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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Gets a Victory from Ukrainian War – in Belarus – with Arrival of Thousands of Russian Forces There

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 15 – Five days ago, Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced that Russian military units would be arriving in his country to serve as “the Crimean Bridge-2.” Today, they began to arrive; and both Russian and Belarusian media reported they were warmly welcomed by officials there.

            That gives Vladimir Putin a victory from his Ukrainian war, not on Ukrainian territory but in Belarus where the Kremlin leader has long sought to install large numbers of Russian troops as part of his plan to absorb Belarus into Russia via what he calls “the new union state” (

            But if Putin and Lukashenka see this as a positive development, the West and the Belarusian opposition do not. Western governments have criticized the move; and opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya described what Putin has done and Lukashenka has agreed to as “an occupation” that undermines her country’s independence.

             This move in Belarus has not attracted as much attention in the West as it should have, but it is clearly a collateral victory for Putin at a time when he and his forces have been suffering defeats in Ukraine.

Window on Eurasia — New Series

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