Ukraine said it was ready if Belarusian troops joined the Russian invasion. Belarus is known to have carried out large-scale military exercises on Wednesday (4/5) to test combat readiness.
“We do not rule out that the Russian Federation may at some point use the territory of Belarus, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, against Ukraine,” Andriy Demchenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s State Border Service, said. Reuters.
“Therefore, we are ready,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s border area with Belarus had been strengthened since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
Russia started the invasion after holding joint exercises with Belarus. This allowed Russia to deploy more troops to the Ukrainian border.
The Ukrainian area adjacent to Belarus had been under attack at the start of the invasion. But Russia has shifted its combat focus to eastern and southeastern Ukraine.
Demchenko said Ukraine had also strengthened its border with the Russian-backed region of Transdniestria. Tensions in the area have been rising since the local government said it had been the target of several attacks.
Ukrainian officials have expressed concern over the situation in Transdniestria and condemned Russia’s stance on dragging the region into war.