Minutes before Putin begins speaking, Belarus and Russian news agencies are quoting a top Belarus defence official warning that a significant Ukrainian army grouping has moved to the immediate vicinity of the border.
Valery Revenko, who’s head of the defence ministry’s international military cooperation department, is quoted by Belta news agency in Minsk as telling a briefing that Ukrainian intelligence is using reconnaissance groups and drones at a high level.
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Ukraine is obviously monitoring the possibility that Russia will revive last February’s failed invasion from Belarus so using reconnaissance in the area makes sense. But if Minsk is suggesting that Ukraine has its own offensive intentions, that would be frankly absurd.
Remember last week Belarus’s authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko told us that he was ready to wage war alongside Russia – “but only if someone – even a single soldier – enters our territory from there (Ukraine) with weapons to kill my people”.