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Is Kiev Attempting to Expand Ukrainian Conflict Into Belarus?

© AP Photo / Iryna RybakovaUkrainian soldiers sit in a pickup truck
Ukrainian soldiers sit in a pickup truck - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.07.2024
Ukrainian troop movements near the border with Belarus hint at Kiev’s desire to drag Minsk into the ongoing conflict, says veteran military and international affairs specialist Andrei Koshkin.
Donald Trump’s campaign promises to quickly end the Ukrainian conflict also make Kiev nervous enough to consider staging a bloody provocation that might prompt Western powers to send more weapons and money to Ukraine, he suggests.
“First of all, Kiev seeks to expand the geography of the conflict, to drag Belarus into it while hoping that Poland would become involved as well,” Koshkin tells Sputnik. “Secondly, to highlight the fact – amid the ongoing election campaign in the US – that if Joe Biden does not resort to radical measures then Donald Trump would end the conflict (if Trump gets elected as president) and investigations into the Biden family affairs in Ukraine would begin.”
Thirdly, he adds, Ukraine wants to signal to Europe that, if the latter won’t help, then Ukraine is not going to defend “European democracy.”
Ukrainian volunteer military recruits take part in an urban battle exercise whilst being trained by British Armed Forces at a military base in Southern England, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.07.2024
Ukraine's Border Guard Confirms Ongoing Military Buildup on Belarus Border
Despite that, Koshkin appears skeptical about Ukraine’s ability to force a direct military confrontation with Belarus.
“This is a provocation staged by the Kiev regime in an attempt to destabilize Belarus, to attract the attention of the Western countries,” he says, adding that he does not think Poland would directly enter the conflict either.
That said, Ukrainian troops massed on the border with Belarus do concern both in Minsk and Moscow, and it does destabilize the situation in the region, Koshkin remarks.
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