Espreso. Global
Exclusive

Putin raises stakes and level of blackmail - military intelligence on nuclear threat from Belarus

20 July, 2023 Thursday
17:36

A military intelligence official assessed the possible threat of nuclear weapons use by Belarus and said that Vladimir Putin is raising the stakes and using blackmail

client/title.list_title

Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, said this in an exclusive interview with Espreso TV channel.

According to Yusov, Russian tactical nuclear weapons have long been deployed in Belarus near the NATO border, posing a threat not only to Ukraine but also to NATO member states. He also noted that elements of nuclear weapons or the weapons themselves are very close to the territory of Ukraine.

In addition, according to Ukrainian intelligence, recent events with the Wagner PMC uprising and the movement of mercenaries to Belarus have again raised this issue.

"So nothing has changed for us here. Raising the stakes, increasing blackmail - yes, this is what Putin is actually doing," the intelligence official said.

Instead, Lukashenko, according to Yusov, traditionally tries to maximise his personal benefits.

Yusov recalled that on the eve of the NATO summit in Vilnius, the presidents of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia addressed a statement to the alliance's leadership regarding a possible threat to the national security of the countries, which, according to them, originated from the territory of Belarus.

"Obviously, it was not only about the Wagner soldiers, but also about the nuclear weapons that the Russians promised to deploy as early as 1 or 2 July and build a storage facility in the Republic of Belarus," the representative said.

Yusov also added that Poland has even started considering the possibility of deploying US nuclear weapons on its territory.

Nuclear weapons in Belarus

Since mid-March, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been blackmailing the world with nuclear weapons and said that a storage facility for Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be completed in Belarus by 1 July.

Instead, the Institute for the Study of War reported that Putin announced the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus to frighten the West and reduce the effectiveness of Ukraine's counteroffensive.

"The announcement of the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus has nothing to do with the risk of nuclear war, which remains extremely low. Thus, Putin is only trying to exploit Western fears of nuclear escalation," the institute wrote.

The day after Putin's statement, NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said that the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus increases the level of rejection of Russia and Putin in Belarusian society. In his turn, advisor to the head of the Presidential Office Mykhaylo Podolyak noted that with this statement, Vladimir Putin admits to fear of losing the war.

The German Foreign Ministry criticised Russia's deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus and called it an "attempt to intimidate".  

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) noted that the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus could lead to a catastrophe.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine responded to Russia's intentions to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus and demanded that the UN Security Council be convened.  

It also called on Belarusian society to prevent Russia's crimes on their territory, as this would further turn the country into a hostage to Moscow and have catastrophic consequences in the future.

In April, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced the transfer of Iskanders, which can carry nuclear weapons, to Belarus. And in late May, the Belarusian army held exercises in which it trained to strike with Iskanders.

Self-proclaimed President Alexander Lukashenko said that nuclear weapons could be used from the territory of Belarus only in case of a direct threat to his country.

On 14 June, the Belarusian dictator said that the country had already started receiving nuclear weapons from Russia. He stressed that it could be used from the territory of Belarus only in case of a direct threat to his country.

On 16 June, Putin announced that Russia had transferred part of its nuclear weapons to Belarus. The rest will be transferred by the end of the year.

The head of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, said that Russia had not yet transferred a single nuclear warhead to Belarus. He is convinced that Russia will not use nuclear weapons in a war against Ukraine.

On 27 June, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the presence of Wagner and Prigozhin's PMCs in Belarus is an important security issue and requires a strong response from NATO.

On 28 June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that a clear message had been sent to Moscow and Minsk that "NATO exists to protect every ally".

The Presidents of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, Andrzej Duda, Egils Levits and Gitanas Nausėda, wrote a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and NATO partners calling for measures to counter the threats posed by Russia's aggressive actions and the changing situation in Belarus

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Monday
22 July
13:18
EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels to discuss Orban's 'peacekeeping tour'
13:00
Exclusive
Biden's withdrawal shows Democrats’ unconventional approach — Ukrainian diplomat
12:44
Shipments of microelectronics from China, Hong Kong to Russia drop 28% in 2024
12:31
Exclusive
Russia likely chose media figure to catalyze events in Ukraine: expert on Iryna Farion’s murder
12:16
Russia claims to down 75 UAVs, Tuapse oil depot on fire
12:01
OPINION
Trump realizes Ukraine issue needs to be addressed directly with Ukraine
11:40
Review
Why the West contemplates Ukraine striking Russia with Western weapons
10:55
Ukrainian team NaVi wins CS2 tournament
10:33
Exclusive
Russian troops have no advances in Kharkiv region — Achilles battalion commander 
10:13
Exclusive
Ukraine could block Crimea this year — military expert Zgurets
09:56
Ukraine's Zelenskyy reponds to Biden's withdrawal from presidential race
09:36
Russia loses 1,050 soldiers, 51 artillery systems, 18 tanks in one day of war in Ukraine
2024, Sunday
21 July
21:15
Ukrainian MPs issue ultimatum on Moscow Patriarchate ban
20:51
Interview
For most Trump supporters, Ukraine is a non-issue – political scientist Piontkovsky
20:14
Exclusive
How Russia's occupation of Prohres village impacts the course of this war 
19:55
Can Russia сontinue to fight Ukraine for another decade
19:31
OPINION
The war will continue. There is simply no other option
18:42
Russian army threatens farmers over poor yields following Russia's annihilation of the Kakhovka dam
18:12
France restricts access to 2024 Olympics for Russian, Belarusian journalists and technical support
17:44
OPINION
Why does Russia fear democracy?
17:19
Funeral for Polish volunteer soldier, killed on front line in Ukraine
16:58
Georgia calls military volunteers who fought in Ukraine in for questioning
16:38
Trump's ex-advisor Bolton: Concessions to Putin will devastate both Ukraine and U.S.
15:50
OPINION
"Peacemakers with silencers": How Trump's radicalization will impact end of war in Ukraine
15:20
Russian troops ready new assaults on Vovchansk and Hlyboke
14:53
Russia's Il-76 aircraft malfunction due to poor-quality parts - media
14:25
Russia launches 13 air bombs on Toretsk overnight
13:55
OPINION
Zelenskyy-Trump: Analysis
13:14
Slovak PM Fico criticises sanctions on Russian oil company Lukoil in conversation with Shmyhal
12:47
Russian troops target civilians with drone in Beryslav
12:14
172 clashes at the front as Ukrainian forces repel 52 Russian attacks near Pokrovsk – General Staff
11:45
Exclusive
“Out of operation for a while”: aviation expert on Russia’s Millerovo airfield attack
11:17
Ukraine’s air defense destroys 35 Russian Shaheds, 2 Kh-59/69 missiles
10:41
Russia loses 1,110 soldiers, one air defense system, 9 tanks, and 44 artillery systems in a day
2024, Saturday
20 July
19:51
Russia attacks Ivashky village in Kharkiv region with FPV drone, killing civilians
19:28
Review
Skyguard system: advanced defense against airborne threats
19:05
Russian troops attack Dnipropetrovsk region, killing 44-year-old man
18:46
US imposes sanctions against Russian hackers
18:25
85 clashes occur at front, Russian troops keep attacking in Pokrovsk sector - Ukraine's General Staff
18:03
American reporter Evan Gershkovich sentenced to 16 years in prison in Russia
More news