Although it is unlikely, the threat of Belarus invading Ukraine from the north remains present, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesperson Vadym Skybitsky told Ukrainian Military TV, a YouTube channel affiliated with the ministry, on June 30.
“There’s no direct threat (to us) from Belarus today, as they have neither a strike group assembled, nor a command-and-control structure to operate it,” said Skybitsky.
“That would be a primary indicator they were preparing for a direct intervention.”
According to Skybitsky, seven Belarusian battalions are deployed near the Ukrainian border, forcing Kyiv to commit additional forces to the defense of Ukraine’s northern border and step up intelligence gathering there.
“This pulls some of our resources from the eastern front,” Skybitsky added.
“Besides, this constant troop movement along our border aims to keep us on our toes. (They are) gaming out some isolated tactical elements of a potential offensive from Belarus.”
Belarusian army launched “combat readiness” exercises on June 7. The country’s dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, established a “people’s militia” volunteer force, and ordered exercises “on transitioning from peace- to wartime,” according to Ukrainian intelligence.
Other intelligence reports suggested Russia plans a series of false flag operations, in order to draw Belarus directly into the war against Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on June 6 that the risk of another invasion of Ukraine from the north is minimal, but confirmed that Kyiv is pre-pared for any such eventuality.
Even after withdrawing its forces from northern Ukraine, Russia continues to use Belarusian territory to repeatedly launch missile and air stakes at Ukraine.