When Belarus will get nukes and other dragon stories from Putin

Ukraine is preparing for an offensive and Russian propaganda steps up imaginary attacks with nuclear missiles.

Russian Federation President Vladimir announced in late March 2023 that he has decided to transfer a part of tactical nuclear missiles to the Republic of Belarus, at the request of his counterpart in Minsk, with the aim of protecting the two countries from a possible NATO attack. 

The parties did not specify whether the nuclear weapons will only be hosted by Belarus under Russian management or integrated into local armed forces with Alexander Lukashenko in control of the "red button".

Putin also said, among other things, that Russia has developed nuclear-fueled missiles, that ballistic missiles have been fitted with wings and are capable of flying undetected over the South Pole before hitting targets on the North American continent. In the following article, we will try to answer the main questions regarding the strategic nuclear arsenal and ballistic missiles that Putin boasts about.

To filter facts from falsehoods, News-Cafe.eu has consulted dozens of sources dedicated to security issues, including the United Nations Organization, the International Peace Research Institute in Stockholm, the Atlantic Council, Foreign Affairs, Meduza, Novaia Gazeta, Wikipedia, and ChatGPT.

NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN BELARUS

1. Infrastructure

During the period when Belarus was part of the USSR, a significant number of nuclear warheads, 1,100 to be exact, were stationed in the republic, so in theory the country has the infrastructure to accommodate medium- and long-range missiles. However, this is unlikely to happen.

Firstly, due to physical degradation - the bases have long been closed, and the government in Minsk has not invested in maintaining the silos without any practical purpose. If it comes to shipping nuclear weapons to Belarus, the costs of their modernization will be enormous. Belarus will surely pass the bill to Russia.

Secondly, with the Russian budget groaning under Western sanctions and the military complaining of an acute shortage of conventional weapons and corruption in the armed forces, the Russians simply don’t have a couple of billion dollars they need to invest in the defense of 207,000 square kilometers of foreign territory. In addition, the logistical effort would take around 10 years.

2. Trust

Although they are allies, Putin and Lukashenko do not trust each other. Yes, the two dictators collaborate, but they do so out of necessity - both have usurped power, stay at the rule thanks to the brute force, and are under international sanctions. In reality, their strategic goals are diametrically opposed: Putin wants to restore the empire, in which Belarus would be a Russian province, and Lukashenko wants to maintain his country independent but continue receiving cheap gas from the Russians. Moscow and Minsk have been struggling for 20 years to give birth to a union state, and yet they can’t.

Lukashenko would probably like to acquire nuclear missiles, but for the same purpose that the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov requested anti-aircraft defense systems from Moscow last year: in case of a future armed confrontation with Russia. The example of Ukraine, which gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for a piece of paper worthless today, certainly made the dictator think.

3. Consequences

Russia and Belarus have signed the International Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states. Violating the treaty would result in new sanctions, loss of the few allies, and an escalation of the nuclear arms race. For example, Poland and Ukraine would be morally justified to acquire nuclear missiles. 

Apart from political risks, there are security risks: transporting nuclear weapons while an active war is waged in the neighboring country is pure madness. And we are not talking about an act of hijacking or terrorist/military attack, but a simple accident during shipping, installation, or storage.

The conclusion on "Nuclear Weapons in Belarus": bluff, disinformation.

NEW RUSSIAN ROCKETS

Putin has boasted on several occasions that Russia has successfully manufactured and tested a new ballistic missile called "Sarmat". He also mentioned that the arsenal capable of nuclear attacks includes "Burevestnik", "Voyevoda" (also known as "Satan"), "Avangard", "Yars" (also known as "Topol"), and others.

1. What is ”Sarmat RS-28”?

Putin keeps assuring since 2016 that this type of liquid-fueled ballistic missile is "practically ready".

 

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