Putin’s Favorite Neighbor Whips Out the Big Guns in New Warning

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AFP via Alexei Danichev/Sputnik/Getty

The Belarusian Army has begun removing armored vehicles from long-term storage to contribute to joint regional groupings Combat units of Russia and Belarusby Belarusian Ministry of Defense.

The decision was made to facilitate “Interoperability Measures” For combat groups that have been conducting joint training in Belarus since October, according to TASS.

This could indicate that Belarus is gearing up for military action, or Russian attack on Ukraine.

Last fall, Russia sent tens of thousands of troops and armored vehicles to Belarus for live-fire training. Since then, Belarus has launched snap military exercises, Move military equipment and equipment towards the border with UkraineEarlier this month, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Army, General Oleg Salyukov, also visited Belarus to inspect the joint Russian-Belarusian military force.

Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko has allowed Moscow to use Belarus as a launching pad for its failed offensive against Kyiv last year, refusing his attempts to increase Belarus’ combat readiness due to pressure from Russia. Analysts say it is likely to continue.

Russia sets ultimatum to formally draw third countries into Putin’s war

News that Belarus was moving military equipment out of long-term storage came days later. Russian Foreign Ministry outlines terms for Belarus to join war in UkraineBelarus will join the war if either Belarus or Russia believes Ukraine has “used force” against any country, the foreign ministry said.

It’s not clear what “use of force” means in the eyes of Minsk or Moscow, but Lukashenko has recently spoken publicly about Ukraine’s perceived threat to Belarus.

Lukashenko On Tuesday, Ukraine suggested it was continuing its threatening move by training its troops to defend against a Belarusian attack on Ukraine from the north.

“On the one hand, they are asking us not to send troops to Ukraine … on the other hand, they are preparing and arming this explosive mixture,” Lukashenko said on Tuesday. aggression pact”. “Therefore, we are being forced to react harshly … they should consider themselves warned.”

It was not immediately clear whether Ukraine had actually proposed a “non-aggression pact” with Belarus. Ukraine’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry is seeking to increase tensions with Belarus and reassured Minsk in a statement Tuesday that Ukraine has no intention of attacking the country.

“We confirm that there is no offensive intent against Belarus.” Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Olev NikolenkoSaid Ukrainian Pravda.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has assessed that the Kremlin is likely pressuring Belarus to step up its involvement in the conflict.

“Russia is trying in every possible way to draw Belarus directly into the war. Ukraine is warning Minsk against further aggressive plans,” Nikolenko said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also issued a statement to signal to Lukashenko that he should resist pressure to join the war.

“We did not and will not attack Belarus. This is the main signal from the entire Ukrainian people to the Belarusian people,” Zelensky told reporters on Tuesday. “It is very important for us that Belarus does not lose its independence and does not participate in this shameful war, regardless of anyone’s influence.”

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