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On the border with Belarus, Ukrainian troops prep for a long war — and the front line
NPR ^ | March 26, 2023 | Joanna Kakissis and Polina Lytvynova

Posted on 03/26/2023 10:33:59 AM PDT by Timber Rattler

In a thick pine forest in western Ukraine, not far from the border with the Kremlin-aligned nation of Belarus, a military engineer named Anton is supervising a vast underground construction site.

"It's a bunker," says Anton, who, like the other soldiers in this story, declined to give his last name for security reasons. "We shipped in most of the wood because we didn't want to cut the trees here. We need them for cover."

He won't say how many soldiers the bunker, which is almost finished, will house. But he does give NPR a tour, walking us through a labyrinth of small hallways connecting bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and dining hall, and a large central command room lined with desks and giant TV screens.

"All these videos are from the borders," says Stanislav, a 34-year-old computer scientist who is the tech support here. "If something will start, we will see it."

Russian troops entered Ukraine through Belarus in the beginning of the war, before retreating after a failed attempt to occupy Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. Since then, the border has been largely quiet, though Ukrainian authorities sometimes warn of brewing Russian offensive here. Ukrainian authorities say about 10,000 Russian troops are still in Belarus, only about 10% of the number before the Russian invasion.

But with Russian President Vladimir Putin signaling a long war ahead, Ukraine is fortifying even the quietest stretch of its border with Belarus.

"In this war," Anton says, "we can't take any chances."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: belarus; border; intothegunsdearukies; intothegunsoncemore; nato; ukiecannonfodder; ukiepressgangs; ukraine

1 posted on 03/26/2023 10:33:59 AM PDT by Timber Rattler
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To: Timber Rattler

Belarus is nuts if they attack UKR. The border area is forrested. The Ukes will use reverse slope bunkers to bleed off the infantry from behind in the forests, then minefields in the fields beyond that. The tanks go into the mines without infantry support. Tanks immobilized, crews sniped at night then tractor recovery by the UKRs.

2 posted on 03/26/2023 11:09:42 AM PDT by Justa (If where you came from is so great then why aren't Floridians moving there?)
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To: Justa

The flip side of building bunkers is that once they are located by the other side, they can be destroyed.

3 posted on 03/26/2023 11:24:31 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: glorgau

That requires initiative which RUS soldiers have not shown. And their political officers have not come up to the front to lead or compel them. New recruits without initiative or leadership are slaughtered. Putin is destroying Russia.

4 posted on 03/26/2023 11:33:07 AM PDT by Justa (If where you came from is so great then why aren't Floridians moving there?)
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To: Timber Rattler

My guess is that Russian satellites have spotted all the earthwork.

5 posted on 03/26/2023 12:02:17 PM PDT by Tacticalman
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To: Tacticalman

My guess is …..
We all have guess’s…..usually the way WE wish the war will go. Nothing wrong with that but due to all the propaganda ( especially with the collective West) very few have all the facts to determine the “ end”.

That said, my guess from Feb 24th is:

Ukraine 1991-2023 RIP.

6 posted on 03/26/2023 12:24:34 PM PDT by delta7
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To: Justa; Timber Rattler; Monterrosa-24; canuck_conservative; SeekAndFind; marcusmaximus; tlozo; ...

Since March 2022 I have been following this war, I was particularly interested to see how Belarus would behave since dictator leader was a Pooty Pal, who appears to have lost his last election by a significant majority. Here are some observations more or less in chronological order.

1) Likely elected leader remains living and traveling in exile as she meets folks in different countries to urge support for a free Belarus and probably some support for Ukraine as well.

2) Hostile organized labor tried with some success to hamper Russian use of rails and other means to invade north border of Ukraine to attack Kyiv. One of the reasons Putin pulled out most Russian troops to use elsewhere.

3) Many in Ukraine have moved away from the Belarus border allowing beavers to multiply, build dams and flood areas likely to be invaded from Belarus. One picture shows thick growth of young trees, a perfect size for busy beavers to munch down and move around. A perfect unarmed army.

4) Poland is not pleased and I seem to recall they shut down one of the 2 border crossings into Poland. Probably interfering with ordinary trade. And another thing to pixx off Belarussians at Putin and his unelected buddy.

5)BelaBuddy (my nickname for the dictator whose name I can’tremember how to spell) did not look all that happy during his recent visit with Putin, and was rather noncommital about his eager cooperation with the war effort, especially using his troops. Armed mutiny anyone?? I would love to have been a fly on the wall at some of BB’s recent visits with leadership in the already cautious Stans.

6) Apparently there are already Belarussian volunteers fighting on the side of, or with the Ukraine army. Anyone have some idea of how many this might be, and whether there would be more if BB actually tries to make them fight for Russia?

Nevertheless, Ukraine is wise to plan defense of this border.

7 posted on 03/27/2023 2:49:26 AM PDT by gleeaikin (Question authority!)
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To: gleeaikin

Regardless of Lukashenko being a paid up Kremlin stooge who used to thinks he was in the running for a seat at the Muscovy top table post unification, to Russia he’s just a useful pawn like Kadyrov.

And most of Belarus can see it. I think Lukashenko realised this himself, and that explains why he is publicly fawning over the Belarus-Russia partnership while

1. Blowing Putin’s surprise by putting the Kremlin’s invasion roadmap on a massive board, then doing a walkthrough of it on live national TV

2. Needling Poland and then “having to” defend that border, taking his troops off the Moscow meat grinder board

3. Stating repeatedly that he’s waiting for an attack from Ukraine - which I would pay good money on him knowing is never going to happen.

4. Giving out oblique reminders that in accordance with the UN Charter, Budapest and Belovezha Accords, Belarus should not be invading Ukraine unless Ukraine invades it first, and vice versa. Ukraine hasn’t invaded either country. Neither has Belarus. In fact Ukraine hasn’t even threatened Belarus verbally.

It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Kyiv and Minsk have a back channel where they’ve agreed that Lukashenko can do all the kabuki theater he needs to do in order to satisfy Moscow, and Ukraine will do nothing.

In effect, I reckon Belarus’ troops will only invade Ukraine if Russia deposes Lukashenko, installs a Russian as the new leader, and orders that invasion itself.

8 posted on 03/28/2023 1:54:55 AM PDT by MalPearce ("You see, but you do not observe".
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