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Ukraine border force on alert at Belarus frontier for Russian assault

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Ukrainian forces stationed near the northern border with Belarus say they are preparing for a possible Russian assault from across the frontier.

Border guards stationed in the Chernihiv region are keeping a close eye on the border, braving intermittent Russian shelling.

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Spokesperson Halyna Shechovtsova told British broadcaster Sky that her unit was preparing fortifications due to the perceived increased risk.

A member of the guard, equipped with a British-made portable anti-tank missile system, told Sky his unit needed more weapons as they would be the “first line” of defense.

The Chernihiv region is located north of Kyiv and is bordered by both Russia and Belarus.

Horodnia, the nearest town to this double border, was captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February.

It returned to Ukrainian control after Moscow repositioned its forces towards the east and south a few months later.

Speaking to Sky, resident Nadia Polovetska said the ongoing war gave “no rest” to the town’s residents.

“Our nerves are completely shot,” she said.

Russia used Belarus as a staging ground for troops and weapons when it invaded Ukraine eight months ago.

Concerns persist that the authoritarian president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, might agree to send his own troops south into Ukraine.

Lukashenko has publicly supported Russia’s attack on Ukraine, drawing international criticism and sanctions against Minsk.

Still, he has repeatedly rebuffed speculation that Belarus would send its own soldiers to fight alongside Russia.

Earlier this month, however, authorities announced the establishment of a joint “regional grouping of troops” with Russia and said some 9,000 Russian soldiers would be stationed in Belarus.

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