Belarus, a neighbor of Ukraine and an ally of Moscow, received a train containing Russian troops and equipment, the Belarusian Defense Ministry announced on Friday, while the Kremlin decreed a unilateral ceasefire.
On Jan. 5, Minsk said it expected to receive more Russian weapons and equipment as the two countries step up military cooperation.
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Vladimir Putin visited Belarus on December 19.
The Russian army had declared that it would take part in "tactical"
in Belarus, after the announcement in October of the formation of a joint force of several thousand men.
Read alsoKiev fears that Putin will enlist Belarus for a future attack
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, denied that Vladimir Putin went to Belarus to convince Minsk to directly participate in the conflict in Ukraine, calling the allegations
The Ukrainian authorities nevertheless say they fear in the first months of 2023 the possibility of a Russian offensive on kyiv which would be launched from Belarusian territory, repeating the scenario of the start of the invasion on February 24.
S-400 and Iskander missiles
Today we deployed the S-400 missile systems and, above all, the Iskander system that you gave us
," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said during Vladimir Putin's visit to Minsk on Monday, December 19, according to Russian news agency
The S-400 are anti-aircraft missiles, modernized version of the S-300 of the Soviet era.
Iskander missiles are short and medium range ballistic missiles used by Russia in Ukraine.
They can carry conventional but also nuclear charges.
Alexander Lukashenko also announced that his army was training crews with the Russians for planes carrying nuclear charges.
With the Russians, we are training crews capable of flying aircraft that carry these specific payloads
,” he said.
It is not a threat to anyone
,” added the head of state, still according to Tass, but “
we must secure the Belarusian state