Putin-allied Belarus begins large-scale combat readiness drills

Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko Photo by MAXIM GUCHEK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images

Belarus, a nation closely allied to Russia, announced Wednesday that its military would engage in large-scale combat readiness drills, Reuters reported.

According to The Kyiv Independent, "local residents reported spotting columns of military vehicles moving in the direction of Ukraine and Lithuania."

The Independent reported that Ukraine's border guard is prepared for the possibility that Belarus could enter the war, but Belarus' defense ministry insisted in a statement the military exercises pose no threat to neighboring countries.

Ukraine is unlikely to face a Belarusian invasion force pushing south across the countries' shared border. Fighting in the areas of Ukraine that border Belarus stopped early last month when Russia withdrew its forces from around Kyiv. Any troops sent from Belarus would have to take a lengthy journey through Russia to reach the front in southern and eastern Ukraine.

A Belarusian attack on Lithuania, a NATO member, is even less likely.

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