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5 Belarusians Killed Fighting for Ukraine in Bakhmut – Exiled Opposition Leader

Members of the Belarusian Kastus Kalinouski Regiment. Pavlyuk Shapetska (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Five members of a Belarusian regiment fighting with Kyiv's forces have been killed in Bakhmut, a conflict-scarred city in eastern Ukraine, A Belarusian opposition leader living in exile said Friday.

"Heartbroken by the death of five members of the Belarusian Kastus Kalinouski Regiment fighting for Ukraine in Bakhmut," Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said on Twitter.

The frontline city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region has been the site of heavy fighting for months.

"The regiment reported that a commander was killed as he enabled the evacuation of the wounded," Tikhanovskaya said, adding that “four dead soldiers remain buried under the rubble after their building was hit by enemy artillery fire.”  

The Kastus Kalinouski Regiment is a military formation in the armed forces of Ukraine which consists of Belarusian volunteers.

Many Belarusians have volunteered to fight alongside Kyiv's forces following Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Tikhanovskaya was forced to flee to neighboring EU member Lithuania after the protests sparked by a disputed presidential election in 2020 and was sentenced in absentia on charges of high treason and "conspiracy to seize power."

She is a vocal critic of Belarusian strongman and Kremlin ally Alexander Lukashenko.

AFP contributed reporting.

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