Lukashenko says he decided Belarus should take part in attack on Ukraine ‘long ago’

Lukashenko said he decided that Belarus should take part in Russia's war
The self-proclaimed President of Belarus was speaking at a ceremony marking Belarus' Independence Day, Belarus' state news agency BELTA reported on July 3.
"We are the only country that supports the Russians in this fight," said Lukashenko.
"Those who blame us, didn't you know that we have the closest alliance with the Russian Federation? With them we are building a single, powerful, independent state – the union state. With two independent peoples joined in union. Didn't they know that in the Union of Belarus and Russia we have long created a single group of armed forces? Almost a unified army. You knew all this, so why are you blaming us today? We have been and will be with fraternal Russia. Our participation in the 'special operation' (the Kremlin's term for the full-scale invasion and war against Ukraine) was decided by me a long time ago.”
Lukashenko said that on the first day of Russia's attack on Ukraine, he said that Belarusians "won't let anyone shoot a Russian in the back." He said the Belarusians had "taken up defenses from the Brest Fortress to the southern borders to protect the Russians from an ambush by NATO troops".
Lukashenko said he believes NATO has increased the number of forces in Eastern Europe "tenfold... for combat." And Belarus, according to him, must "stand ... and win".
Also Read: Finland Ready to Fight Russia in Case of Attack, Says Defense Chief
There has never been such an increase in NATO troop numbers in Europe.
The day before, Lukashenko had accused Ukraine of trying to attack military installations in Belarus without any evidence.
He also stated that he had ordered his military to "target" the decision-making centers in the Minsk opponents' capitals.
At the same time, Lukashenko said that Minsk "does not want to fight Ukraine" and that "a bad peace is better than a good war".
Also Read: Zelenskyy Tells Belarusians They Are Being Drawn Into Russia's War Against Ukraine
Threat of invasion from Belarus: what is known
In recent days, it has been reported by Ukrainian officials that Russia is preparing provocations to draw Belarus into its war against Ukraine.
In addition, according to intelligence services, the Russian Federation is again increasing its military presence in Belarus, including through the use of combat aircraft.
This has prompted the Ukrainian command to reinforce the border with Belarus and deploy part of the army in the adjacent oblasts.
Belarus has been conducting mass military exercises since the beginning of June, practicing the “transition from peacetime to wartime”. On July 1, it was reported that the exercises of the Belarusian armed forces at the country's military training areas were again extended. They will reportedly last until at least July 9th.
Also read: Belarus sends mass draft notices
Lukashenko regularly threatens to intervene directly in Russia's war against Ukraine. The dictator has said, among other things, that Belarus "will have to fight for the western regions of Ukraine." He also said that "what is happening in Ukraine is just the beginning" and is said to be "one of the elements of a great world transformation".
He has threatened Ukraine with "immediate" retaliation in response to threats from Ukraine.
There is no evidence that Ukraine is or poses a military threat to Belarus.
Also Read: Lukashenko Regime Responsible for Attacks on Ukraine, Not People of Belarus - Tsikhanouskaya
British intelligence believes Lukashenko is balancing support for Russia's war against Ukraine and a desire to avoid direct military involvement with the risk of Western sanctions, Ukrainian retaliation and potential discontent in the Belarusian armed forces.
Despite the fact that the Belarusian army does not directly participate in the war against Ukraine, at the beginning of the large-scale invasion of Russia, the territory of Belarus was used as a springboard for the offensive of the Russian military and Russian equipment into northern Ukraine.
Russia continues to fire missiles into Ukraine from the territory of Belarus, and Russian multiple-missile launch systems are deployed on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. In addition, Russian aircraft fire missiles at Ukraine from Belarusian airspace. Russia also uses Belarusian airfields to base its military aircraft.
Alexander Lukashenko
President of Belarus since 1994

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