On EU, Ukraine borders, Belarus special forces are ‘ready’
Paratroopers of the 38th Separate Guards Air Assault Brigade exercise on parachute jumps trainers in Brest – Copyright AFP Natalia KOLESNIKOVA
In reclusive Belarus, just a few kilometres from the EU frontier, special forces in the army of Kremlin ally Alexander Lukashenko are simulating forest combat while paratroopers nearby practise jumping from aircraft.
The strongman has ruled his ex-Soviet country with an iron fist for nearly three decades and for years flirted with the West before backing Russia’s intervention in Ukraine last year.
He allowed the Kremlin to use his country as a launching pad for its military operation against Kyiv last February and fears have been building since that his troops could also intervene.
“We are ready to fulfil any tasks, including the most difficult ones if we have to,” Vadim Lukashevich, deputy commander of the Special Operations Forces of Belarus, told AFP.
The troops outside the city of Brest were run