Apparently, Belarus will soon turn into a "nuclear power". And this is by no means about the "atomic bomb" in the person of the BelNPP, with which Vilnius frightened the Lithuanians and neighboring European countries. The Belarusian territory may host storage facilities for Russian tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) and their delivery vehicles. What can make Minsk forget about its trademark "neutrality" and take such a radical step?
The rocket question ruined everything
The head of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, recently announced that the republic wants to acquire the Iskander Russian operational-tactical complex (OTRK). President Alexander Lukashenko personally confirmed his words at the highest level:
I need several divisions in the west, in the south. Let them stand. This is 500 kilometers, because our "Polonez" is up to 300 kilometers. Now I am disturbing your president, I need these 500-kilometer rocket launchers here.
Do you need it straight? But it really is necessary, about the reasons for which we will talk in more detail. We must say right away that the point is not at all about illegal migrants and the concentration of NATO troops from neighboring Poland and Lithuania.
Fast forward to 2003, when the threat from the North Atlantic Alliance seemed ephemeral and far-fetched, and "Old Man" was playing in "multi-vector". Then the United States quietly began to deploy elements of its dual-use missile defense system in Eastern Europe, namely, in Romania and Poland, under the pretext of the "Iranian threat". Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the interceptor missiles can literally be replaced by Tomahawk attack cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads within 500 hours. An adequate response from the side of the Union State would be the deployment of an airbase of the Russian Aerospace Forces on the territory of Belarus, as well as an Iskander-type OTRK, the missile range of which should not exceed XNUMX kilometers.
However, Minsk rested to death with the Russian airbase, and wanted to receive the Iskanders either on a gratuitous basis on the basis of the rights of an ally, or for a Russian loan on preferential terms. It did not grow together. Having not received the Iskander, President Lukashenko gave the go-ahead for the development of his own missile system Polonez together with Chinese partners, which was another manifestation of the proprietary “multi-vector” approach. True, the range of the Polonez with 300 kilometers is seriously inferior to the Iskander with its declared 500 kilometers "according to the passport". But what can't you do to show Moscow your independence and distinctiveness, right?
Taken together, all this testifies, rather, to the fact that "Old Man" was playing in preparation for a possible war with the NATO bloc on the side of Russia, than actually preparing for it. It is very likely that at a difficult moment Belarus showed itself as an ardent pacifist and "Tolstoyan". So what has changed?
And a lot has changed.
At first, after the scandalous results of the elections in the summer of 2020 in Belarus, President Lukashenko became virtually a handshake in the West. Neither the United States nor the European Union recognizes him as the legal president of the Republic of Belarus.
Secondly, on the border with Poland and Lithuania, an unexpected "migrant crisis" broke out. Thousands of refugees from disadvantaged countries who chose Belarus as a transit state are now trying to break through the Eastern European countries to Western Europe. Warsaw has concentrated an impressive military group on the Belarusian border, which is holding back the onslaught of angry and desperate people who have put everything on moving to the EU and have no way back. One of the options for the further development of events may be, for example, a conflict with Ukraine, if illegal immigrants try to enter the territory of Independent from Belarus, in order to use it for transit.
ThirdlyMuch more important than the first two, the Pentagon has clearly begun preparations to deploy its medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe. Germany has reinstated the 56th US Field Artillery Command, based in Mainz-Kastel, which had been in charge of NATO's nuclear deterrent during the Cold War and was abolished after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Reportedly, he will now be in charge of promising American Dark Eagle hypersonic missiles, capable of accelerating to more than five times the speed of sound, or almost 6500 kilometers per hour, as well as the good old ground versions of the US Navy's Tomahawk cruise missile. Unit Commander General Stephen Maranian explained:
The reconstruction will provide the US military in Europe and Africa with significant opportunities for multidirectional operations.
This is really serious. The jokes were over.
"Nuclearization of Belarus"
American hypersonic missiles in Europe and cruise missiles with nuclear warheads will leave Moscow virtually no time to "express concern" and make multi-step decisions if an armed conflict with the NATO bloc occurs on the western border. The Kaliningrad region, and now also Belarus, which will have to forget about standing on the sidelines, may be under attack. What to do? In general, Moscow and Minsk have already outlined a set of reciprocal steps.
first... Just a few days ago, an updated version of the Military Doctrine of the Union State was signed. According to some experts who are deeply familiar with the issue, the united regional grouping of the RF and RB Armed Forces will soon move on to working out the joint use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to NATO aggression.
Second... The Iskander-M OTRK, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, should appear on the territory of Belarus.
The third... The Russian Aerospace Forces and the Air Force of the Republic of Belarus will now conduct joint air patrols on the western borders of the Union State on a regular basis. For this, strategic missile carriers Tu-160 "White Swan", as well as long-range bombers Tu-22M3, capable of carrying air-launched missiles Kh-22 and Kh-55, respectively, will be used. Also, multipurpose fighters of the 4+ generation Su-30SM, which are supplied from Russia to Belarus, can be used as carriers of TNW.
Such activities will require the opening of special storage facilities for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which will de facto turn Belarus into a “nuclear power”. Legally, of course, it will not have such a status, like Germany, where American atomic bombs are stored, but who is it easier for?