Russia’s military disaster 300 days into its invasion of Ukraine came at the hands of its strategic vision eroding on the failure of Belarus to open a northern axis into Kyiv at the commencement of hostilities and any time since.

Russia cannot capture nor control Ukraine through a single Crimean-Don front as it is trying to do. The country is too massive. Hitler knew it after Kursk in 1943. Stalin knew it planning his Operation Bagration counter-offensive in 1944. Putin knows it too.

The Catch 22, however, is that Belarus cannot invade Ukraine opening a northern front nor lend its Ukrainian border in proxy. The dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko, Belarusian president-for-life, will collapse faster than Gaddafi’s Libya.

That’s why Lukashenko didn’t budge on Putin’s call in February this year. That’s why the strategic axes of Kyiv and Kharkiv remain Ukrainian.

The sweetener to this deal is that not only will Belarus fall if it invades Ukraine, Russia’s Kaliningrad Baltic Sea enclave, dependant on Belarus for its strategic flank against NATO in Poland and Lithuania, will be imperilled.

Yes, it will be a brave Belarusian dictator who will give up everything to appease an ally in Putin. Lukashenko may be as mad as all despots are, but he is not stupid.

Yet, of course, it is not only democracy rather than Putin’s FSB fomenting annexation that can end Lukashenko’s reign too. In that case, is Putin willing to open direct hostilities with NATO?

© 2022 Adam Parker.

Picture: The Russia-Poland Cauldron.© 2022 Adam Parker.