Ministry of Defense Belarus It said on Sunday (16) that it expects about 9,000 Russian soldiers to arrive to form the joint military group of the Russian Federation of Belarus in the face of escalating tensions with neighboring Ukraine.
“The total number (of Russian soldiers) will be just under 9,000,” Valery Revenko, head of the army’s international military cooperation department, wrote on Twitter.
The defense representative noted that the day before, “the first convoys of Russian soldiers who make up the Russian-Belarusian grouping” began to arrive.
“The deployment will take several days,” he added. And the press service of the Ministry of Defense announced, on Sunday, the arrival of the first Russian aircraft that will join the group.
The press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Defense reported on Telegram that “the air component of the territorial grouping of Russian troops has begun to arrive in the Republic of Belarus.”
Earlier, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Belarusian Armed Forces, Viktor Tomar, said that the decision to activate the joint Russian-Belarusian group aimed at strengthening the protection of the Ukrainian border, and emphasized that it was an “exclusively defensive” project.
Last week, Lukashenko announced that he had agreed to create the aforementioned group with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“In light of the deteriorating situation on the western borders of the Union State, we have agreed to deploy a regional (military) group” from both countries, he said.
Then NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged Minsk to stop supporting Russia’s “special military operation”.
Ukraine accuses Belarus of complicity in the ongoing Russian military campaign by ceding its territory to the invading army to launch attacks on the neighboring country.
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