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Belarus says Ukrainian missile fell in its territory

December 29, 2022

Minsk claimed that a Soviet-era air defense missile was fired from Ukraine and landed in Belarus after Ukraine was hit by a barrage of Russian missiles.

https://p.dw.com/p/4LXBM
A Belarusian soldier guards a helicopter a Belarus-Russia joint military training ground during in 2017
A Belarusian soldier guards a helicopter a Belarus-Russia joint military training ground during in 2017Image: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Belarusian and Russian media reported on Thursday that a Ukrainian missile had crossed into Belarus' territory. 

The reports came shortly after Russia launched one of its largest missile attacks against Ukraine since the war started in February, with Kyiv saying more than 60 missiles had been fired on Ukrainian cities.

Minsk's key ally Moscow is reportedly sending officials to investigate the incident. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

"Locals have absolutely nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, these things happen," a military official was quoted as saying by Belarus' state media.

A Telegram channel affiliated with the Belarusian presidential press service said the missile could have accidentally veered off course.

Russia launches large-scale missile attack on Ukraine

S-300 missile

Minsk's state-run BelTa news agency said Belarusian air defense forces shot down an S-300 missile that had come from Ukraine and landed in Belarus. The Soviet-era air defense missile is used by both Russia and Ukraine.

Moscow appears to use repurposed S-300 missiles to attack ground targets, while Kyiv uses the system to intercept incoming Russian missiles. 

In November, an S-300 missile believed to have been fired by Ukrainian air defenses crashed near the western Polish border town of Przewodow, killing two people.

Missile that hit Poland likely came from Ukraine air defense

Russia's key ally

In February, Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine from Belarus, although Minsk has insisted that it is not involved in the war. 

Still, Belarus is supporting Russia and is believed to be secretly training newly mobilized Russian soldiers, according to British intelligence.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian officials have raised concerns after a fresh deployment of Russian troops to Belarus. Kyiv sees the move as signaling a new attack on Ukraine via Belarusian territory.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said joint military drills with Russia were not aimed at Ukraine, and claimed that he could not rule out "aggression" against Belarus on the part of unspecified "neighbors." 

Russian troops begin Belarus deployment

fb/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)