Ukraine alert on borders as Putin leaves for Belarus

Ukraine alert on borders as Putin leaves for Belarus

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President Volodymyr Zelensky said protecting Ukraine’s borders was a “constant priority” and that his country was prepared for all possible scenarios with Russia and its ally Belarus, which Kyiv warned could be drawn into a 10-month conflict Could

Zelensky, in his nightly video address to Ukrainians, issued a fresh appeal to Western countries to provide Kyiv with better air defenses as one of the “most powerful” steps to deter Russian aggression.

Early on Monday, air raid warnings sounded again in Kyiv and eastern Ukraine, with videos of blasts and air defense systems being shared on social media.

“Defending our border – both with Russia and with Belarus – is our constant priority,” Zelensky said after a meeting with Ukraine’s top military command on Sunday. “We are preparing for all possible defense scenarios.”

Zelensky was speaking on the eve of a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Belarus, amid discussions of a possible new Russian offensive and suggestions that may arise in Belarus.

Officials in Kyiv have warned for months that Belarus could join Russian forces and serve as a launching pad for a new offensive to create a second front in the war.

Zelensky said that anything that could persuade Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to do anything for Russia “will not help him, like all other ill-conceived ideas in this war against Ukraine and Ukrainians.”

Belarus is one of Russia’s closest allies and allowed Lukashenko to use its country’s territory to invade Ukraine on 24 February. But he has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of sending his country’s military to Ukraine.

Kissinger asked for talks

Putin hailed Russia’s “special military operation” as a watershed moment, when Moscow finally stood up to a Western bloc led by the United States seeking to cash in on the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union by destroying Russia. was trying

Kyiv and the West say Putin has no justification for what they have decried as an imperial-style war of occupation that has resulted in Russia now controlling a fifth of Ukraine.

As Secretary of State in the 1970s, Henry Kissinger, an architect of Cold War policy toward the Soviet Union, stated that the time was coming for a negotiated peace.

Kissinger wrote in The Spectator magazine, “The time is coming to build on the strategic changes that have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure toward achieving peace through dialogue.”

Ukraine rejected the proposal, saying it amounted to appeasing the aggressor by sacrificing parts of Ukraine.

“All supporters of the Simple Solution must remember the obvious: any deal with the devil – a poor peace at the expense of Ukrainian territories – will be a victory for Putin and a recipe for success for autocrats around the world,” the Ukrainian president said. aide Mykhailo Podolić said on Telegram.

Kremlin officials were not available for comment late Sunday.

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