Putin Asked Belarus To Prepare Its Military To Invade Northern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (right) seen during the welcoming ceremony at the Palace of Independence on Monday in Minsk, Belarus. Lukashenko made one remark that stood out, calling himself and Putin among the most "toxic" people on Earth. Contributor/Getty Images

Russia has been setting the stage for an invasion of northern Ukraine from neighbouring country Belarus since at least October, in what has been described as a “worst case scenario” for the war.

Documents from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said analysis showed Russia had been preparing for a potential invasion in the north for months.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to meet with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, as Russia builds up its military operations in Belarus – a country which has long been viewed as a willing participant in Mr Putin’s war machine.

According to the ISW, Russia had been getting ready for a potential invasion of Ukraine’s north since at least October.

“Moscow has been setting conditions for a new most dangerous course of action — a renewed invasion of northern Ukraine possibly aimed at Kyiv — since at least October 2022,” the ISW warned.

Russia has been building up forces in Belarus, which the ISW said made more sense as part of preparations for a renewed offensive than as part of ongoing exercises and training practices.

Prominent Russian pro-war military blogger Igor Girkin, who was once a Russian military commander and was last month found guilty for the murder of 298 people after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, amplified the possibility of the invasion, the ISW found.

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