PUTIN IN BELARUS FOR TALKS AMID FEARS OF POSSIBLE NEW ASSAULT ON UKRAINE
Dec 19, 2022
By Bob Komsic
Russia’s Vladimir Putin visited Minsk along with his foreign and defence ministers, raising fears in Ukraine he plans to pressure Belarus to join a new ground offensive.
It was Putin’s first trip to see President Alexander Lukashenko since 2019, before pro-democracy protests the following year that Lukashenko crushed with support from Moscow.
A spokesperson for the Kremlin says Belarus was Russia’s ”No. 1 ally,” but Dmitry Peskov adds suggestions Moscow intends to pressure Minsk into joining what it considers its ”special military operation” were ”stupid and unfounded fabrications.”
Ukraine’s top general has recently said Russia was preparing 200,000 fresh troops for a major offensive that could come from the east, south or even from Belarus as early as January, but more likely in the spring.