Belarusian volunteer battalion takes an oath to join the Ukrainian Armed Forces against Russia

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine enters its fifth week, many foreign fighters, Belarusian troops being the latest, join Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russia as they advance towards Ukrainian cities destroying and killing civilians.

According to The Kyiv Independent, members of the battalion named after Kastus Kalinouski were sworn in and became members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In a video shared by The Kyiv Independent, the battalion can be seen taking the oath to Belarus.

“Members of the battalion named after Kastus Kalinouski, a 19th-century Belarusian writer and revolutionary, took the oath and became members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” he said.

“The Belarusian language is in danger because the regime of dictator Alexander Lukashenko favors Russian and discriminates against Belarusian speakers, who are already a minority,” The Kyiv Independent wrote on the micro-blogging platform.

Notably, Belarus did not participate directly in the conflict, but it did support Russia’s war efforts. According to the US official, current US intelligence assessments are influencing Belarus’ decision to support Russia to engage further in the war, which could be affected by future talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Even as Belarusian leader and President Alexander Lukashenko, Kremlin supporter and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, members of the Belarusian volunteer battalion, named after Kastus Kalinouski, join the Ukrainian army to confront Russia.

According to Kukhta, the Kalinowski battalion is part of the Azov detachment, a notorious unit of the Ukrainian National Guard, whose fighters, originally volunteers, had their first major combat experience when they recaptured Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists in 2014.

(with source inputs)

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Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2022, 6:11 PM IST