War in Ukraine: On the border with Belarus, Ukrainians are wary of Wagner’s threat

According to Oleg, 26, no movement of Wagner troops was observed in this border area.

But the soldier, who asked not to be named, said Ukraine was ready to “block” any attempted infiltration by Russian forces, including the Wagner group.

“Since we have been stabbed in the back from Belarus, we do not exclude the possibility of movements or deployments of Wagner fighters on Belarusian territory,” he adds. On February 24, 2022, the Russian army entered the Ukrainian region of Chernihiv through the territory of Belarus and headed towards Kiev.

Minsk said this week that Wagner fighters are now training Belarusian forces near Asipovichi in the east of the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that Kyiv is “closely monitoring the development of the situation (…) and that there are currently no major threats to Ukraine”.

“under control”

On the morning of the February 24 invasion, Ukrainian border guards blew up a road bridge over the Dnipro River, Belarus’ natural border.

On that day, Russian forces entered the Chernihiv region. Fierce fighting continued until the withdrawal of Russian forces in April 2022. However, the area continues to be bombed.

War in Ukraine: Russia has lost nearly 250,000 soldiers since the war began, kyiv reports.

At the border, Ukrainian border guards said they observed their Belarusian counterparts but did not speak to them.

Oleg said the situation on the border is “under control, calm, we have not registered any provocation from the Belarusian side”.

He said Ukrainian forces estimated about 2,000 Russian regular troops were on Belarusian territory, on planes and helicopters.

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The main street of the village of Dniprovske has two shops and a church.

76-year-old Victor Goran, who went there to buy cheese, admitted to being nervous.

“Of course I’m nervous. Because it’s so close. We have a river near us, a border, and these assailants are on the other side of the border,” he said of the Russians.

In the grocery store where he stocks supplies, 20-year-old Ilya Popok says he is confident Ukraine can withstand any new attack.

“The first time they (Russians) had the element of surprise. Now I don’t think it will work. We are experienced. Brave guys. I think there is nothing to fear”, he said.

Store owner Kateryna Bobok, 37, confirms that “there are no signs that anything has changed.” But she remains confused.

“It’s still quiet, which is a bit disturbing,” he says.

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