The Kremlin may use additional Russian forces in Belarus to pin Ukrainian troops near Kyiv and prevent them from being transferred to other places to participate in counteroffensives. This is reported by the American Institute for the Study of War.
On October 10, Russia launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine. Dictator Putin said he ordered missile strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure in response to a «terrorist act» on the bridge over the Kerch Strait, probably partly to appease the Russian pro-military nationalist camp that demanded such retribution.
Sergey Shoigu's retention as defense minister suggests that Putin settled on just one of the demands of the pro-military public at the moment.
Analysts believe that Russian and Belarusian troops are still unlikely to attack Ukraine from the north, despite the statement of the self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on October 10 that Belarus and Russia has agreed to deploy the Regional Group of Forces of the Union State.
The ISW admits that the Kremlin simply wants to use the grouping of Russian troops on the territory of Belarus to deter Ukrainian defenders near Kyiv in order to prevent their transfer to other directions.