During the more than three months of the Russian raid, the people of Ukraine experienced many nights of bombing.

But the one for Saturday had it all.

It wasn't just the scale of the attacks.

In the areas of Khmelnytskyi, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Zhytomyr and Chernihiv, impacts were registered, the Ukrainian news agency Unian reported.

According to Mayor Serhiy Sukhomlin, 24 rockets fell in the area around Zhytomyr alone – a large city west of Kyiv.

A soldier was killed in the process.

The direction from which some of the blows came from caused a stir: from Belarus.

Lorenz Hemicker

Editor in Politics

  • Follow I follow

The Ukrainian Armed Forces registered six long-range Tupolev Tu-22M bombers, a Soviet model produced between 1967 and 1997, in the airspace of its northern neighbor.

They fired 12 rockets over the city of Petrykau, a good 50 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

They then returned to Russia, according to the Ukrainian armed forces in a statement on Facebook.

The information cannot be verified.

The first attack of its kind

The airstrike on Ukraine from Belarusian airspace was the first of its kind. Belarusian regime opponents and Ukrainian media have linked the attack to the meeting between Belarusian ruler Alexandr Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin this Saturday.

Lukashenko, one of Putin's few allies, has always moderated his support for Moscow.

Rhetorically, Minsk is clearly on Moscow's side.

In the first phase of the war, the Russian attackers were able to use the country as a staging area for their pincer movement towards Kyiv, which the Ukrainians successfully repelled.

So far, however, the country has not intervened with its own troops.

In Ukraine there is concern that this could change due to increasing pressure from Russia.

However, the hurdles are high.

Both in the population and in the armed forces of Belarus, there is said to be little enthusiasm for a fight against the neighbor.

In addition, Lukashenko obviously fears that a war could lead to a resurgence of protests against his regime and himself, which became a test of strength for him, especially in 2020.

Compared to the Ukrainian and even more so the Russian armed forces, the Belarusian ones are considered by military experts to be the weakest – and the smallest.

According to the London Institute for Strategic Studies, the number of active soldiers was around 45,000 most recently, their material comes largely from Soviet times or Russia and is considered to be mostly outdated.

In 2020, the military budget comprised just over one percent of gross domestic product – that too is significantly less than in Russia or Ukraine.

Added to this are the experiences from the first months of the war.

In a direct attack on Ukraine from the north, the defenders managed to inflict heavy casualties on the Russian attackers.

This may have been pursued in the Belarusian General Staff.

However, there would be opportunities for Belarus to weaken Ukraine even below the threshold of a direct attack.

The risk of air and sea-based attacks alone is likely to make the Ukrainians reconsider the distribution of their forces - at the expense of the front, on which Kyiv actually needs every soldier and every weapon system at the moment.

In the Battle of Donbass.

Keywords: