ISW: Intensifying Russian pressure degrades Lukashenko’s maneuver room to avoid making concessions to Kremlin

American Age Official

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long game to “reestablish suzerainty” over Belarus is making progress, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest report.

Lukashenko confirmed that Russia “gave” Belarus an unspecified number of S-400 air defense systems during his meeting with Putin in Minsk on Dec. 19, confirming ISW’s 2021 forecast that Russian-made S-400 systems would begin operating in Belarus. In 2020, Lukashenko rejected S-400 systems operating in Belarus.

“Lukashenko is likely delaying acceding to Putin’s larger demands – such as committing Belarusian forces to join the invasion against Ukraine – by making smaller concessions that he has stonewalled for years,” the ISW found.

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