Ukraine has the right to retaliate against missile strikes from Belarus, Tsikhanouskaya says
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (Photo:Christoph Soeder/Pool via REUTERS)
If Russia continues to launch missiles at Ukraine from the territory of Belarus, Kyiv has the right to respond militarily, Belarusian president-elect Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said in an interview with Ukrainian news outlet Ukrainska Pravda on Nov. 3.
“I understand that if the missiles are launched from the territory of Belarus again, the Ukrainians and Ukraine have the right to attack in response,” she said.
“That is why our task is to prevent Belarusian troops from invading Ukraine.”
Tsikhanouskaya stressed that the regime of Belarusian self-proclaimed President Alexander Lukashenko became a co-belligerent in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
She also noted that Belarusians are helping Ukrainians who were forced to leave the country, “with what little means they have,” adding that Belarusians are very proud of their fellow citizens, who – together with Ukrainians – help Ukraine defend itself from the Russian aggression.
According to Tsikhanouskaya, Russian and Belarusian propaganda is making a great effort to sow discord between Ukrainians and Belarusians.
"...Do you think we aren’t hurt and ashamed because the attacks came from the territory of Belarus?” said the president-elect.
“There are so many victims of these missiles, flying from the territory of Belarus. Of course we are ashamed. And we understand that we didn't push it to end in 2020 (during mass protests in Belarus). We could say that we had very little outside support. But this is also our fault, and we feel guilty. But you can't go far on guilt alone. We must learn to communicate, learn to share our pain. The most important thing right now is to not divide our nations, so that we don’t become enemies to each other."
Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksiy Gromov previously said that Russian troops could prepare a strike group for a second attack on Ukraine from Belarus, even if that could only be done in two-three months at the earliest.
Head of the Ukraine’s Military Intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said that there was no threat of a new invasion of Ukraine from the territory of Belarus right now, but the situation could change “very quickly” after the liberation of Kherson.
On Oct. 10, Lukashenko announced that Belarus will host a joint “grouping of forces,” comprised of both Russian and Belarusian troops.
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