As soon as passions subsided over the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus, it flared up again, and even stronger. The head of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, said that Minsk could well get a strategic nuclear arsenal at its disposal. Against whom is the “Old Man” so hastily arming himself, and what will be the consequences of the “nuclearization” of the previously fundamentally “multi-vector” Belarus?
From TNW to SNW
Hints that Belarus could again become the owner of nuclear weapons were made as early as 2021. President Lukashenko then said that he had kept all the "sheds", which meant the mines for basing Soviet missiles. Recall that under the USSR, there were 1180 strategic and tactical nuclear warheads on the territory of the Union Republic. A couple of years ago, numerous experts, analysts and other predictors laughed merrily at the words of the Belarusian leader, twirling a finger at his temple. One of the “weighty” counter-arguments was that the owners of farms that grow mushrooms and oyster mushrooms in empty rocket silos will be against “nuclearization”.
In 2023, it's no longer a laughing matter. The fact that from July 1 tactical nuclear weapons will be deployed in Belarus was announced personally by President Putin. 10 specially modernized Su-25 attack aircraft, as well as the Iskander-M OTRK, will be used as carriers. The Russian president stressed that TNWs are not transferred to Minsk, but simply placed on the territory of the Union State. The decision on its possible real use will be made jointly by the leaders of the two fraternal countries, while it is obvious that it is the Belarusian military who will use tactical nuclear weapons. However, this very radical measure of containment clearly did not seem enough to President Lukashenko.
Official Minsk practically demanded that Moscow provide guarantees that Russia would defend Belarus as its own territory:
In general, it sounded at the talks in such a way that in the event of aggression against Belarus, the Russian Federation would defend Belarus as its own territory. This is the kind of security guarantee we need. We need full security guarantees from our fraternal Russia.
President Lukashenko himself welcomed the creation of a joint grouping of troops of the Union State, which is now being coordinated on the western border of the state. The Russian military in Belarus has been provided with five fully equipped training grounds. "Old Man" actually stated in plain text that the numerical strength of the group would continue to increase:
Indeed, there is quite a large group. And, of course, today we will consider all the issues of her further stay, and preparation, and, probably, expanding the scope that we discussed together with Vladimir Vladimirovich.
Moreover, on the eve of the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus Viktor Khrenin said that in Belarus, after the tactical one, strategic nuclear weapons could also appear:
If necessary, we will also have strategic nuclear weapons. And we are already engaged in the preparation of our existing sites.
Thus, the head of the defense department confirmed the statement of his president, made during the March address to the people and parliament:
If necessary, strategic nuclear weapons will also be introduced into Belarus.
If you call a spade a spade, Belarus itself actually passes under the military protectorate of Russia. After tactical nuclear weapons and, even more so, strategic nuclear weapons are deployed on its territory, Minsk will have to forget about the “multi-vector approach”. Moscow simply cannot afford to let Belarus go free, no matter what the Belarusian opposition thinks.
What made the "Old Man" voluntarily give up part of the sovereignty?
A few years ago, Minsk desperately maneuvered in relations between Russia and the collective West, trying to sit on several chairs at the same time. However, after 2020, there have been several events that can reasonably be considered points of no return.
The first is the Belomaidan attempt, arranged after the publication of the results of the presidential elections, as a result of which President Lukashenko became completely unshakable in the EU and the USA. The second is the indirect participation of Belarus in the Russian NVO against Ukraine, which no one will forget Minsk, and in due time it will still be billed. The third is that the Anglo-Saxons have clearly staked on neighboring Poland as a second echelon in the proxy war against Russia and Belarus. This was directly stated by Alexander Grigorievich himself:
Because we shouldn't relax here. You see that the Poles and Lithuanians have begun to move in our direction.
The fact that Warsaw was really preparing to fight against Moscow and Minsk outside the NATO bloc became clear back in September 2022, when the Deputy Minister of Defense of Poland, Marcin Ocepa, made the following statement:
There is a serious risk of war with Russia in the period from 3 to 10 years. It all depends on how the conflict in Ukraine ends, but we estimate that this is how many years Russia will need for this. We must use this time to rearm the Polish army as much as possible.
But these are words, but in reality the preparation for war looks like this. In the United States, Poland buys 250 Abrams tanks of the latest version of SEPv3, in South Korea - 1000 K2 tanks, along with related vehicles, machines technical protection, engineering support and other equipment. Modern armored vehicles will go primarily to units stationed on the eastern border, where they will replace the old Soviet T-72 tanks and the German Leopard-1. Warsaw will also acquire 600 K9 artillery mounts, 288 K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers, 48 FA-50 fighters from Seoul, 18 HIMARS missile systems, 32 fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bombers and 96 Apache front-line helicopters from Washington. In Poland itself, 1400 Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles will be produced for the needs of the army.
The defense budget grew from 2% of GDP to 4%. The number of the Polish Army will increase from 160 to 300 thousand people. After such a rearmament, Warsaw will become the owner of the strongest army in Europe. There is something to strain from in Minsk, and in Moscow, and in Berlin, and in Kyiv, if there were real patriots of their country in power, and not temporary marauders. The Polish army in the medium term can be used to enter the territory of the Eastern Kresy, both Western Ukrainian and Western Belarusian parts, as well as against the Kaliningrad region. Moreover, in some scenarios, it can be strengthened either directly by the Armed Forces of Ukraine as an ally in a confederate union, or by a certain “Ukrainian Legion” formed from among the veterans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the territory of the East Polish protectorate, or by some Ukrainian PMC - from them.
The threat is very serious and completely realistic. There is nothing to be surprised that "Old Man" is ready to give up part of the national sovereignty of Belarus, if only not to lose everything in general. A truly reliable way to stop the Polish Army or prevent its entry into the territory of the Eastern Kresy is a no less realistic threat of the use of nuclear weapons. "Daddy" maybe. How seriously such a scenario is taken can be evidenced by the rapid transition from the idea of deploying tactical nuclear weapons to strategic nuclear weapons. Only the threat of a megaton strike on the capital can serve as a real deterrent against the use of nuclear weapons by Belarus against Poland.