Russia Ally Belarus Preparing for War as Ukraine Fight Drags Into Winter

Belarus, a close ally of Russia that is situated on the northwestern border of Ukraine, has begun preparing for war on its home turf.

Belarus has been strategically important to Russia, which began mounting troops along its Ukraine border in January and February this year. While assembling troops, Russia held joint military drills with Belarus.

As the Russia-Ukraine war rolls into its 236th day, Belarus's Head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Vadym Sinyavskyi, told the ONT TV channel that weapons have been distributed throughout the country so it can "protect the motherland."

"Today, all the weapons that were planned have been received from the Ministry of Defense and placed in our rooms for storing weapons," Sinyavskyi said, according to Pravda.

"Calculations have been carried out, personnel training has been carried out. If necessary, take an active part in certain issues related to "related to the protection of the homeland, these calculations have been brought to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and to the heads of the Air Force at the regional level, as well as to the Armed Forces - if necessary, calculations will also be formed for participation in the relevant actions.""

Sinyavskyi added that Belarus has secured more than 5,000 different closed structures within the country should they endure missile strikes.

"The leadership of our country is taking all measures to prevent [a military conflict in Belarus] from happening," he said. "But we understand that, unfortunately, the world is such that there may be a situation in which we will have to act quickly. In particular, within the limits of civil defense."

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko attends a joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus as part of an inspection of the Union State's Response Force, at a firing range near a town of Osipovichi outside Minsk on February 17, 2022. Belarus is now stockpiling for war on its homeland. Photo by MAXIM GUCHEK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last week, Lukashenko told the American press to not push Putin into a corner, or the consequences could be devastating—referring to Russia's nuclear capabilities.

"If you back a person or a country into the corner, there is only one way out — forward," Lukashenko said on NBC at a summit of post-Soviet leaders in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana. "That's why don't cross red lines, you cannot cross them."

Lukashenko was asked if Russia would use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. His answer was somewhat negatory, but only if there was no attack against Russia itself.

"If there is, God forbid, an attack on the territory of the Russian Federation, Russia can, if necessary, use all kinds of weapons," he said. "Never, never has President Putin or the Russian leadership set a goal to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine."

Russia began assembling troops along Ukraine's northern and western borders in late January while it also conducted military with Belarus. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24 this year and there have been heavy casualties on both sides. That includes Ukrainian civilians, foreign fighters, Ukrainian military and about 65,000 Russians, according to the Ukraine Ministry of Defense.

The harsh winter months are approaching, and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said that even if Russia surpasses even 100,000 deaths in the war, it won't affect strategy from the Kremlin.

Newsweek reached out to Belarusian officials for comment.