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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko are expected to discuss “further aggression against Ukraine” and "broader involvement” of the Belarusian military in the war at their planned meeting on Dec. 19, according to Lieutenant General Serhiy Naiev.
Naiev commands the Joint Forces - the units that have been involved in the war with Russia and its proxies since 2014.
Belarus has participated in Russia's aggression by allowing Russia to use its territory for attacks against Ukraine. However, Belarusian troops have not been sent to Ukraine yet.
On Dec. 9, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu visited Belarus as Minsk and Moscow signed a classified protocol on regional security.
According to Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate, Shoigu’s visit to Minsk may have been intended to pressure Belarusian troops into joining Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
However, the Institute for the Study of War noted on Dec. 13 that Belarus is unlikely to invade Ukraine due to the possibility of renewed domestic unrest if its security apparatus is weakened through participation in a costly war in Ukraine.