Belarus may be preparing to invade Ukraine as Ukraine’s military accused Russian aircraft of firing at Belarusian border villages from Ukrainian air space on Friday to provide an excuse for an offensive.
“This is a PROVOCATION! The goal is to involve the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus in the war with Ukraine!,” Ukraine’s Air Force Command said in an online statement.
The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Air Force Command’s statement.
The alleged attacks took place as Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko was meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, according to Ukraine’s State Centre for Strategic Communications.
The result of this meeting could be an attack by Belarus across Ukraine’s northern border, the center said in statement.
“According to preliminary data, Belarusian troops may be drawn into an invasion on March 11 at 21:00 (1900 GMT),” it said.
Ukrainian senior officials said Russia was doing everything possible to draw Belarus into the conflict, after failing in what Western countries say was an initial plan for a lightning assault on the capital.
“We also understand that the Belarusian government has been doing everything possible to avoid joining this war,” Ukrainian deputy interior minister Yevheniy Yenin said on national television on Friday.
There was no immediate comment on the allegations from Belarus.