|Lukashenko "continues to follow Moscow's line in the Ukraine conflict."|
According to a British intelligence report on Sunday (31/7/2022) posted on Twitter, the British Ministry of Defense said Lukashenko was becoming more authoritarian and increasingly dependent on Putin. It said Lukashenko "continues to follow Moscow's line in the Ukraine conflict." Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is said to have relied on Russia for its support for President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Alexander Lukashenko is known as Putin's main ally.
"His regime has become more authoritarian, with the expansion of the death penalty for 'preparing for a terrorist act'," the report said. "His escalating and unsubstantiated accusations of Western designs in Belarus and Ukraine likely indicate that he is almost completely dependent on Russia." The report also said that Russia fired 20 missiles into northern Ukraine from the territory of Belarus on July 28, 2022. Newsweek has not received any comment from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding this report.
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko is a Belarusian politician who has served as the first and only president of Belarus, since the establishment of the office in 1994. He has been in power to this day, making him the longest-serving president of Europe. Previously, Belarus was led by the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet as head of state. Lukashenko is known for his authoritarian leadership style, even claiming to be the last dictator in Europe. His victory in the Belarusian elections in 2020 was disputed, due to alleged fraud.
After the chaos that resulted in anti-government protests in Belarus, Lukashenko was not recognized by the United Kingdom, the European Union, or the United States as the legal president of Belarus. Lukashenko has long had close ties to the Kremlin. However, there were some tensions between Lukashenko and Putin. One of them in 2020, Lukashenko accused Putin of trying to annex Belarus, which resulted in the Kremlin cutting economic subsidies.
But in February 2022, Belarus allowed Russian troops to assemble and carry out a Russian invasion of its territory. Although not sending his military, the Belarusian leader allowed Putin's troops to attack Ukraine from its borders. Belarus has a direct border to the north of Ukraine. Thus it provides strategic access near the capital city of Kyiv. Early in the invasion, Russian troops entered Ukraine from Belarus before attacking areas near Kyiv, but ultimately failed to capture the capital.
In recent weeks, Lukashenko has further strengthened his support for Putin. Earlier this month, Ukrainian officials said Belarus gave Russia "complete control" over the Zyabrovka airfield, which lies near the Ukrainian border. Belarusian authorities on Friday summoned its ambassador to Britain for what they called "hostile" actions, signaling that Lukashenko continues to line up behind Putin while distancing himself from the West.