From the early days of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Belarus has been actively supporting the Russian army. The country provides its airspace for carrying out attacks on Ukraine and allows the use of its territory for the stationing, transit, and regrouping of Russian troops. It also gives access to its military infrastructure.
From day one, columns of Russian military equipment have used Belarus’s territory to launch attacks on Ukraine. As a result, Belarus is often regarded as the “satellite of the Russian Federation.” The Belarusian POL (Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants) storage facilities, as well as infirmaries, are both used to meet the logistical needs of Russian army units. On top of all of this, combat aircraft, artillery, ballistic missiles and other assets are used from the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
The Russian leadership constantly tries to ensure that Belarus will launch an offensive on the territory of Ukraine. The Belarusian military is regarded as additional “cannon fodder” that could help to obfuscate the scale of Russian losses.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces and the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine anticipate that Belarus may take part in the offensive in the near future. Both NATO and US intelligence confirm this information.
On March 5–14, the Chatham House Belarus Initiative conducted a series of opinion polls. According to the survey, 39% of Belarusians support the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Belarus, while 67% of respondents strongly oppose the shelling of Ukraine.
It has been previously reported that the vast majority of Belarusian military personnel refuse to enter the war.
As a de facto co-aggressor, Belarus should be held accountable for its participation in the war against Ukraine. Moreover, the country deserves immediate sanctions. However, Belarus still has a chance not to disgrace itself completely and not send its military to fight against the Ukrainians and die on Ukrainian soil.
How to Talk to Belarusians
To prevent the participation of Belarusian soldiers in a foreign war, the IT community has developed a website (https://zarmy.rip), which can be used to write to or call the military in Belarus and their relatives. On the site, you can select the following options: E-mail, SMS, Call, and WhatsApp.
According to the creators, the website “allows you to send text messages from your own phone directly to randomly selected Belarusian soldiers and their families.” For instance: “Two dictators are craving blood. But why do YOU have to die? Don’t go to war; it’s not your war!” Here’s another example: “Why die for Ukraine if you can LIVE for Belarus?! Today the war will take away your father, husband, brother. Tomorrow, your children! Don’t let your loved ones die!”
Ukrainians are trying to send these messages to Belarusian soldiers and their families so, instead of dying, they could surrender.
And it really works! That’s why we ask you to share the link and use the site’s options yourself.
It is important that Belarusians understand what’s waiting for them in Ukraine. Laying the arms down immediately after crossing the border is the alternative that could save their lives.
Ways to Surrender: Instruction for Russians and Belarusians
The Ukrainian Bar Association and the LCF legal group have prepared step-by-step instructions on how to surrender: what to do and how to surrender on your own or as a group; to whom you can surrender and what information you need to provide in the process, etc.
The instruction reminds that Ukraine complies with the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and is not the aggressor. When the war ends, all prisoners will be able to return home, while their temporarily confiscated money and valuables will also be returned.
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