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Tags: ukraine | russia | belarus | military | border | invasion

Belarussian Forces Massing Along Ukraine's Northern Border

a map of ukraine with a pin drop in the capital city of kyiv
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 06 June 2022 10:55 PM EDT

Belarus has been massing forces near its border along northern Ukraine for nearly a week, with some speculating an attack is imminent in support of Russia's invasion, while others doubting the country will risk open warfare with its former fellow Soviet republic.

The spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Alexander Štupun, said on the command's daily Facebook post the majority of Belarus' small, but well-equipped army is busy fortifying its border and gathering intelligence on the position of Ukraine's troops. At the same time, Belarus is installing explosives along key roads and bridges connecting the two countries.

Oleh Zhdanov, a Ukrainian military expert and an former member of the General Staff, said Belarus is installing the explosives as part of a narrative to tell its citizens Ukraine is preparing an offensive, which could provide a pretext for a Belarussian military strike or movement.

Additionally, an independent Belarussian news agency reported the Ministry of Defense of Belarus was asking military contractors to manufacture 20,000 new personal identification – or dog – tags on a public procurement website run by the country's government. The agency suggested new tags are being made in anticipation of significant casualties. It is also possible they just needed to replace old ones, they said.

The regional administration of the Southern Brest region of Belarus explained the troop build-up as similar to that just before the Russian invasion in February.

"Belarus armed forces are conducting a military training exercise," said Oleksandr Rohachuk, the head of the Brest administration.

Much of the Russian military equipment from those previous joint exercises and some troops remain in Belarus, most notably the rocket systems called "Iskander," which were used effectively in northern Ukraine in the first months of the war.

The head of the Kyiv Territorial Defense, Andriy Kovalov, warned an attack from Belarus is possible.

"We're seeing new Russian and Belarus detachments at our border," he said. "Their reconnaissance drones regularly cross our border doing intelligence. The citizens of Kyiv should know that the threat is still there."

Yet, some military experts from Ukraine are skeptical of Belarus' military intentions and willingness to fight.

Vladyslav Seleznov, a colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is convinced the threat from Belarus is negligible. He noted there are approximately 15,000 battle-ready troops. But, he argues, these troops are unmotivated, which makes them a very easy target for the Ukrainian army.

"Unlike Russians, Belarus citizens can watch both Ukrainian and Russian news," he said. "They know quite well what happens to people who come with war to our land."

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


GlobalTalk
Belarus has been massing forces near its border along northern Ukraine for nearly a week, with some speculating an attack is imminent in support of Russia's invasion, while others doubting the country will risk open warfare with its former fellow Soviet republic.
ukraine, russia, belarus, military, border, invasion
431
2022-55-06
Monday, 06 June 2022 10:55 PM
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