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Thursday, April 18, 2024

After Russian drones attacked Kiev, Vladimir Putin has arrived in Belarus, a country that is a NATO ally

Kyiv’s suspicions that Russian President Vladimir Putin intended to urge his former Soviet ally Belarus to join a new ground attack that would create a new front against Ukraine were fanned by Putin’s visit to Belarus on Monday, which was also attended by the Russian defence and foreign ministries.

Since entering Ukraine, Putin’s soldiers have been defeated in the country’s north, northeast, and south; as a result, the Russian leader is taking a more visible role in the conflict. On Friday, he went to the headquarters of his operation to consult with the military officers there.

His journey to Belarus for discussions with President Alexander Lukashenko took place at the same time that Russia conducted a drone strike that destroyed important infrastructure in and around Kyiv.

The Ukrainian Air Force has stated that its air defences were successful in shooting down 30 drones during the latest Russian air attack on the capital of Ukraine. This attack is the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted the Ukrainian power grid since October, resulting in widespread blackouts despite the fact that temperatures have been below freezing.

According to the officials, at least three individuals were injured and nine structures were destroyed in the area around Kyiv.

In Belarus, a close friend of the Kremlin that Moscow’s soldiers used as a launch pad for their failed assault on Kyiv in February, there has been continual Russian and Belarusian military action over the last several months. This activity has been ongoing.

But this is Putin’s first trip to Minsk since 2019, which was before the Covid-19 outbreak and a wave of pro-democracy rallies in 2020 that Lukashenko suppressed with considerable help from the Kremlin. During this visit, Putin is expected to meet with Lukashenko.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, has said to Russian news agencies that Belarus is Russia’s “number one ally.” However, he has also stated that accusations Moscow seeks to compel Minsk into joining what it terms its “special military operation” are “stupid and unjustified fabrications.”

General Valery Zaluzhniy, the top general in Ukraine, told the Economist last week that Russia was preparing 200,000 new troops for a major offensive that could come from the east, the south, or even from Belarus as early as January, but more likely in the spring. This major offensive could come from any of these directions.

Both Moscow and Minsk have established a combined military unit in Belarus and have participated in a number of joint drills there. The previous week saw the deployment of four Russian aeroplanes and one airborne early warning and control aircraft to the Belarusian territory.

However, Lukashenko, who is considered a pariah in the West and who primarily depends on Moscow for assistance, has said on several occasions that Belarus would not participate in the conflict in Ukraine. The deployment of Belarusian military, according to officials from other countries, would be very controversial at home.

Already, sanctions imposed by the West have made it difficult for Belarus to carry potash fertilisers, the country’s primary export, through ports in the Baltic.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions more have been forced to flee their homes, and whole towns have been reduced to rubble as a result of the fighting that has been going on in Ukraine for the last ten months.

As Russia makes efforts to advance in the Donetsk area of eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian President -said that his military forces were maintaining their position in the town of Bakhmut, which has been the site of the worst combat in a number of weeks.

He claimed that the battleground in Bakhmut was very important. Even though the occupants are doing all in their power to ensure that no undamaged wall is left intact, we still have authority over the town.

On Monday, Zelenskyy sent a request to a gathering of Western leaders taking place in Latvia, including the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, to provide a diverse array of weaponry.

utin portrays what he calls Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine as the moment when Moscow finally stood up to the Western bloc led by the United States, which was seeking to capitalise on the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 by destroying Russia. utin uses the phrase “special military operation” to refer to Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

Kyiv and the West believe that this assertion is absurd and that Putin has no justification for what they see as an imperial-style war of aggression that has put Russia in control of approximately one fifth of Ukraine.

Moscow said on Monday that Russian and Chinese armed forces will conduct cooperative naval operations in the East China Sea between the dates of December 21 and December 27. These drills would include the launching of missiles and artillery.

Despite the fact that these exercises have been carried out on a yearly basis since 2012, Moscow has made efforts in recent months to strengthen its political, security, and economic ties with Beijing. Moscow views Chinese President Xi Jinping as a key ally in an alliance that is directed against the West.

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