World Belarus to move troops, equipment amid Ukrainian fears of attack
The airbase that became a symbol of Russian defeat
Chornobaivka has earned its status as one of the most important battlefields of the war. Russian hardware was airlifted in with the aim of reinforcing troops in the south. The initial ambition was to advance along the southern coast of Ukraine, first to Mykolaiv and then Odesa.Most importantly, the airbase at Chornobaivka enabled Russian troops to steer clear of dangerous river crossings as they pushed to the west. But occupying the base was to prove difficult.
Belarus plans to move military equipment and forces in a “counterterrorism” exercise, the state news agency BelTA has reported, amid fears that Russia could attack Ukraine from the Belarusian border.
“During this period, it is planned to move military equipment and personnel of the national security forces,” the state news agency BelTA cited Belarus’s Security Council as saying.
“The movement of citizens [transport] along certain public roads and areas will be restricted and the use of imitation weapons for training purposes is planned.”
Ukraine puts the number of its military personnel killed in the war with Russia at between 10,000 and 13,000.
Ukrainian Presidential advisor Mikhail Podoliak has put the number of Ukrainian servicemen killed by the Russian invasion, unleashed on February 24 on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin, at «between 10,000 and 13,000», after the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, put the figure at around 100,000. «We have official estimates […]"We have official estimates from the General Staff of the (Ukrainian) Army," Podoliak told Channel 24 television. "They range from 10,000 to 12,500 or 13,000 dead. We are openly talking about the number of dead," he said, in the absence of official figures on casualties from the war.
The forces are planned to move on Wednesday and Thursday, but there was no information on which regions would be affected or what form the exercise would take.
For nine months, Belarus has stayed away from direct involvement in the war in Ukraine, but in the past President Alexander Lukashenko has ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border, citing threats to Belarus from Kyiv and the West.
Ukraine has shared its fears for months that Belarus and Russia could be colluding to attack the country from its northern border.
Former Soviet Union states Belarus and Russia are closely allied economically and militarily. Russia used Belarus as a staging post for its failed advance on Kyiv starting on February 24, despite Lukashenko having for many years resisted Russian military deployments in Belarus.
In 2020, Moscow and Minsk depended on their cooperation when Russia helped Lukashenko to quash a wave of pro-democracy protests after disputed elections.
In October, Lukashenko announced a fresh Russian deployment of 9,000 troops to Belarus as part of a new joint military grouping.
“Enemy units are being trained on the training grounds of the Republic of Belarus” and Russian attacks continued to be launched from Belarusian territory, Ukraine’s General Staff said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Last week, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu held talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Viktor Khrenin, to discuss military cooperation.
Ukraine accuses Russia of torturing children in Kharkiv region as missile attack thwarted .
Ukrainian authorities claim they have discovered evidence of children being tortured in territories formerly occupied by the Russian army.Ukraine's human rights chief, Dmytro Lubinets, said in a news briefing on Wednesday that torture chambers allegedly for children accused of resisting Russian forces were found in parts of north-eastern and southern Ukraine recaptured by Kyiv's counteroffensive.