The US and others have nudged Ukraine to violate the Belarusian border, a top military commander in Minsk claims
Western nations supporting Kiev are using its troops to provoke Belarus into a response that they can later condemn, the country’s top military commander has claimed. Ukraine used similar tactics when it fired a missile into Polish territory, he added.
Suspicion is growing stronger every day in Belarus “that Western powers are trying to provoke us into some action which they could interpret in a way beneficial to them. But naturally, they are using the Ukrainian armed forces to the maximum,” General Viktor Gulevich, the head of the Belarusian General Staff, said in a TV interview aired on Sunday.
He cited repeated violations of the Belarusian border from the Ukrainian side, both by drones and armed personnel, reported by national border guards. Some of these incidents were filmed and appeared to be “demonstrative,” he said.
In mid-November, Belarus released footage of what they said was an armed Ukrainian soldier who crossed a bridge into the country’s territory to take some photos and search through the snow. The border guards blamed the incident on “poor discipline” in some Ukrainian units and said it posed the risk of a firefight.
As he accused the US and its allies of using Ukraine against Belarus, Gulevich claimed that Kiev used the same approach against the West last month, when a Ukrainian air defense missile hit a Polish border village, killing two people.
“Most likely, it was done on purpose to draw Western nations into a more severe confrontation with the Russian Federation, up to and including direct aggression, conflict,” he said.
The incident occurred amid a Russian missile attack on targets in Ukraine. Officials in Kiev, including President Vladimir Zelensky, rushed to claim that the projectile that crossed into Polish airspace was Russian and was fired on the village intentionally. Zelensky called on NATO to invoke Article 5 (collective defense) in response.
The Polish government later acknowledged that the missile was “most likely” a Ukrainian anti-aircraft weapon that strayed off course.
Belarus is a close ally of Russia and has allowed Moscow to use its territory during the military operation in Ukraine. Kiev has claimed that Belarusian troops were deployed to the country, but Minsk has denied any direct involvement in the hostilities.
December 12, 2022 at 02:24PM