Belarus president warns Ukraine and mobilizes troops with Russia | World

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday he had ordered troops to be deployed with Russian forces near Ukraine in response to what he said was a clear threat to Belarus from Kiev and its supporters in the West. .

The statements by Lukashenko, who has been in power in Belarus since 1994, indicate a potential escalation of the war in Ukraine, possibly with a joint Russian-Belarus force in northern Ukraine.

  • What is life like in Belarus and why is the country involved in the war between Russia and Ukraine

“The attacks on the territory of Belarus are not just being discussed in the Ukraine today, but are also being planned”, Lukashenko told a security meeting, without providing evidence for the claim. “Their owners are pressuring them to start a war against Belarus to drag us there.”

Russian war vehicle in a military exercise held in Belarus on February 11, 2022 — Photo: Russian Defense Ministry/Via Reuters

“We have been preparing for this for decades. If necessary, we will respond”said Lukashenko, adding that he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation during a meeting in St. Petersburg.

Lukashenko also said that he had agreed with Putin to send a regional military group and had started gathering forces two days ago, coincidentally after an attack on the bridge leading from Russia to Crimea earlier on Saturday.

Lukashenko said a notice was delivered to Belarus through unofficial channels that Ukraine was planning the “Crimean Bridge 2”, though he did not elaborate.

This February 2020 image shows Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus and Vladimir Putin of Russia during a break at a hockey game — Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/Reuters

“My answer was simple: ‘Tell the president of Ukraine and the other lunatics: if they touch one meter of our territory, the Crimean Bridge will look like a walk in the park to them.”

The Belarusian Army has about 60,000 people. Earlier this year, Belarus sent 6 battalion tactical groups, numbering several thousand people, to the border areas. On Sunday, the head of Belarus’ border guards accused Ukraine of border provocation.

Russian forces used Belarus as a starting point for the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, sending troops and equipment into northern Ukraine from bases in Belarus.

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