The Belarusian Defence Ministry has confirmed on Monday that Vladimir Putin is to send 9,000 Russian troops to Belarus fearing there could be a new ground offensive in the Ukrainian capital which has been under attack in a series of cruise missile and drone attacks.
Political commentators believe that Putin is trying to drag the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko into war, the Telegraph reported.
On Saturday Russian troops came by the “trainload” and Lukashenko last week said he will deploy a “joint military task force,” which is allegedly a “purely defensive” move.
The Russian Defence Ministry said that they made the decision based on what is being “dictated by the ongoing activity in the areas bordering us.”
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The Kremlin has denied there will be any defensive operations but Lukashenko said he expects to see a “turning point” in the war in Ukraine.
BelTa the Belarusian news agency reported last week that the Security Couincil had “begun a test of the Armed Forces of Belarus in accordance with instructions of the head of state,” but Russia claims they are only doing military exercises on the border, as they did in March before the ground invasion started.
“The test is comprehensive and covers the most important matters concerning the readiness of army units for carrying out their missions,” the agency said.
They added, that the military units are to practice “switching to combat-ready state” along with marching drills, deployment drills and training missions.
However, the Belarusian Hajun Project which monitors military activity, warned it can be assumed that the decision to deploy a “regional grouping of troops’ is a cover for training mobilised citizens of the Russian Federation in Belarus.”
This has sparked anger in Europe and the European Commission have told Belarus to not get involved with Putin’s “brutal illegitimate undertaking.”
G7 leaders said on Monday, “The announcement of a joint military group with Russia constitutes the most recent example of the Belarusian regime’s complicity with Russia.
Their statement added that they are strongly urging the “Lukashenko regime to fully abide by its obligations under international law.”