Belarus is dealing with Wagner threats at its border

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The Belarusian authorities announced Monday that they had discussed threats and challenges on the country’s borders bordering Ukraine and Poland with Wagner Group, which moved into exile after its aborted coup in Russia.

Belarusian Interior Minister Ivan Kubrakov met Wagner commanders at a training center and developed with them a clear action plan for training the Belarusian forces.

“Given the difficult situation near the republic’s borders, it’s of the utmost importance that we are ready to respond to possible challenges and threats,” Kubrakov was quoted as saying by the Interior Ministry’s statement.

Kubrakov praised the practical experience of Wagner fighters, who participated, especially for months, in the long-term and bloody battle in Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

Belarus, Moscow’s ally, isn’t directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, but the Russian army used its territory and airports as rear bases to attack Kiev in 2022.

Last June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered the deployment of reinforcements at the border with Belarus, after announcing Wagner’s transfer to the country.

Belarus regularly accuses Poland of provocations at their common border.

Warsaw considered that the presence of Wagner Group in Belarus constituted a potential threat to neighboring countries, and expressed its intention to strengthen its eastern wing.

At the end of the week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko assured his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, of keeping Wagner in the center of the country and regulating the situation.

Lukashenko said that Wagner is asking to turn west, asking me for permission to go on a trip to Warsaw, to Rzeszow, in Poland), adding, “But of course, I keep them in central Belarus, as we agreed”.

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