July 21, 2024

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Putin returns to Belarus for the first time since 2019: he fears that he will drag the country into a new offensive in Ukraine |  Ukraine and Russia war

Putin returns to Belarus for the first time since 2019: he fears that he will drag the country into a new offensive in Ukraine | Ukraine and Russia war

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Belarus, Monday, for his first visit to the country since 2019. He met his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in the capital, Minsk. According to observers, Putin may want to persuade Lukashenko to take a more active role in the conflict in Ukraine. Putin is already using his neighbor as a training ground and war base in Ukraine.

The conversation between Russia and Belarus revolves around “mutual (economic) relations, regional issues and international developments,” according to the two parties. The meeting is attended by members of the two governments and ends with a one-on-one discussion between the two leaders themselves. Russian ministers Sergei Lavrov (foreign affairs) and Sergei Shoigu (defence) arrived in Minsk before Putin.

look. The pictures show Vladimir Putin’s arrival in Belarus on Monday. After landing, a warm hug with President Alexander Lukashenko immediately followed

An earlier attack across Belarus

Russia is a very important ally, both politically and economically, for Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994. At the beginning of this year, he ordered the Russian military to attack Ukraine from Belarus, which led to international sanctions against Belarus. Putin also uses his neighboring country as a training ground

Christmas attack?

The fact that Putin is now visiting Belarus for the first time in more than three years has raised concerns that he wants to drag that country into a new offensive in Ukraine, with a new attempt to capture the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Is the Russian president launching a ‘birthday attack’ – a year after the invasion began? And why was it mentioned that “80,000 of his soldiers will detonate them in minefields”? complete analysis You can read in this additional article.

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The Kremlin denies suspicions in this direction. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to the rumors, according to the RIA Novosti news agency, that these were “stupid and baseless fantasies”.

Ukrainian military commander General Sergei Surovkin was with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Saturday during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an undisclosed location in Russia. ©AP

The Belarusian government also denies any plans to join the fight with Russia, despite additional international concerns about increased military activity in the country recently. Just last week, the Belarusian president made a surprising order Army inspection.

Military exercises

Then there are the 9,000 Russian soldiers who were transferred to Belarus in October as part of a “territorial grouping” of the armed forces to better protect its borders. According to Minsk, this is a “purely defensive force.”

Just before Putin’s visit to Lukashenko, the Russian news agency “Interfax” reported that those Russian forces would conduct military exercises in Belarus. It is not clear from the letter when and where, but a little later it turned out that they started on Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry has already shared the first photos of the exercise at an unspecified location in Belarus.

Photo released Monday by the Russian Ministry of Defense of military exercises in Belarus.

Photo released Monday by the Russian Ministry of Defense of military exercises in Belarus. ©AP

Photo released Monday by the Russian Ministry of Defense of military exercises in Belarus.

Photo released Monday by the Russian Ministry of Defense of military exercises in Belarus. © AFP

Photo released Monday by the Russian Ministry of Defense of military exercises in Belarus.

Photo released Monday by the Russian Ministry of Defense of military exercises in Belarus. ©AP