Rebel forces in Belarus, a key Russian ally, have partially severed a railway connection between the country and Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in its daily operational report on Wednesday, signaling opposition against Russia’s invasion among Belarusian citizens and some members of its military.
File photo of an abandoned railway line in the Chernobyl zone close to the Ukraine-Belarus border … [+] crossing.
In its daily update shared on Facebook, the General Staff of the Ukrainian military said the railway connection was partially removed by “opposition forces and caring citizens” who condemn the use of Belarusian territory for Russia’s ongoing invasion.
The Ukrainian general staff noted that more Russian and Belarusian military equipment was being accumulated along the Ukrainian border, echoing earlier reports that Belarusian forces may join Russia’s invasion.
The update notes that Ukrainian forces continue to defend the besieged southern city of Mariupol and the northern city of Chernihiv to tie down Russia’s advance into Kyiv.
The update claims that Russian forces storming Mariupol appear to be severely demoralized with “less than 10% of the personnel ready to continue the war,” a claim that has not been verified by other sources.
The extent of the damage is unclear but functional railway networks would have allowed Russia to rapidly deploy military equipment and supplies into Ukraine and such acts of sabotage could further worsen the Russian military’s logistical woes. The U.S. and NATO have warned that the Belarusian military could soon join Russia’s invasion. At present, Russia has only used Belarus as a staging ground for its offensive into northern Ukraine, including its advance of the capital city of Kyiv. Belarus also announced changes to its constitution last month to allow the country to permanently host both Russian forces and nuclear weapons. Despite this, Belarus has not actively contributed any of its troops to the invasion so far.
Belarus is the only country that is directly supporting Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine by allowing its territory to be used as a launch pad for Russian forces trying to assault Kyiv.
Belarusian military could ‘soon’ join war in Ukraine, US and NATO officials say (CNN)
Lukashenko is dragging Belarus closer to a war that most of its citizens don’t want (The Guardian)