The UK Ministry of Defence said the military of Belarus, Ukraine’s northern neighbor, started routine training exercises to regain territory taken by ‘enemy forces’ and secure their borders.
The exercises are due to last until 14 September 2022.
The intelligence update stated that the drills will be conducted close to Brest near the Polish border, around the Belarusian capital Minsk and in the north-eastern region of Vitebsk.
UK intelligence noted that “Belarusian forces have limited offensive capabilities and there is a remote chance that they have deployed forces into Ukraine.”
“It is highly unlikely that these exercises are an indication of preparations for direct Belarusian involvement in the Ukraine war,” UK officials said.
Military analysts were also skeptical that either Belarus would want their forces to join a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Latvian military analyst Igors Rajevs, a reserve colonel of the Latvian Land Forces, said in an interview with VOA’s Russian Service that he sees no motivation for Russia or Belarus to change their posture regarding involvement in the war against Ukraine. The most likely scenario is for them to maintain the status quo, he said.