War games: Two paratroopers killed in parachute fall as Russia stages military show of strength in Belarus

War games Two paratroopers killed in parachute fall as Russia



EUROPE MIGRANTSBELARUS POLAND

Russia sent paratroopers to Belarus on Friday, in a show of support for its ally amid tensions over migrants and refugees amassing on the Belarus-Poland border, but two of the Russian soldiers were killed in a parachute accident.

he Russian Defence Ministry said that as part of joint war games, about 250 Russian paratroopers jumped from heavylift Il-76 transport planes into the Grodno region of Belarus, which borders Poland.

The ministry said in a statement later that the two paratroopers’ parachutes collided in a gust of wind and deflated. It noted that one of the soldiers tried to use a reserve chute but the altitude was too low for it to deploy. Both died of their injuries in a hospital.

The ministry said that the paratroopers who took part in the drills re-boarded the transport planes and flew back to Russia after the exercise.

The Belarusian military said the exercise involving a battalion of Russian paratroopers was intended to test the readiness of the allies’ rapid response forces due to an “increase of military activities near the Belarusian border.”

It said the drills that involved Belarusian air defence assets, helicopter gunships and other forces envisaged targeting enemy scouts and illegal armed formations, along with other tasks.

Earlier this week, Russia sent nuclear-capable strategic bombers on patrol missions over Belarus for two straight days. Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that the flights came in response to a massive buildup on the Polish-Belarusian border.

Russia has strongly supported Belarus amid a tense standoff this week as thousands of migrants and refugees, most of them from the Middle East, gathered on the Belarusian side of the border with Poland in hopes of crossing into the European Union.

Belarus said it sent some 2,000 migrants back to their countries as part of efforts to stop illegal migration, as Minsk faces accusations of encouraging the migrants to cross into Poland and Lithuania via its territory.

Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said Belarus had revoked the right of 30 tourist firms to invite migrants “just about a month ago”, according to transcript of a news conference published by his ministry.

“We have detained around 700 violators at the border. We have turned back around 2,000 people who came from other countries and did not have proper documents,” he said, without elaborating.

It was not clear whether those detained or turned back included any who arrived in Belarus in more recent weeks as the migrant crisis has rapidly escalated along the Belarusian borders with EU member states Poland and Lithuania.

The EU accuses Minsk of creating the crisis as part of a “hybrid attack” on the bloc – distributing Belarusian visas in the Middle East, flying in the migrants and pushing them to cross the border illegally.

Minsk denies the accusation.

Thousands of migrants from the Middle East are currently sheltering in freezing conditions in the woods on the border. Some have already died, including a 14-year-old boy who perished.

Belarus denies the allegations it is encouraging migrants but has said it will no longer stop refugees and migrants from trying to enter the EU.

The Belarusian Defence Ministry has accused Poland of an “unprecedented” military buildup on the border, saying that migration control did not warrant the concentration of 15,000 troops backed by tanks, air defense assets and other weapons.

“I’d like to warn hotheads not to overestimate their capabilities,” Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin said Friday. “Language of ultimatums, threats and blackmail is not acceptable. Belarus armed forces are ready to respond harshly to any attacks.”

Russia and Belarus have a union agreement envisaging close political and military ties. Lukashenko has stressed the need to boost military cooperation in the face of what he has described as aggressive actions by NATO allies.



Source link

Share:
Avatar of Bourbiza Mohamed

Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Jen Psaki says inflation impacting millions has become a political

Jen Psaki says inflation impacting millions has become a ‘political cudgel’

Aaron Rodgerss estranged father says hes PROUD of him for

Aaron Rodgers’s estranged father says he’s PROUD of him for refusing COVID-19 shot