Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko says his military is not taking part in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Kyiv says Moscow’s troops are entering the country from Belarusian territory.
“Our armed forces are not taking part in this operation,” says Lukashenko, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow has stationed tens of thousands of troops in Belarus.
Ukraine’s border guards say their country is coming under artillery attack along its northern border with Russia and Belarus.
Minsk says Putin called Lukashenko early this morning to inform him that Moscow was launching a military operation on Ukraine. After meeting his army chiefs, Lukashenko says Putin informed him about the “development” of the situation in the call.
He says the Russian leader told him the “aim” of the operation was to “stop the genocide of the people in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.”
He also says he “personally suggested” to Putin that “a number of the Russian armed forces” stay in the south of the country despite joint military drills coming to an end.