The joint exercises, named United Resolve, are to take place as Russia also musters forces along Ukraine’s eastern border, threatening a potential invasion that could unleash the largest conflict in Europe for decades.
Social media videos from Belarus appeared to show artillery and other military vehicles arriving on flatbed carriages owned by the Russian state railway company, and Alexander Volfovich , the head of Belarus’s security council, said troops were already arriving before exercises scheduled for February.
Some military analysts have suggested Russia could send its forces through Belarus in the case of a broad invasion, effectively stretching out Ukraine’s defences by taking advantage of the two countries’ nearly 700-mile border . Others, however, believe Belarus would not play a serious role in the conflict if Russia were to launch an attack on Ukraine.
The Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko , has responded to international pressure and isolation by strengthening ties with Russia, giving vocal support for Vladimir Putin’s military buildup as he receives diplomatic and economic support from the Kremlin against western sanctions.
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