Ukraine war ‘second front’ as Putin moves to store nukes in Belarus
The world should prepare for a “second front” to open up in the Ukraine war as Vladimir Putin moves to store nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Russia’s president claimed he agreed with Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko to station tactical nuclear warheads on its territory.
Ukraine has accused the Kremlin of “nuclear blackmail” and demanded an emergency meeting of the UN security council.
Now Ukrainian politician David Arakhamia has warned the world to “be prepared”.
He said his nation is anticipating a “second front” emerging along the border with Belarus to the north.
Arakhamia, a key member of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People Party, told Sky News: “We treat this more like a threat right now. We don’t believe it’s going to be in reality.
“[But] we learned during this year. Everybody did not believe that Russia would invade [Ukraine on a] large scale but they did.
“The whole world has to be prepared. I think that if they really will be serious about it. I think we are facing a real challenge to have a second front opened.”
Arakhamia said the border between Ukraine and Belarus ran for over 1,000km along the northern frontier of Ukrainian territory. It is close to the capital Kyiv which is situated in the north of the country.
Speaking to Kay Burley, he said it would be “a real challenge to get even more people to conscript into the army.
“We will need at least eight more brigades to control this front line”.
The nuclear option
If Russia moves nuclear weapons into Belarus, it will be the first time it has stored warheads on foreign soil since 1996, when its arsenal returned home after the Soviet Union break-up.
Putin claimed Lukashenko – Belarus’ first and only president, who calls himself ‘Europe’s last dictator’ – had been requesting Russian weapons for a long time, and suggested the move was in response to the UK opting to give Ukraine ammunition containing depleted uranium.
It comes as members of Kyiv’s armed forces return home from UK army bases where they have been training to fight in British-made Challenger 2 tanks to oust the Kremlin’s invaders.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the Ukrainian soldiers “return to their homeland better equipped, but to no less danger”.