Ukraine prepares on the Belarusian border “for all possible defense scenarios”as the president of the country assured this Sunday night, Volodimir Zelenskyafter the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin to travel to Minsk in search of a second war front.
“The protection of the border with Russia and Belarus is a constant priority. We are preparing for all possible defense scenarios. Whoever inclines Minsk to whatever will not help it like any other sick idea in this war against Ukraine and the Ukrainians,” Zelensky said in his usual late-breaking speech.
Putin travels to Belarus this Monday in a decisive week for Russia’s future military strategy in Ukrainewhere the opening of a second front could put the Ukrainian army in many difficulties.
The Kremlin chief will meet in Minsk with his main ally in the “special military operation”, the Belarusian dictator, Alexander Lukashenkoand in the coming days he will preside over the meeting of the Ministry of Defense and on Thursday that of the Council of State.
At the meeting of the General Staff of the Defense of Ukraine held this Sunday, according to Zelensky, the situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions was examined “in great detail”.
“Bakhmut’s direction is key. We maintain the city, although the occupiers are doing everything possible so that not a single wall remains intact, ”he explained.
According to the Ukrainian president, in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, and in the south in general, Ukrainian forces are “gradually reducing the potential of the occupiers.” “Less ammunition depots, less logistics for the Russian military,” he said.
“We expect important announcements”, the TV program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” on the Russian president’s agenda for next week.
Putin will travel accompanied by the Russian Defense Minister, sergei shoiguwho flew over the Ukrainian front in a helicopter over the weekend and inspected Russian positions on the battlefield.
In addition to the integration process, according to the Kremlin, the talks between Russians and Belarusians will focus on “the political-military situation” surrounding both countries, their “defensive capabilities” and “joint response measures” to the challenge posed by NATO. .
A joint military group is already deployed in Belarus and, moreover, in that country Part of the 300,000 reservists mobilized by Putin are training.
According to Minsk, the Russian component of the regional grouping consists of up to 9,000 servicemen, about 170 tanks, up to 200 armored fighting vehicles and up to 100 large-caliber guns and mortars.
Until now, Lukashenko has refused to allow his army to directly participate in the fighting. and he even had to get out of the way by proclaiming this week that he is the one in charge in Belarus, in a clear allusion to the Kremlin.
In addition, the visit coincides with rumors that military service in Russia could be increased from one to two years, as in the days of the Soviet Union. Those called up in the spring would serve 18 months, those drafted in the fall 24 months, a Moscow region military commissar told reporters.
The news was denied by the Russian Defense Ministry, but after what happened with the chaotic partial mobilization, it spread like wildfire in this country. Putin promised at the time that recruits will not be sent to the front nor will a second mobilization of men of military age be necessary.
In this regard, the commander of the Joint Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General serhiy nayev, believes that Putin seeks a greater involvement of Belarus in the conflict. “From our point of view, the issue of a future aggression against Ukraine and further involvement of the Belarusian Armed Forces in the operation will be discussed during that meeting,” he commented on Facebook today.
In your opinion, that greater participation would be “terrestrial”. In fact, Belarus this week carried out military maneuvers near the border with Ukraine and both countries are preparing joint exercises “Shield of the Union” in 2023.
On the other hand, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that there is little chance that Moscow will launch a new offensive against Kyiv from Belarusian territory, like the one that allowed it to take the Chernobyl plant in February and get closer to the capital. , although it does not rule it out definitively.
(With information from EFE)
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