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Belarusian Defense Ministry: Joint military grouping ready to ‘defend the Union State’
A joint regional military grouping with forces from both Russia and Belarus has begun operating in Belarus, as reported by the news agency Belta, citing the Belarusian Defense Minister Victor Khrenin.
When speaking at the Minsk Tractor Plant, Khrenin said:
We are not going to attack anyone. I stress once again that this group’s task is strictly defensive. All of its current activities are aimed at responding appropriately to what’s happening near our borders.
Khrenin noted that the new formation was created “to prevent the unleashing of an armed conflict on Belarusian territory.”
On October 10, Alexander Lukashenko announced that he and the Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed to create a joint regional military grouping, due to an acute situation on the “Union State’s western borders.”
Lukashenko said that the new grouping would be largely formed of Belarusian servicemen, but “over a thousand” Russian troops would soon be joining it.
On October 15, the Belarusian Defense Ministry reported the arrival of the first Russian troops in Belarus.
On October 8, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported that its Ambassador in Minsk, Ihor Kyzym, has received a note from the Foreign Ministry of Belarus, alleging that Kyiv was preparing an attack on Belarus. Kyzym called this a “provocation.”
Following this incident, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the G7 countries to send observers to the Ukraine–Belarus border.
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