In response to the influx of Wagner Group mercenaries into Belarus, Ukraine’s military is reinforcing the state border with its Moscow-allied neighbor, Serhiy Nayev, Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Telegram post on July 19.
“We are aware that Wagner mercenaries have been entering Belarus recently,” said Nayev.
“However, we are already responding and making the Ukrainian state border (with Belarus) utterly impassable for enemy forces.”
He noted that over 40 kilometers of anti-tank trenches have been dug in the Chernihiv Oblast, in just one direction towards Belarus. In addition, more than 30,000 various types of mine traps have been set up to incapacitate a potential invasion force.
Nayev also revealed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have fortified sections of the state border with non-explosive and explosive obstacles, designed to catch the enemy off guard.
"If they dare to defile Ukrainian soil with their dirty boots, they will meet their deaths," he concluded.
On July 14, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported that Russia had withdrawn almost all of its military personnel from Belarus.
On July 18, CNN reported the arrival of the first column of Wagner troops at an abandoned military base in Belarus, with at least two more columns en route.
Following the June 24 Wagner mutiny, the Kremlin announced that the mercenary force will be either folded into the regular Russian army or redeployed to Belarus.
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