The two Tu-22M3 bombers practiced interaction with Belarusian air and air defense forces during the four-hour mission, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The flight followed some similar patrols over Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north.
The mission came as the Kremlin moved troops from Siberia and the Far East to Belarus to conduct joint exercises. The deployment has further increased Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine, stoking Western fears of a possible invasion.
Russia has rejected plans to attack neighboring Ukraine, but has called on the United States and its allies to make a binding commitment that they will not accept Ukraine’s accession to NATO or the deployment of offensive weapons and to reverse its deployment. alliance to Eastern Europe. Washington and NATO rejected the requests
The West has called on Russia to withdraw some 100,000 troops from areas near Ukraine, but the Kremlin has responded by saying it will station troops wherever it needs on Russian territory. As tensions over Ukraine mounted, the Russian military launched a series of war games that spread from the Arctic to the Black Sea.
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Russia’s military deployment to Belarus has raised concerns in the West that Moscow could launch an attack on Ukraine from the north. The capital of Ukraine is just 75 kilometers (50 miles) from the border with Belarus.
In recent months, Russia has conducted a series of joint exercises with Belarus and has repeatedly sent nuclear-capable long-range bombers to patrol the skies over its neighboring country, which shares borders with its neighboring countries. NATO members are Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Belarus’s dictator Alexander Lukashenko, who has become increasingly dependent on the Kremlin for political and financial support amid Western sanctions triggered by his campaign to crack down on protests in the country His office, has called for closer defense ties with Moscow and has recently offered to acquire Russia’s nuclear weapons.
As fears of war grew, Ukrainian authorities launched a series of drills for civilians to prepare for a possible Russian invasion.
“I came here to learn how to defend myself, protect my loved ones, and also understand how to act in this situation,” said Kyiv resident Ilya Goncharov after taking part in the drills on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital. “I’m glad I came here to learn the basics of self-defense and first aid.”
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Amid the standoff over Ukraine, US President Joe Biden sent 2,000 US troops to Poland and Germany and moved another 1,000 from Germany to Romania to demonstrate US commitment to NATO’s eastern flank.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled Moscow was ready for further negotiations with Washington and its NATO allies. As part of high-level diplomacy aimed at de-escalating tensions, French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Moscow and Kyiv on Monday and Tuesday, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Kyiv and Moscow on 14-15. / 2.
Amid tensions with the West, Putin on Friday attended the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing and met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to strengthen the two countries’ alliance. In a joint statement, Putin and Xi declared their opposition to any NATO expansion and asserted that the island of Taiwan is part of China.
Putin and Xi claim that relations between Moscow and Beijing are “beyond the political and military alliances of the Cold War” and that their friendship “has no bounds”.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8597535/russian-bombers-belarus-ukraine-crisis/ Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers to Belarus amid Ukraine stalemate – National