Belarus says surprise army drills no threat to neighbors

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The armed forces of Belarus began sudden large-scale drills on Wednesday to test their combat readiness, the defense ministry of Ukraine’s neighbor said.

“It is planned that the (combat readiness) test will involve the movement of significant numbers of military vehicles, which can slow down traffic on public roads,” the Belarusian ministry said in a statement.

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Against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ministry said the exercise posed no threat to its neighbors or the European community in general.

Belarus is a close ally of Russia. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation.”

Areas of Ukraine adjacent to Belarus, including its capital Kyiv, came under Russian assault in the initial stage of the invasion which began in late February and followed joint drills held by Russia and Belarus.

Now, however, Russia has focused its attacks on Ukraine’s eastern and southeastern regions.

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