Ukraine says Russia preparing ‘missile attack’ from Belarus
While it is not the first time that Ukrainian officials have warned about a threat from the north, the statement took on added urgency after explosions on Tuesday at a Russian ammunition depot in Crimea, the second Russian military target on the peninsula to be hit by blasts in a week. Ukraine has not publicly claimed responsibility for the blasts — or the explosions last week at the Saki air base on Crimea — but a senior Ukrainian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that both had been orchestrated by the military.
Anton Geraschenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, tweeted on Wednesday that Russia had concentrated “a large number of surface-to-air missile systems” at Zyabrovka, including the S-400, one of Russia’s most advanced antiaircraft weapons. A spokesman for the Ukraine’s Air Force Command also emphasized the threat of a potential Russian attack from Belarus on Tuesday.
In the early stages of Russia’s invasion, President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus allowed Russian troops to use its territory to launch a ground operation to try to capture Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, although the effort ultimately failed. Since then, Russia has continued to use Belarus as a staging ground for bombardments. In late July, Ukraine said that 25 missiles had been fired by Russian forces in Belarus toward northern regions of Ukraine. This week, Ukraine’s Air Force said that Russian fighter jets had used Belarusian airspace to launch missiles against the northern city of Zhytomyr.