WARSAW, Poland — Belarusians are among the foreign fighters who have volunteered to take up arms in Ukraine against Russian forces.
They consider the Ukrainians defending their homeland to be their brethren.
And by joining their resistance to Russia’s onslaught, they hope to weaken the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and ultimately that of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Some Russian troops were sent from Belarusian territory into Ukraine early in the war, and Lukashenko has publicly stood by long-time ally Putin, calling him his “big brother.”
Weakening Putin, they believe, would create a window of opportunity to topple Lukashenko and bring democratic change to the nation of nearly 10 million people.