Belarusian special forces are loading onto airplanes in preparation for an air assault on Kyiv in what would be a widening of the conflict and a declaration of war on Ukraine by dictator Alexander Lukashenko, military sources have claimed.
Ukrainian intelligence has reportedly learned from within Belarus that ‘special ops’ troops have been spotted loading up planes for a major attack.
A widening of the war to potentially include Russian ally Belarus could signal Vladimir Putin’s growing fury and frustration as the Russian campaign appears to get bogged down in fierce fighting around Kyiv and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second biggest city. It could also run the risk of sucking in other states including NATO allies, triggering a pan-European conflict.
A senior source told the Mirror: ‘If this happens it will mean Belarus has openly joined Russia in its invasion of sovereign Ukraine. We believe they are being targeted at Kyiv and Zhytomir.’
Andriy Zagorodnyuk, Kyiv’s former defence minister, has claimed that Belarus is about to declare war on Ukraine. The Guardian quoted Zagorodnyuk as saying: ‘Republic of Belarus is highly likely to join the Russian war against Ukraine. On Russian side. There is an information about airborne troopers from Republic of Belarus loaded on the planes to enter Ukraine.
‘This is a terrible development as it involves a country, which until very recently was a great friend of Ukraine; which people always considered Ukraine as a brotherly nation. Ukraine and Belarus has never been to war one with another in their many hundred years of history.
‘We believe that the only reason for that decision was personal demand from President of Russia, which completely depends from Putin in its policy.’
Kremlin forces invaded Ukraine on Thursday from the south, east and from Belarus in the north, having spent weeks building up Russia’s elite Spetsnaz troops on so-called ‘exercises’ with their Belarusian counterparts.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday that Russia and Ukraine would meet at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border and did not give a precise time for the meeting.
Russia had announced that its delegation had flown to Belarus to await talks. Ukrainian officials initially rejected the move, saying any talks should take place elsewhere than Belarus, where Moscow placed a large contingent of troops before it invaded Ukraine starting Thursday.
It is thought that the Kremlin underestimated the level of resistance they would meet from Kyiv’s troops and were overly reliant trying to panic Ukraine into surrender.
The sluggish Russian effort has sparked Western fears that he could resort to drastic measures to crush the Ukrainian resistance. This could include the use of thermobaric bombs, among the most lethal non-nuclear bombs ever developed.
It comes as Putin ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces put on high alert on Sunday amid tensions with the West over his invasion of Ukrain
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