The Russian President Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Aleksandr Lukashenko met for the first time after the Wagner mutiny, and the Minsk leader helped end that revolt. It was also reported recently that the Wagner forces had been training Belarusian troops. Vladimir Putin met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in St. Petersburg, Putin’s native city. During the meeting, the Kremlin President said the Ukrainian-led counteroffensive to regain their lost lands has failed. It was the first meeting between the two countries’ leaders on Sunday since Minsk helped Moscow end its conflict with the Wagner mercenaries.
Belarus is now hosting the military group in its country after President Lukashenko helped in approaching a deal that convinced Wagner’s chief Yevgeny to end his march on Moscow and take his forces to Belarus. Mercenary fighters are now in Belarus, where they are training Minsk troops. Russian news agencies quoted Lukashenko’s remarks as saying, “There is no counteroffensive.” Putin said it existed, but it has failed.” Ukraine prepared for months for its counteroffensive to fight aggressively against Russian forces to take the occupied territories back. It grabbed massive support from most of its European allies and America regarding artillery, fighter jets, drones, missiles, and small to heavy weaponry.
Ukraine prepared for months and started its operation against Kremlin forces last month, making little progress. President Zelenskyy spoke a few days ago and said his forces have been fighting with all of their might, facing massive resistance from the Russian army but still making gains. Forces are making advancements, but progress is much slower than some foresighted. The Kremlin fought a deadly war for 17 months and captured around one-sixth of Ukrainian territory, which is a lot when NATO and most of Kyiv’s allies also support it.
Wagner Trains Belarusian Troops Near the Polish Border
A Telegram channel connected to Lukashenko expressed his remarks, saying in a jocular tone that the Russian Wagner mercenary group was now training the Belarusian army and was urging to push across the border into Poland, a NATO-allied nation. There have been no signs that Lukashenko is seriously entertaining that idea. Lukashenko spoke to Putin and said the Wagner force has been asking for permission to go to the West for the Warsaw and Rzeszów trip, but he didn’t permit them to go there and has been keeping them in central Belarus as they agreed.
Lukashenko said they have been controlling what is happening with Wagner, and he thanked President Putin for his pledges to defend Belarus in case it comes under attack. These comments came two days after Putin’s remarks that western Poland was a gift from Stalin at the end of World War II, when victorious countries worked on the European map. These Russian comments were highly intense, and the Warsaw government summoned the Kremlin ambassador over them. On Thursday, the Belarusian defense ministry said that Wagner forces have been training Belarusian troops just a few miles from its Polish border. Moreover, Poland is also deploying troops along its shared border with Belarus.
On Friday, Kremlin President Vladimir Putin warned Poland of any aggressive actions against Minsk and said an attack on Belarus would be considered a direct attack on Russia. Putin added that the Kremlin would take countermeasures with great force.