Ukraine invasion: Kyiv worries about “growing threat” of a new Russian attack from Belarus

“The aggressive rhetoric of the military and political leaders of Russia and Belarus is intensifying,” Oleksiy Gromov, an official on Ukraine’s military staff, told reporters.

As Moscow and Minsk launched a joint military force in recent days, “the threat of a resumption of offensives on the northern front by the Russian armed forces is growing,” he said.

According to him, an attack west of the Belarusian border could be carried out to cut off the main supply routes for foreign weapons and military equipment coming from western Ukraine, especially through Poland.

Earlier in the day, Belarusian intelligence services (KGB) for their part “every day we see an increase in intelligence operations from Ukrainian territory, we see daily attempts to violate Belarusian airspace,” state news agency Belda quoted.

“Unfortunately, the situation in our southern direction is developing very seriously,” said the head of the Belarusian KGB, Ivan Tertel, without giving further details.

On Monday, the Belarusian Defense Ministry announced that “up to 9,000 Russian soldiers” and about 170 tanks would be stationed in Russia’s ally Belarus to coordinate a new military group recently formed between the two countries.

The launch of the new force to protect Belarus’ borders against the Ukrainian threat was announced last week, at a time when the Russian military suffered several military setbacks in Ukraine.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at the time accused Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine of preparing for “terrorist” attacks and an “uprising” in Belarus, raising fears that Minsk would intervene directly in the conflict in Ukraine.

However, Belarus has assured that the joint military force with Russia is purely “defensive”.

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