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Reports suggest Belarus prepares to send its troops to Ukraine, joining Putin in war

February 27, 2022 3:27 pmby Oleksiy Sorokin
Belarus' dictator Alexander Lukashenko greets troops during a military drill outside Brest, on Sept. 12, 2021. (Getty Images)

A message was shared in the diplomatic circles on Feb. 27 that Belarus airborne forces were preparing to invade Ukraine.

Unnamed Belarusian opposition journalists were said to be the source. According to the report, Belarus special forces were boarding planes on Feb. 27, preparing for deployment in or near Kyiv and Zhytomyr.

It's not entirely possible to verify this report, since most opposition journalists have fled Belarus, escaping repressions by the regime of dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

A Telegram channel that collects eyewitnesses reports about the moving of Russian and Belarusian troops in Belarus recorded the movement of two military transport planes taking off from an airfield in western Belarus.

As of now, Belarus is de facto conducting war against Ukraine by letting Russian troops use its territory, and providing them with access to hospitals and intelligence. Now, according to the report, Belarus is preparing a full-out invasion.

On Feb. 27, President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke over the phone with Lukashenko.

During a phone call with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Zelensky agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River.

On the same day, Lukashenko threatened Ukraine with an all-out war.

“Is he pushing me to conduct a special operation so that I can free my people there?” said Lukashenko. He added that he allowed Russian troops to shoot missiles from Belarus territory on Ukraine.

Lukashenko spoke at the ballot during a staged referendum on the constitution amendments that the Belarus autocrat proposed after suppressing protests that began due to electoral fraud committed during the 2020 Belarus presidential elections.

Meanwhile, Zelensky asked the people of Belarus to make the right choice.

"Be Belarus, and not Russia," he said. "Make the right choice."

Russia is trying to force Ukraine into negotiations in Belarus, which is actively assisting Kremlin’s forces.

A Russian delegation arrived in Belarus on Feb. 27 for negotiations with Ukraine, despite Ukraine not agreeing to negotiations in Belarus.

On Feb. 27, Zelensky said Ukraine is ready for talks with Russia, but only in a country "from which missiles aren't flying," rejecting the idea of meeting in Belarus.

He suggested meeting in Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul, or Baku instead.

“We want to talk, we want to end the war,” Zelensky said in a video address.

Oleksiy Sorokin
Author: Oleksiy Sorokin

Oleksiy Sorokin is the political editor and chief operating officer of the Kyiv Independent. Following a BA from the University of Toronto, Oleksiy became a political writer at the Kyiv Post. He broke stories on government and judiciary topics and investigated the former president and the current Prosecutor General.

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