Belarus statement on nuclear readiness inspection emerges to support Russia’s efforts to disrupt Western aid for Ukraine — ISW

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Belarus, as a satellite of Russia, is aiming at amplifying Russia’s nuclear threats to stop the West from supplying Ukraine with military aid.

The report was published by the Institute for the Study of War.

On May 7, the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Oleksandr Lukashenko, ordered that his army conducts inspection of carriers, forces and means of non-strategic nuclear weapons within the borders of the Union state with Russia. His order was backed by the usual rhetoric about the Belarusian nuclear deterrence doctrine and its intention to avoid war against Ukraine.

“Lukashenko’s announcement comes a day after the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced preparations for non-strategic nuclear weapons exercises to “practice the preparation and use” of tactical nuclear weapons, and is likely meant to bolster the Kremlin’s effort to coerce the West into self-deterring from providing additional military assistance to Ukraine,” the ISW report reads.

The Minister of Defense of Belarus, Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin, has already stated the battery of Iskander missile launchers and the Su-25 squadron were to be prepared for inspection.

The ISW tends to believe that the use of nuclear weapons now isn’t an option both for Russia and Belarus as they don’t “aspire to nuclear escalation”. The analysts also point out that no changes have been observed in the deployment of Russian strategic nuclear forces despite Russia’s “irresponsible rhetoric.”, according to the statement of the US Ministry of Defence.

On May 6, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced a nuclear drill “in order to increase readiness of non-strategic nuclear forces to perform combat missions”.

Read also: Russia to carry out tactical nuclear weapons exercise