Russian ally Belarus conducts military exercises near Polish border
( Post Millennial )
Belarus, a close ally to Russia, has begun military exercises on its border with Poland to practice fighting the "enemy and illegal armed formations" through September 14.
The Daily Mail reports that the Belarusian defense ministry said they are practicing "liberating territory temporarily seized by enemy" and "ensuring forceful measures of martial law."
Belarus has permitted Moscow to launch military campaigns, including firing missiles and troop deployment, in its territory. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has maintained support for Russia throughout the tenure of the war.
The military exercises will take place in Brest, which is 6 miles from Poland and 20 miles from Ukraine. Exercises will also take place in Minsk and Vitebsk.
"Up to 7,500 military personnel, 260 armored vehicles and about 30 aircraft and helicopters will take part," the Daily Mail reports.
A senior Ukrainian official, Oleksiy Gromov, said that Ukraine is ready for whatever events come from Belarus's war games but said that the probability of an attack from Belarus on Ukraine is low.
Belarus said that the amount of military presence during the exercises was so low that it did not require a notice to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE.)
Russia used a similar tactic in the winter before invading Ukraine, mounting troops and equipment under the guise of military exercises, only to then officially invade.
Belarus officials have also complained about NATO putting various troops near its borders and have balked at the war games from not only Poland but nearby Lithuania and Latvia as well.
President Lukashenko has said of Putin, "He most likely does not want a global confrontation with NATO" but also pressed the West to avoid escalation.
"Moreover, we can't threaten - we know who opposes us, so to unleash some kind of a conflict, some kind of war here... is absolutely not in the interests of the Belarusian state. So the West can sleep peacefully," he added.
Because of their allyship to Russia, many counties such as Canada, have placed strong sanctions on the country.