Aleksandr Lukashenko has announced the invasion of Russian army units into Ukraine through the Belarusian border. During an interview with journalist Diana Panchenko, Lukashenko said that Russian troops had crossed the border near the Chernobyl zone.
“Yes, from the territory of Belarus some units [of the Russian Armed Forces] crossed the Ukrainian border. <…> Why Russian troops crossed the border of Belarus and Ukraine in the area of the Chernobyl region – ask [Ukrainian President] Zelenskyy”, the Belarusian president claimed.
The issue of Belarus’ involvement in the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine has been raised since the beginning of the invasion. From the first days of the war, there was evidence that the Russian army was also fighting from the territory of Belarus. Evidence of the presence of hostilities and troop movements through the territory of Belarus appeared from the first days of the military operation.
Commander-in-Chief of the AFU Valery Zaluzhnyy reported about the launch of four ballistic missiles from the territory of Belarus on the first day of the invasion, February 24, 2022. Russian troops entered the zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant from there, Deputy Interior Minister of Ukraine Anton Herashchenko said.
Lukashenko denied his country’s participation in the military actions and emphasized that the Belarusian military was not taking an active role in the Kremlin’s operation.
“Here I read: ‘At about five in the morning, the Ukrainian state border in the section of Russia and Belarus was attacked by Russian troops supported by Belarus’. The scum are extreme! Our troops take no part in this operation”, Lukashenko emphasized. In October 2022, he said that Belarus was taking part in a “special military operation in Ukraine” but without strikes and attacks on the armed forces.
In July 2022, the Belarusian president acknowledged that the Russian military was launching missile strikes on Ukraine from his country’s territory. He said “not a single Russian serviceman has come” to Belarus without his invitation or permission. “Therefore, they are all there with my consent. This is the function of the president. No serviceman – intelligence, counterintelligence and others – can be here without my knowledge”, he assured.