Russia-Belarus joint military drills spark fears of new offensive


DNIPRO: Russia and Belarus began common military exercises on Monday, driving fears in Kyiv and the West that Moscow could use its supporter to launch a new ground descent in Ukraine.

The two abettors will conduct air force drills from Jan 16 to Feb 1 using all Belarus service fields and began common army exercises involving a “mechanised squad branch” on Monday, the Belarusian defence ministry said. Minsk says the air drills are protective and it’ll not enter the war.

Russia had used its neighbour Belarus as a springboard for its irruption of Ukraine last February.

In his address after the Dnipro strike, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western abettors to supply further munitions to end “Russian terror” and attacks on mercenary targets. Britain followed France and Poland with pledges of farther munitions, saying it would shoot 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks as well as other advanced ordnance support in coming weeks.

The first despatch of Western- made tanks to Ukraine is being viewed by Moscow as escalation of the conflict.

The Russian Embassy in London said the tanks would drag out the battle.

On the other hand, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday prompted Germany to shoot Ukraine the artillery it demanded to take the fight to overrunning Russian dogfaces, lacing a speech in Berlin with implicit examens of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government.

Speaking at a fete marking conservative former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble’s half- century in congress, Morawiecki said Europe’s collaborative heart would be burdened if it didn’t help Ukraine more. “I call for decisive conduct by the German government,” he said.

“The battle for freedom and our future is raging as we speak. Tanks mustn’t be left in warehouses, but placed in their hands.”

Germany has come under pressure from abettors to allow the use of German- erected Leopards in Ukraine. Eastern and central European Nato abettors substantially calculate on German- erected Leopards, seen as the Western tanks most suited to forming the core of a new Ukrainian armoured force.

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