Russia sends more troops to Belarus as fears of new attack grow

Ukraine says Belarus could be used as a staging post by Moscow for an offensive from the north, opening up a new front.

Jan 6, 2023 - 19:18
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Russia sends more troops to Belarus as fears of new attack grow

Russia sends more troops to Belarus as fears of new attack grow

A train carrying Russian troops and equipment has arrived in Belarus amid concerns that Moscow could use its ally’s territory to attack Ukraine from the north.

The Belarusian defence ministry confirmed the arrival of the contingent on Friday and said President Alexander Lukashenko had visited a military base where Russian troops are already stationed.

During the meeting, Lukashenko and an unnamed representative from the Russian army discussed the two countries’ joint military drills, it said.

Russian troops “are ready to carry out tasks as intended”, the representative said.

The developments came after Belarus, which has backed Russia over its war in Ukraine, said on Thursday that it will receive more weapons and equipment from its neighbour as the two continue to boost military cooperation.

The Belarusian defence ministry said the goal of creating a joint force was “strengthening the protection and defence of the Union State [of Russia and Belarus]”.

“Personnel, weapons, military and special equipment of the armed forces of the Russian Federation will continue to arrive in the Republic of Belarus,” the statement said.

The two countries are preparing for joint air force exercises, the ministry said, without providing any further details.

The Belarusian government has repeatedly said the country will not join Russia’s war in Ukraine.

But Moscow deployed thousands of forces to Belarusian territory under the pretext of military drills before launching its offensive and then funnelled troops into Ukraine when its invasion began on February 24.

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