(UnitedVoice.com) – Russia’s pursuit of making Ukraine its own has not dulled at all in the last 18 months. The ongoing battle between the two countries, and the West’s support of Ukraine, has sparked concerns that it may eventually lead to another world war. Russia isn’t without its allies, though, and one of them is Belarus, a former Soviet nation. A recent incident between the country and Poland, a NATO member, has people worried.
Belarus Reportedly Violates Airspace
On Tuesday, August 1, Poland accused Belarus of violating its airspace while carrying out military drills. Warsaw announced that two helicopters crossed the border and condemned the action as “dangerous.” Social media accounts of citizens in the area seemingly confirm this, with some posting pictures of the violation on Facebook. The government initially reported that no such breach had taken place, but later reversed its stance, saying “the border crossing took place at very low altitude,” which made radar detection difficult,” according to Notes From Poland.
The Belarusian military has denied the allegations and accused Poland of trying to escalate tensions. In a statement on Telegram, the country’s defense ministry said Warsaw’s position changed “apparently after consulting its overseas masters,” a likely reference to the United States. It contends none of its Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters violated the airspace and that Poland’s data doesn’t support such a suggestion.
However, this isn’t the first time the two nations have conflicted. According to The Guardian, President Alexander Lukashenko has taunted Warsaw with the fact that Wagner Group mercenaries, which he offered a safe space in the face of a failed mutiny, are near its border. He says that Poland “should say thank you” to him for “holding on to” the fighters so they don’t make their way west.
Poland Deploys Troops
In response to the purported violation, Poland deployed troops and combat helicopters to the area. The country’s defense ministry said it also informed NATO of the incident and summoned Belarus’ chargé d’affaires for an explanation. The deployment of troops is in addition to the more than 1,000 that the country had already started moving.
Poland is also facing adversity from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who lobbed the accusation that the nation has designs on making Belarus its own. He threatened action should that happen. Lukashenko also reportedly joked with Putin that the Wagner mercenaries were looking to head into Warsaw or Rzeszów, which sits on Ukraine’s border. Many are currently inhabiting the Belarusian city of Grodno, which is near Poland’s border, according to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
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