Russian military units will carry out “tactical exercises” in belarusborder country with Ukrainereported the Interfax press agency on Monday, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense.
SIGHT: Ukraine bombs Russia’s Belgorod region, leaving one dead and at least five wounded
It was not specified when or where the maneuvers will take place, but the announcement came hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Minsk to meet his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko.
“The final evaluation of the capacity and combat fitness of the units will come […] as soon as the battalions finish some tactical exercises,” the Russian Defense Ministry stated, Interfax reported.
Putin’s visit comes 10 months after the Russian offensive in Ukraine began, unleashed from various points, some in Belarusian territory.
In October, Belarus announced the formation of a joint force with Russia, and thousands of Russian servicemen were sent to the former Soviet republic.
On Sunday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that “the protection of the border with Russia and Belarus” was a “constant priority.”
“We prepared for all possible scenarios,” Zelenski said.
For his part, Lukashenko has stated on several occasions that he does not contemplate sending Belarusian military units to Ukraine.
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