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Belarus Constructing Defensive Fortifications Near Ukraine Border – Reports

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Belarus has started constructing defensive fortifications near its border with Ukraine, the Belarusian monitoring group Belaruski Hayun reported.

Construction equipment and a line of small anti-tank concrete pyramids known as dragon's teeth were spotted 10 kilometers from Gomel, a city located some 44 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, Belaruski Hayun said Thursday.

Dragon’s teeth were widely used during World War II to halt the advancement of enemy vehicles and infantry.

Their installation in Belarus — a staunch ally of Russia that allowed Moscow to invade Ukraine from its territory in February 2022 — comes ahead of a widely anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko this week described the Ukrainian counteroffensive as “disinformation.”

"There is no ‘counteroffensive,’ from my point of view, and there cannot be. It's simply madness,” Lukashenko said Thursday at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) Parliamentary Assembly. 

Belarus’ military is staging territorial exercises in the Gomel region from May 11-June 2.

Russian forces started actively installing defensive lines after Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the autumn of 2022, which saw Kyiv retake swathes of the northeast and south from invading Russian troops. 

In September, mercenaries from the Wagner private military company (PMC) started constructing fortifications in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russia’s offensive has been focused for months.

This “line” was intended to stretch eastward from the Russian-Ukrainian border to Kremennoye and then southward to Svetlodarsk. CNN reported that a line of this length would be roughly 217 kilometers.

Additionally, Russia has constructed defensive fortifications along the left bank of the Dnipro River, where Russian forces retreated after surrendering Kherson. 

The construction of dragon's teeth has also been reported by governors of Russia’s border regions with Ukraine, including Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

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