NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Ukrainian officials warned on Sunday that the Belarusian military was preparing to invade at the onset of the fifth week since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces first descended on Ukraine last month.
In a statement shared to Facebook, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said there were signs that suggested the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus were preparing for a “direct invasion” of Ukrainian territory.
Belarus borders Ukraine to the north and was reportedly used as a staging area for Russian forces.
UKRAINIAN TEEN IN VIRAL TIKTOK FLEEING KYIV SAYS RUSSIANS CONVINCED ‘THE WAR ISN’T REAL’: ‘I WAS THERE’
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense issued a stern warning for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
“The direct involvement of Belarusian troops in the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, contrary to the will of the military and the vast majority of the Belarusian people, will become a fatal mistake of Alexander Lukashenko,” the statement said of Putin’s close ally.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine assessed that the threat level was high for “an offensive from the Republic of Belarus in the Volyn direction,” according to Ukrainian online newspaper Pravda.
This comes after Lukashenko recently bemoaned the fall of the Soviet Union and blamed conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere on the “monopolization of our planet by the United States of America,” according to Reuters. In an interview on Japanese television channel TBS, Lukashenko also described Putin as a friend and defended him against Western leaders questioning his mental and physical fitness.
“He and I haven’t only met as heads of state, we’re on friendly terms,” Lukashenko said of Putin. “I’m absolutely privy to all his details, as far as possible, both state and personal.”
“Putin is absolutely fit, he’s in better shape than ever,” he continued. “This is a completely sane, healthy person, physically healthy – he’s an athlete. As they say here – he’ll catch a cold at all our funerals.”
In a break from isolation in recent weeks, Putin on Friday held a pro-war rally in Moscow marking the eighth anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. The events came as the invasion of Ukraine has led to heavier-than-expected Russian losses on the battlefield and increasingly authoritarian rule in Russia.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Amid reports of low-morale among the Russian ranks, Ukrainian defense officials claimed Sunday to have obtained documents that indicate Russia has ordered the deployment of young cadets to Ukraine.
Putin has repeatedly told his people that the army is not utilizing cadets, but photos of the documents posted online indicate that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has signed an order to the contrary. The deployment will see Yunarmia cadets aged 17 and 18 pushed to the front lines in Ukraine.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken and The Associated Press contributed to this report.