The invasion of Ukraine by the Belarusian army is a step with irreversible ramifications,” Tsikhanouskaya said. “It would be a shameful stain on relations with the Ukrainian people and would further isolate Belarus from the rest of the world, right up to the Iron Curtain, behind which Belarus would not be seen as an independent state, and life in the country would descend into poverty.”
I think the fact that we already had five sirens today here in Western Ukraine is a sign of a growing threat coming from Belarus. We are going to sleep in a basement tonight just to avoid running back and forth if the sirens go off. Please wish us all a calm night https://t.co/uuTRitFkUv
— Olga Tokariuk (@olgatokariuk) March 22, 2022
“The order to introduce troops into Ukraine is not only an order to send them to certain death, it is also an order to all Belarusians to give up their independence and their future,” she said from abroad. “Despite the Russian propaganda, the attitude of the Belarusian society to the war is very different from the Russian one. The absolute majority of Belarusians, regardless of their political preferences, are unequivocally against the war with Ukraine or any war involving Belarus.
“We are receiving information about a possible invasion of Ukraine by the forces of Belarus, and so I appeal to the Belarusian military: We know that most of you are also against war with Ukraine,” she said. “Don’t let the Belarusian Armed Forces lose the trust and respect of the Belarusians for good. Also, I appeal to the mothers and wives of military personnel: Do everything you can to make sure your sons and husbands come home. Don’t let the regime take them away from you forever.”