Russia and Belarus have expanded their joint military training exercises in Belarus, the country’s defence TV channel said on Sunday, as concern grows that Moscow is pressuring its closest ally to join the war in Ukraine.
The two countries added weapons, soldiers and specialised equipment to the exercises and were doing drills drawing on Russian experience in Ukraine, Reuters reported.
On Friday the Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, visited a military base where Russian troops are stationed to meet troops and discuss the joint military drills.
Unofficial Telegram channels monitoring military activity in Belarus reported that between 1,400 and 1,600 Russian troops arrived in the city of Vitebsk, in north-east Belarus, on Sunday. Reuters said it could not independently verify the information.
A unilateral Russian ceasefire – announced for the Orthodox Christmas celebrations – drew to an end on Sunday but there had been little letup in fighting or civilian deaths during the period. [Continue reading…]