Belarus blames Ukraine for downed missile, Kyiv suggests Russian ‘provocation’ – POLITICO

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KYIV – Belarus summoned Ukraine’s ambassador on Thursday after Minsk said its neighbor had shot down a Ukrainian missile that had strayed across the border. Meanwhile, Kyiv said it suspects that Russia is creating “provocations” amid the ongoing war.

The Ministry of Defense of Belarus said that an S-300 air-to-air missile was shot down in the village of Gorbakha in the Brest region of northern Ukraine. Debris was found in an agricultural field near the village.

“The destruction was caused by an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system from the territory of Ukraine,” the Belarusian ministry said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wants Ukraine to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the bombing, calling for the introduction of judicial authorities, and for measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

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“This can lead to catastrophic consequences for everyone,” Anatoly Glaz, a spokesman for Belarus’ foreign ministry, said, according to Radio Liberty.

The bombing report came amid a spate of Russian attacks on Ukraine on Thursday, with 69 bombings, causing deaths and devastation across the country. Ukrainian Air Defense Forces successfully shot down 54 missiles.

Ukrainian security officials did not confirm or deny the Belarusian report, but said they suspected “provocation” by Moscow.

“Ukraine is aware of the Kremlin’s strong and serious efforts to involve Belarus in its war of aggression against Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.

“In this regard, the Ukrainians do not exclude the provocation of the terrorist state of Russia, which has laid such a path for its naval missiles to provoke their blockade in the airspace in the territory of Belarus.”

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He added that Ukraine is ready to investigate the incident.

“Ukraine is ready to invite competent experts from states that are not associated with supporting the terrorist state of Russia in any form to participate in such an investigation,” Ukrainian security officials said.

Since the beginning of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Belarus has been offering its territory and military bases for Russia’s use in the war against Ukraine.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko | Pool photo by Dmitry Astakhov from Getty Images

During the Belarus Security Council meeting in October, the leader Alexander Lukashenko admitted that his country is participating in Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, he added that Belarusians did not kill anyone there.

“We are participating to prevent the spread of this conflict in the territory of Belarus, firstly. Second, to prevent the invasion of Belarus under the cover of the special military operations of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia,” said Lukashenko. “No one is going to shoot the Russians and Belarusians in the back. This is our share.”

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Experts, including a think tank from the United States Institute for the Study of War, have said that it is unlikely that Belarus could attack Ukraine in the near future. However, the Kremlin continues to use this as a threat and information war against Ukraine.

“Belarus’ intervention in Ukraine, again, will not be able to do more than draw Ukrainian troops away from other parts of the theater for a short period of time to give them a very good combat power in Minsk,” said observers. opinion wrote in the survey earlier this month. .


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