According to Lukashenka, Minsk cannot allow the “Poles to encircle”. Because of this, ten armed units were deployed along the western and southern borders of Belarus
Belarusian armed forces were deployed near the western and southern borders of the country due to fears of actions from Poland. This was stated by the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, whose words are quoted by the state agency “BelTA”.
“We see it. Therefore, I have to keep the armed forces on the alert in the West, and in the south. I lined up ten divisions along the border behind the back of the border guards, so as not to get into Belarus. And there were such thoughts, — said the Belarusian president at a meeting with employees of JSC “Belshina” in Bobruisk.
He noted that Minsk would respond to “Poland's desire to get Western Ukraine.” “Here we have to react. Because we cannot allow the Poles to surround us in general. This is a dangerous option. And I once said: the Ukrainians will also ask us with the Russians so that we can help them maintain integrity. So that they don’t chop off, & mdash; Lukashenka added.
In May, the Belarusian armed forces underwent a test of the reaction forces: the military checked samples of weapons, military and special equipment for the implementation of a “control run during marches of various lengths.” Military units and subunits practiced putting on alert, marching to designated areas and performing combat training tasks.
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense assured that such a check “does not pose a threat either to the European community or to neighboring countries,” but it is necessary to assess the readiness of personnel to quickly respond to a possible crisis situation, including in unfamiliar terrain and in rapidly changing conditions. The first stage of the verification started on May 4, the second— May 23.
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On May 26, Lukashenka announced the creation of a new operational command in the armed forces— in the southern, Ukrainian direction. Then the Belarusian leader said that Minsk expects pressure from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, in particular with the help of NATO troops stationed there, as well as by maintaining the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine. According to Lukashenko, “battalions of tactical groups and other units” were sent to the south of Belarus as part of the rotation of the armed forces.
The next day, May 27, the head of the country's Ministry of Defense, Viktor Khrenin, announced his intention to form a people's militia to “increase by several times” the number of “defenders of the motherland”.
The threat from Poland to western Ukraine was also discussed in Russia. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country in 2014, made a statement on May 27 about the danger of the complete destruction of Ukraine's statehood due to “a situational rapprochement between [Kyiv] and Poland,” which “threatens a situation where Ukraine will be forced to actually merge with her. The reason for such a merger, Yanukovych believes, could be “the threat of [Ukraine's] economic failure to defend sovereignty.”
After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the fall of 1918, the conflict between Poles and Ukrainians escalated in the territory of Galicia (corresponding to the territories of modern Ivano-Frankivsk, Lvov, Ternopil regions of Ukraine, as well as the south of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship of Poland). The fighting went between the forces of the Polish Republic and the Western Ukrainian People's Republic, including for Lviv. At the beginning of 1919, an Entente peacekeeping mission was sent to the city in order to establish a line of demarcation between the warring parties and end the conflict. She was able to achieve a temporary truce, but later hostilities resumed. Active clashes began in November 1918 and ended in the summer of 1919 after the intervention of Romania.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev suggested on May 31 that Poland was already beginning to “take over” western territories of Ukraine. “Apparently, Poland is already moving to actions to seize the western Ukrainian territories,” — Patrushev said, noting that the West has “special plans”; into Ukrainian territories.
In late April, the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, announced the development in Washington and Warsaw of a plan to establish Poland's control over its “historical possessions”; in Ukraine. Referring to “information received by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service”, Naryshkin said that the United States and Poland intend to establish “tight military-political control” over certain territories of Ukraine. The first stage in the implementation of this plan, according to the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, will be the entry of Polish and other foreign troops into the western part of Ukraine.
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