War in Ukraine: Belarus, soon to reinforce Russian troops?

President Alexander Lukashenko confirms having ordered the deployment of additional soldiers and planes in the south, in Gomel, Baranovichi and Lounints, on the border with Ukraine.

Sergei Chirikov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

What if Belarus launched attacks on Ukraine from its soil?

This is what the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense fears.

He speaks of “significant activity” at the border.

On Tuesday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had indeed ordered the deployment of additional forces in southern Belarus, but while swearing that his country would not participate in this Russian offensive.

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Belarusian troops gather at the border with Ukraine, planes fly over the area, says the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

The intelligence services reportedly observed convoys of vehicles with food and ammunition on board.

Also to follow

: our live of the day on the fighting in Ukraine

This raises fears that

Belarus

will fully enter this war and come as reinforcements for Russian soldiers.

The Ministry of Defense affirms it in a press release on Facebook: already since the start of the invasion, missiles have been launched " 

systematically

 " from Belarusian territory against military and civilian targets in Ukraine.

Russian soldiers have indeed been deployed there for several weeks, officially for “ 

exercises

 ”.

Lukashenko claims not to take part in the offensive in Ukraine

Belarus, for its part, assures that none of its soldiers is participating in this offensive carried out from its soil.

It's not our task

 ," said Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1994. 

The Belarusian president, however, confirms having ordered the deployment of additional soldiers and planes in the south, in Gomel, Baranovichi and Lounints, on the border with Ukraine.

He advocated the deployment of " 

five battalion tactical groups to protect this direction

 " South, these groups usually comprising hundreds of soldiers, equipped with armored vehicles and artillery weapons.

Additional forces on the border with Poland

He also advocated the deployment of additional forces on the border with Poland, in the West, to protect Belarus from a possible NATO attack: " 

Under no circumstances should an invasion by NATO forces be allowed NATO on Belarusian territory or their slightest operation on our territory

 , ”said Alexander Lukashenko.

He said he had asked Russian President

Vladimir Putin

for an additional delivery of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems, which are already deployed in the Gomel region (south), to install them on the western border of Belarus.

From her exile in Lithuania, Belarusian opposition leader

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

has called on her country's soldiers to refuse to participate in the war and to stand with the Ukrainians.

►To listen: War in Ukraine: Russian forces encounter fierce resistance from Ukrainians

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  • Belarus

  • Ukraine

  • Russia

  • Vladimir Poutine

  • Alexander Lukashenko

  • Volodymyr Zelensky

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