KEY POINTS

  • Ukraine said cruise missiles that hit it Saturday were launched from Mozyr in Belarus
  • Belarus is said to have stationed over 4,000 soldiers on rotation at Ukraine's borders
  • Zelensky addressed Belarusians on Sunday, urging them to support Ukraine and not the war

A day after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Belarusians to support his country, reports have emerged that the Belarus government, led by its President Alexander Lukashenko, continues to provide military support to Russia.

Over 20 cars of ammunition have been sent to the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation from Minsk, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post. However, there are so far "no signs of the formation of enemy offensive groups" in the border regions of Volyn and Polissya.

This comes as Russians reportedly plan to increase the number of operational and tactical aircraft from Belarus. According to Ukraine authorities, missiles were launched at various regions in Ukraine, including Zhytomyr, Lviv and Rivne, killing over five people Saturday. The Russian bombers that launched the weapons were reportedly operating directly from the territory of Belarus.

Six Tu-22M3 aircraft were involved, and they launched 12 X-22 cruise missiles. The launch line is near Mozyr, which is approximately 50-60 kilometers from the state border of Ukraine, Radio Svoboda quoted the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Ukraine said these nightly missile strikes from the territory of Belarus were a "large-scale provocation" by Russia in order to involve Minsk as a direct participant in the war against Ukraine. Belarusian military is said to have stationed over 4,000 soldiers on a rotational basis near Ukraine's borders.

Meanwhile, Zelenskyy addressed Belarusians in the Russian language Sunday, claiming Belarus was being drawn into the war more actively than at the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that the Kremlin had already "decided everything."

"Your lives are worthless to them. But you are not slaves and not cannon fodder, you should not die. And you can not let anyone decide what awaits you next."

He expressed confidence that the people of Belarus support Ukraine, not the war. "And that is why the Russian leadership wants to involve you, all Belarusians, in the war. It wants to sow hatred between us. A lot depends on the common people of Belarus now. I know that you may not take part in this war. Your lives belong only to you, and not to someone in the Kremlin," Zelensky was quoted by Ukrainska Pravda.

He added that Ukraine would find Russian pilots, dispatchers, technicians, and other people involved in missile attacks on Kyiv. "We will find all of you, each of you will be responsible for these strikes. And if someone thinks he will evade responsibility by saying that this was an order, you are wrong. When your missiles hit residential buildings, it is a war crime. The court will be waiting for you. And you will not hide anywhere – neither on the shores of the Caspian Sea, over which your missiles are launched, nor in Belarus."

This handout photo from the Russian Defence Ministry on February 21, 2022, shows Russian and Belarus tanks during joint exercises of their armed forces near Brest, Belarus
This handout photo from the Russian Defence Ministry on February 21, 2022, shows Russian and Belarus tanks during joint exercises of their armed forces near Brest, Belarus Russian Defence Ministry via AFP
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