Kiev says it’ll strike targets inside its neighboring country if Minsk joins the Russian operation
The Ukrainian military has warned Belarusians, in a video-address, that it will retaliate against any strikes coming from the neighboring country, amid growing concerns in Kiev that Russia may launch another offensive.
The four-minute clip, which was uploaded on the Facebook page of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Friday, started with the reminder about the longstanding “friendship and good neighborly relations” between Kiev and Minsk.
However, it concluded with a warning of retaliation in the event of Belarus taking part in the military operation that it’s ally, Russia, has been carrying out in Ukraine. According to the video, the Belarusian authorities had been preparing to do just that, and had already started “secretly” recruiting troops for the mission.
“If the army of Belarus supports the Russian aggression – we will respond as harshly as we respond to all occupants on the territory of Ukraine, with the use of our whole arsenal of weapons,” the Ukrainian military warned.
This retaliation will include “striking military facilities on the territory of your country,” it added, addressing the Belarusian people.
The video-message, which was recorded in Russian, urged “all of the citizens of Belarus not to follow the orders of your leadership about joining the war against Ukraine.”
On Thursday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff claimed that “the threat of the Russian Armed Forces resuming their offensive on the northern front has been growing.” Russia already advanced on the Ukrainian capital Kiev from Belarusian territory in late February, when the conflict had just started. However, this time the focus of the Russian offensive could be switched towards the western part of the Ukraine-Belarus border in an attempt to cut routes for the deliveries of foreign weapons to the government of Vladimir Zelensky, the General Staff suggested.
Russian troops began arriving in Belarus last week in order to become part of the joint defense force recently announced by Moscow and Minsk. The Belarusian authorities said that they’ve agreed to host more Russian soldiers on their territory due to increased aggression from Kiev and Western nations.
It’s planned that Russia will deploy 9,000 troops, some 170 tanks and up to 100 artillery pieces to Belarus, Valery Revenko, an aide to the Belarusian defense minister, announced on Monday. He said nothing about the possibility of the joint grouping taking part in an offensive against Ukraine.
https://ift.tt/p1VmwWX 21, 2022 at 08:48PM
from RT – Daily news