The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) won’t allow Russian troops to reach Chernihiv in the event of a new invasion from Belarus, Commander of Ukraine’s Operational Command North, Major Gen. Viktor Nikolyuk, said in a Telegram post on Jan. 9.
Nikolyuk noted the situation on Ukraine’s northern border remains under control, and the AFU is ready to repel a potential second attempted Russian push towards Chernihiv and Kyiv.
“We are considering every scenario,” said Nikolyuk.
“But just as we defended Chernihiv before, we will defend it again. In simple terms: we won't even let the enemy reach Chernihiv.”
U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Dec. 23 that Moscow has been setting conditions for a renewed invasion of northern Ukraine – possibly aimed at Kyiv – since at least October 2022. However, there remains no evidence that Moscow is actively preparing a strike force in Belarus.
According to the State Border Service of Ukraine, there are currently around 10,000 Russian troops deployed in Belarus.
On Dec. 27, 2022, State Border Service spokesman Andriy Demchenko said that no enemy strike groups were being formed on the territory of Belarus.