The Ministry of Defense of Belarus informed this Sunday (16) that it expects the arrival of about 9,000 Russian soldiers to compose the joint military group of the Russian-Belarusian State Union in the face of rising tensions with neighboring Ukraine.
“The total number will be just under 9,000”, wrote on Twitter the head of the department of International Military Cooperation of the military entity, Valery Revenko.
The Defense representative recalled that the day before the the first convoys with Russian soldiers that make up the Russian-Belarusian grouping arrive. “The deployment will take several days,” he added.
This Sunday, the press service of the Ministry of Defense announced the arrival of the first Russian planes that will join the group.
“The air component of the Russian regional grouping of forces has started to arrive in the Republic of Belarus”, the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on Telegram.
Previously, the deputy commander of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, Viktor Tumar, said that the decision to activate the joint Russian-Belarusian group was aimed at strengthening the protection of the Ukrainian border, and highlighted that it was an “exclusively defensive” project.
Last week, dictator Alexander Lukashenko announced that he had agreed to the creation of the aforementioned group with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “In view of the worsening situation on the western borders of the State Union, we agreed to establish a regional group [militar]” of both countries, he said.
Then, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged Minsk to stop supporting Russia’s “special military operation” – as Moscow calls the invasion it promotes into Ukrainian territory.
A Ukraine accuses Belarus of complicity in the current Russian military campaign underway, for ceding its territory to the invading army to launch attacks in the neighboring country.
This is what happened at the beginning of the war, when Kremlin troops who entered through Belarusian territory tried to take the capital Kyiv, which is just 100 kilometers from the Belarus border, and surrounding cities.
However, after weeks without success, Russian forces withdrew from the Kyiv region at the end of March and the war effort focused on eastern and southern Ukraine.