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Will Russia invade or annex all or part of Belarus before 2022?
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk (11th to 14th centuries), the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.
In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian People's Republic, which was conquered by Soviet Russia. The Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR.
The parliament of the Republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country's first president since 1994. Belarus has been labeled "Europe's last dictatorship" by some Western journalists on account of Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government.
Elections under Lukashenko's rule have been widely criticized as unfair; and according to many countries and organizations, political opposition has been violently suppressed. Belarus is also the last country in Europe using the death penalty. Belarus's Democracy Index rating is the lowest in Europe, the country is labelled as "not free" by Freedom House, and as "repressed" in the Index of Economic Freedom.
In recent years, particularly since Russia made military incursions into Ukraine in 2014 and annexed Crimea, a number (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) of observers have raised the possibility that Russia may in the near future invade or annex Belarus.
This question asks: Before 1 January 2022, will Russia invade or annex all or part of Belarus?
This question resolves positively if, before that date, representatives of the Government of the Russian Federation announce or acknowledge that Russia has invaded Belarus or annexed all or part of Belarus, or if any two Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council announce or acknowledge that the Russian Federation has invaded or annexed all or part of Belarus.
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