Moscow and Minsk have denied Western allegations that the exercise was in preparation for an invasion of Ukraine. The Sukhoi Su-25SM fighter jets were flown 7,000 kilometers from the Primorsky Krai on the Sea of Japan to military airfields in the Brest region near the Polish border.
Meanwhile, the first US reinforcements that President Joe Biden was sending to Poland over the Ukraine crisis arrived in Belarus’ neighbor on Saturday. A plane had arrived near Rzeszow with a group of soldiers. More US soldiers landed yesterday. Poland’s Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said deterrence and solidarity are the best response to an “aggressive policy” by Russia.
US President Biden announced the increase to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank amid concentrations of Russian troops near Ukraine.
In the meantime, the Ukrainian army is practicing house-to-house warfare in the radioactive zone around the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant in view of concerns about a possible Russian invasion.
Exercise in the restricted area
Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj emphasized that this is the first major exercise in the exclusion zone. In a video, the agency showed the use of mortars and the advance of National Guardsmen with armored vehicles in the evacuated city of Pripyat.