Belarusian-Ukrainian relations in free fall

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The bad news is the rule rather than an exception for Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, and there is no reason to expect any imminent improvement.

The unscheduled «Allied Resolve-2022» exercises with Russia have begun in Belarus, based on the premise of a major regional war between Belarus and Russia on the one hand and NATO and Ukraine on the other. Russian troops are operating independently in the Gomel and Rechitsa regions (a potential operational direction from Chernihiv-Kyiv), rehearsing the crossing of the Pripyat. In addition, Russian units are also reported in the Mozyr-Yelsk area (a possible operational approach from Zhytomyr-Kyiv), though there is no official information about their activities.

On February 10, the Ukrainian Security Service detained an alleged member of the Belarusian special services preparing for a terrorist attack. This individual has also been associated with other actions to undermine the Ukrainian state. Belarus has made no comment.

Similarly, there was no reaction from Minsk to the accusations in January that the Belarusian special services were behind the most significant hacker attack on the websites of Ukrainian state structures in recent years.

It is evident that Kyiv has finally classified Belarus as a hostile state. The progressive tightening border controls for Belarusian citizens may be the first sign of more significant changes in the bilateral agenda. Meanwhile, Minsk appears not to realise the seriousness of the upcoming changes and is dismissive of the ability of the Ukrainian leadership to act decisively.

Belarus in focus