Belarus claims to have shot down Ukrainian missiles

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has accused Oekraïne of firing missiles at military facilities on his country’s territory.

He said the missiles were intercepted by Belarusian air defense systems earlier this week.
Without providing any evidence of the alleged attack, Lukashenkoa close ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putincalled the act aprovocation”.
    “Dank die Here, the Pantsir anti-aircraft systems managed to intercept all the missiles launched by the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Lukashenko said in comments that appeared on his presidential website on Saturday and were also published by state-run news agency Belta.
      He added that there were no soldiers from Belarus currently fighting in Ukraine.
        The Ukrainian military did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment on Lukashenko’s claims.

        One of Russia’s closest allies

          Formerly under Soviet control until declaring its sovereignty in 1990, Belarus remains one of Russia’s closest allies and has played a key role in its invasion of Ukrainedespite Lukashenko saying previously his country wasbeing draggedinto the war.
          Russian troops launched the invasion on February 24 crossing into Ukraine from Belarus after months amassing along Ukraine’s border. In the first days of the assault, Russian Tu-22Backfirebombers used Belarusian airspace to launch coordinated cruise missile attacks on targets within Ukraine, and NATO officials told CNN in March dat die “vast majorityof Russian air operations in Ukraine are launched from Belarus.
          As recently as last week, six RussianBackfirebombers flying over Belarusian airspace launched 12 Kh-22 cruise missiles which hit targets in Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy Oblast, according to Ukraine’s Air Force Command.
          Russian President Putin has said that sanctions andunprecedented political and social pressurefrom the West are speeding up his country’s reunification plans with Belarus.
          Intussen, the governor of the Russian city of Belgorodwhich lies near to the Ukrainian bordersaid at least three people had been killed and dozens of residential buildings damaged by explosions early on Sunday morning.
          Among the injured were a 10-year-old child, Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a Telegram post.
          The blast also destroyed five houses and damaged 11 apartment buildings and 34 private residential houses, hy het gesê.
          Gladkov said the cause of the explosions was being investigated and that the region’s air defense systems had “vermoedelik” gewerk het.
            Russian officials have repeatedly accused Ukraine of mounting cross border attacksusually on fuel depots and military installationsclaims Ukrainian government agencies say are intended to stokeanti-Ukrainian sentiment.
            Ukrainian officials have yet to comment on reports of the blasts.

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