Crisis in Eastern Europe: Putin’s Creation and Lukashenko’s Contribution

Increasingly shrill rhetoric, thousands of desperate people stuck without shelter in wintry conditions, and multiple dead amidst an escalating geopolitical stand-off. This situation at the border between Belarus and Poland is the result of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko following through on his threat to “flood the European Union with migrants” in retaliation for EU sanctions. Naturally, when it comes to weakening the EU, Russian President Putin has been more than willing to lend a helping hand, by offering the regime in Minsk rhetorical backing, logistical support and military shows of force at the Polish-Belarusian border. However, the Kremlin might have set its sight on something higher than merely embarrassing the EU. Fears are growing, that while the world’s attention is fixed on the border between Poland and Belarus, Russia could go to war in Ukraine.