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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine mulls contingency measures over Belarus situation

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine mulls contingency measures over Belarus situation

Belarusian border situation

A state of emergency may be declared in several Ukrainian regions bordering Belarus in case the situation in the neighbouring country worsens, Interior Minister Denis Monastyrskyy has said, as quoted by Ukrayinska Pravda.

Warning against migrant smuggling

He specified that there are no plans to involve military personnel from the east and south to guard the border with Belarus.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has warned about criminal liability for people willing to help migrants for money to cross the border with Ukraine for further transit to EU countries.

"I would like to warn those businessmen who live in five regions bordering Belarus and plan to make money by helping illegal migrants to get inside the country - it will be against the national interests of the country. This is a matter of national security," Reznikov said in Lutsk, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

Border scenarios

Ukraine is preparing for different scenarios on the Polish-Belarusian border, the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, has said at a meeting in Lutsk on additional measures to protect the border.

Danilov said that an interdepartmental working group involving all security agencies and local authorities should be created to monitor the situation at the border around the clock.

According to the intelligence, there are already about 16,000 so-called refugees in Belarus. "This situation can directly affect us," Danilov said.

Russian threat

The Russian Armed Forces are constantly keeping a strong offensive group around Ukraine, the deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office for national security and defence, Roman Mashovets, has said in an interview with Military Times.

According to Mashovets, Russian troops conducted a set of large-scale command-staff exercises near Ukraine's state border in the second half of 2021.

"At the end of the exercise, only personnel returned to their permanent deployment places. Combat and other military hardware such as tanks, combat vehicles and Iskander missile systems remained near the Ukrainian border. This allows the Russian authorities to redeploy personnel in a very short period of time and form strike groups ready for offensive actions on the territory of Ukraine," he said.

British forces said ready to deploy in Ukraine

A task force of up to 600 UK troops is ready to deploy in Ukraine amid fears Russia is poised to invade its neighbour, Mirror has reported, quoting its sources.

It said that units from the SAS and Parachute Regiment have been warned they could be sent to the country within hours.

"The preparation comes after defence chiefs and the head of MI6 advised No10 that Russian President Vladimir Putin represents a clear and present danger to Ukraine and the West," the paper said.

Ukrainian Navy

Ukraine's priority is to strengthen its Navy, Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said during a visit to Berdyansk.

"For this purpose, not only public funds will be raised, one of the tasks of military diplomacy will be to step up interaction with partners," Reznikov added.

He noted that appropriate instructions will be given to speed up the construction of a naval base in Berdyansk.

Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has briefed EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell by phone on the security situation in Donbas, Crimea and along the Ukrainian border.

Kuleba highlighted Russia's destructive approach to the negotiations in the Normandy format and called on the EU to take political and other measures to deter Russia from further aggressive actions. Borrell pledged EU support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

Donbas

Russia-backed militants have violated the ceasefire six times since midnight on 14 November, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said. In particular, they shelled Nevelske with 120-mm mortars and Orikhove-Donetske with 152-mm artillery.

Nine houses were damaged, three of them totally ruined, in the village of Nevelske, Pokrovsk District, Donetsk Region. A man and a woman were trapped under the rubble.

A Ukrainian serviceman sustained a fragmentation wounded on 13 November.

Coronavirus

Ukraine reported 14,490 new Covid-19 cases on the morning of 14 November. There were 403 lethal cases.

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