“Dictator Lukashenko is also moving the Belarusian army towards the Ukrainian border 60 km north of the boundary of Rivne Oblast,” Julian Ropcke said on his Tweeter account.
Images released on March 31 by Julian Ropcke show large amounts of Belarus’ military hardware, including BTR-80 armored troop carriers and military trucks heading south towards Ukraine’s border.
Photos of the military convoy were shot on Wednesday, March 31, near Logishin, Belarus.
Ukraine’s military commander-in-chief Ruslan Khomchak, in his speech delivered to Parliament a day earlier, said that Russia had been building up armed forces in its areas bordering Ukraine, thus aggravating its threat to the country’s security.
Khomchak accused Moscow-backed separatist rebels of systematically violating a ceasefire in the Donbas warzone agreed in July 2020.
Ukraine and Russia have traded blame for a surge in violence in the conflict, which Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.
Government forces and pro-Russian separatists accuse each other of breaching the ceasefire, and lawmakers say 26 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed so far this year, including four killed in a sniper fire attack late in March.
Khomchak said Russian troops from different regions had been assembling near the borders of Ukraine under the guise of maintaining combat readiness and preparing for exercises, "carrнing out a gradual build-up of troops near the state border of Ukraine".
"An additional concentration of up to 25 tactical groups is expected, which, together with the already deployed forces near the state border of Ukraine, poses a threat to the military security of the state," Khomchak said.
He added that Moscow holds 32,700 troops in Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, while its officers command 28,000 separatist servicemen stationed in temporarily occupied territories in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine, Western countries and NATO accuse Russia of sending troops and heavy weapons to prop up separatists. Moscow says it only provides political and humanitarian support to the rebels and says Russians fighting in Ukraine are volunteers.