“The transfer of nuclear weapons has started,” Lukashenko said in response to a journalist, in a video on the unofficial channel of the Belarusian presidency on Telegram.
Moscow announced in March that it would deploy “tactical” nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus, fueling fears of an escalation in the conflict in Ukraine and drawing criticism from the international community, especially from Western powers.
“This not only endangers the lives of Belarusians, but also creates a threat to Ukraine and the whole of Europe,” the Belarusian opposition leader in exile said on Twitter on Thursday. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
Relay in Bakhmut
The announcement came the same day that the Russian Wagner paramilitary group began handing over to the Russian army its positions in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which it claims to have conquered after months of fierce fighting.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar said Wagner’s troops ceded positions to Russian regular troops “on the outskirts of Bakhmut” but remain in the city.
Maliar further claimed that Ukrainian soldiers still control a southwestern suburb of Bakhmut.
The head of WagnerYevgeny Prigozhin admitted on Wednesday that some 10,000 of the 50,000 inmates conscripted into Russian jails died in Ukraine, where they were in the front line in the battle of Bakhmut.
This relief occurs at a time when the Russian army is in difficulties on the flanks of Bakhmut. According to kyiv, Russian troops lost 20 km2 north and south of the devastated eastern Ukrainian city.
Fighters from Ukraine also penetrated Russia’s Belgorod region on Monday and Tuesday, once again highlighting the plight of Russian forces.
The operation was claimed by two Russian groups fighting on the Ukrainian side, whose leaders have been identified as figures in the far-right Russian nebula.
These maneuvers and proclamations in the framework of conjectures about an imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive to recover territories taken by Russian troops since the beginning of the conflict, in February 2022.