Belarus Expected to Join Ukraine Invasion: Official

Country could send troops as soon as Monday, official says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 28, 2022 12:16 AM CST
Updated Feb 28, 2022 5:01 AM CST
Belarus Expected to Join Ukraine Invasion: Official
Ukrainian flags wave in Trafalgar Square as people descend to attend a protest, in London, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

A senior US intelligence official says Belarus is expected to send troops into Ukraine as soon as Monday to fight alongside Russian forces that invaded Ukraine last week, the AP reports. Belarus has been providing support for Russia’s war effort, but so far has not taken a direct part in the conflict. The American official has direct knowledge of current US intelligence assessments and says the decision by Belarus’ leader on whether to bring Belarus further into the war depends on talks between Russia and Ukraine happening in the coming days. The official spoke anonymously to discuss the sensitive information. Russian forces have encountered strong resistance from Ukraine defenders, and US officials say they believe the invasion has been more difficult, and slower, than the Kremlin envisioned, though that could change as Moscow adapts. More of the latest developments:

  • The two major bodies in the United Nations will hold separate meetings Monday on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The meetings of the 193-nation General Assembly and the more powerful 15-member Security Council reflect widespread demands for a ceasefire and escalating concern for the millions of Ukrainians caught up in the war. The Security Council gave a green light Sunday for the first emergency session of the General Assembly in decades.
  • Russia has apparently rendered Facebook largely unusable across leading Russian telecommunications providers amid rising friction between Moscow and the social media platform.
  • Asian stock prices have fallen after Western nations moved to tighten sanctions against Russia and as President Vladimir Putin escalated tensions by ordering Russian nuclear forces on high alert. US futures fell, with the contract for the S&P 500 down 2.5% early Monday. The stock markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai declined while Sydney was higher.
  • The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog says missiles have hit a radioactive waste disposal site in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, but there are no reports of damage to the buildings or indications of a release of radioactive material.
  • Australia will provide lethal military equipment to Ukraine, the government announced Monday. Canada will send an additional $25 million worth of defensive military equipment including helmets, body armor, gas masks, and night-vision gear. Germany will send 500 Stinger missiles and other weapons and supplies. And the US for the first time has approved the direct delivery of Stinger missiles to Ukraine as part of a package approved by the White House on Friday.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed during Russia’s invasion, including 14 children. It says an additional 1,684 people, including 116 children, have been wounded. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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