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Russia to Move Troops From Belarus to Occupied Ukraine: Kyiv

Newsweek 11/28/2022 Scott McDonald
This photograph taken on November 3, 2022 shows a Ukrainian border guard carrying an Anglo-Swedish NLAW anti-tank missile launcher at a fortified position near the Ukrainian border with Russia and with Belarus. The Ukrainian army expressed its alarm to the "growing threat" of a new Russian offensive from its northern neighbor and Moscow ally as Belarus announced the creation of a new joint force with Russia, with up to 9,000 Russian troops and about 170 tanks, to be deployed on its territory. © Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images This photograph taken on November 3, 2022 shows a Ukrainian border guard carrying an Anglo-Swedish NLAW anti-tank missile launcher at a fortified position near the Ukrainian border with Russia and with Belarus. The Ukrainian army expressed its alarm to the "growing threat" of a new Russian offensive from its northern neighbor and Moscow ally as Belarus announced the creation of a new joint force with Russia, with up to 9,000 Russian troops and about 170 tanks, to be deployed on its territory.

The general staff of Ukraine's armed forces Sunday said Russia is planning to transfer some of its units and personnel stationed in Belarus into the occupied territories of Ukraine. This comes as Russian losses mount, retreats have happened and a looming harsh winter approaches.

The staff posted its message on Facebook.

"It is expected that the grouping of the enemy's troops operating in the temporarily occupied and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine will be strengthened due to the transfer of individual units from the territory of the Republic of Belarus after they acquire combat capabilities," they wrote.

According to the Ukraine armed forces, there have been more than 87,000 Russian deaths since the full-scale war in Ukraine began in February. The war has entered its 277th day and 10th month.

Russia amassed troops along Ukraine's northern and western borders in late January while it also conducted military with neighboring Belarus. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24 this year and there have been heavy casualties on both sides.

Belarus has been an ally of Russia the entire time and has provided airspace and territory for Russian missile strikes into Ukraine, the general staff noted.

Since the war began, Russia has failed to overtake Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa, but they occupied many regions in the eastern portion of Ukraine. Russia has occupied most of the Donbas Oblast, which includes Luhansk, Severodonetsk, Donetsk and Mariupol. They occupied the Crimea peninsula in 2014.

Just two weeks ago, Army Gen. Mark Milley, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Russia had suffered more than 100,000 losses (including deaths plus injuries) and that there had been 40,000 civilian deaths of Ukrainians. He also noted Russia will take "weeks" to evacuate Kherson.

"The initial indicators are they are in fact doing it," Milley said of Russia's retreat from Kherson. "I believe they're doing it in order to preserve their force, to reestablish defensive lines south of the (Dnieper) river, but that remains to be seen."

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States will continue monitoring Russia's claim of retreating Kherson. Sullivan said it would be a major win, but not necessarily the end of war.

"If this does come to pass, that will mean in the battle of Kyiv, in the battle of Kherson, in the battle of Kharkiv, the Ukrainians will have prevailed against an invading, marauding force that conducted an illegal war in their country,'' Sullivan said this month. "But of course, it's not the end of the war.''

Ukraine says Russian had 600 deaths within the last day.

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