Belarusian band together to defend Ukraine and warn their country's troops

Belarusian group

Belarusian band together to defend Ukraine and warn their country's troops, assembled along the northern border, to stay home or join their side in the 'freedom struggle.'

Belarusian exiles formed the first foreign fighters to take up arms for Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a new international brigade to join their war against Russia.

They created a particular unit in the Ukrainian army fighting to defend Kyiv's capital after dozens of Belarusians flocked to the country to join the battle.

Their leaders warned Belarusian forces massed on Ukraine's northern border to either stay home or join their side to "fight for freedom" against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ally Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk.

Lukashenko hosted the Russian invasion forces and allowed his land to launch missiles. The veteran dictator has become dependent on Putin since he crushed pro-democracy protests after a disputed presidential election two years ago.

Some opponents have fled to Ukraine - but after warnings from US defense officials, there are fears that Lukashenko will send his troops across the border to fight alongside Putin's armed forces despite the dictator's categorical denials on Friday.

Now Yan Melnikov, who is fighting for the Vasylkiv airfield near Kyiv, has announced that he heads the first foreign volunteers in the Ukrainian Armed Forces with more than 50 recruits from his country.

"We urge every Belarusian who has the desire to fight side by side with the Ukrainians for the common ideals of freedom and the value of sovereignty to join us," he said in a video released by the Azov Nationalist Battalion.

Seven other armed Belarusian fighters surrounded him. There have been social media suggestions that people fighting Lukashenko's regime sabotaged rail and telephone communications to thwart the war effort.

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