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Belarus Had Secret Mobilization as 'Training Sessions': Ukraine

Ukraine said on Tuesday that while Belarus is reportedly preparing for potential war, Russia’s ally Belarus is secretly mobilizing its armed forces under the pretext of “training sessions”.

In an update posted on Facebook, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote that Belarus continues to support Russia’s war in Ukraine, “by providing its infrastructure and airspace.”

There is still the threat of missile and air strikes, as well as the use of attack UAVs “Shahad-136”. [unmanned aerial vehicles] Referring to a type of Iranian drone that Russia is accused of using against Ukraine in the update, “The secret mobilization of the Belarusian Armed Forces continues under the name of training sessions. According to available information, measures are being taken to train operators of anti-aircraft missile systems and tank crews. “

News Week was unable to independently verify the report and reached the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval and comment.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has remained a major ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the face of global backlash over his continued aggression in Ukraine. Belarus assisted Russia in its war by allowing it to send troops into and launch attacks on Ukraine from its own territory, but has not yet been directly involved in the conflict by sending troops.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attended the plenary meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States Summit held in Astana, Kazakhstan on October 14. Lukashenko remains the biggest ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Contributor/Getty Images

Lukashenko said that his country does not plan to participate in any wars unless it is related to national defense.

“We will only fight when we have to defend our home, our land,” he told reporters last month.

Lukashenko said that at the time, Belarus regularly conducted military exercises to ensure that people were ready to defend the country. In addition, in an interview with the Belarusian ONT TV channel on Sunday, the head of the country’s Ministry of Emergencies said that weapons were distributed throughout the country “for the protection of the homeland”.

“The leadership of our country is taking all measures to prevent this. [a military conflict in Belarus] Vadym Sinyavskyi, “However, unfortunately we understand that the world is such a place that there may be a situation where we need to act quickly. Especially within the boundaries of civil defense.”

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces did not say in an update on Tuesday whether it believes Belarus’ “secret mobilization” is preparation for entry into Ukraine or some other purpose, such as national defense.

Still, fears that Belarus could join the war have grown in recent days after Lukashenko promised joint deployments with Russian forces earlier this month. The Belarusian leader said on Friday that he has launched “anti-terrorism measures” in the country “in connection with the escalation along the perimeter of the borders”. In addition, he accused Ukraine of planning an attack on Belarusian territory without providing evidence.

There are also suggestions that Putin may pressure or force Lukashenko to send his troops to the war-torn country.

Ukraine’s presidential adviser, Mikhail Podolyak, said in July that Russia “wants to drag Belarus into a war against Ukraine to fill the staffing gap”.

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