According to Belaruski Hayun, a Belarusian monitoring organization, Belarus has started constructing military fortifications along its border with Ukraine. The Moscow Times reported that construction equipment and a line of miniature anti-tank concrete obstacles, commonly known as “dragon’s teeth,” were observed approximately 10 kilometers from Gomel, a city situated 44 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border.
During World War II, dragon’s teeth were commonly utilised to impede the advance of enemy vehicles and soldiers.
Their deployment in Belarus, a close Russian ally that granted Moscow permission to invade Ukraine through its territory in February 2022, comes ahead of a widely anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
This week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called the Ukrainian counteroffensive “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 Organisation’s (CSTO) Parliamentary Assembly.
The Belarusian military will conduct territorial exercises in the Gomel area from May 11 to June 2.
After Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the fall of 2022, which saw Kyiv regain swaths of the northeast and south from invading Russian soldiers, Russian forces began vigorously erecting defensive lines.
Mercenaries from the Wagner private military company (PMC) began building fortifications in the eastern Donetsk area in September, where Russia has been focusing its effort for months.
This “line” was supposed to run east from the Russian-Ukrainian border to Kremennoye, then south to Svetlodarsk. A line of this length would be around 217 km long, according to CNN.
Furthermore, Russia has built defensive fortifications along the left bank of the Dnipro River, where Russian soldiers fled after abandoning Kherson.
The construction of dragon’s teeth has also been mentioned by governors of Russia’s border areas with Ukraine, notably Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.
Belarus’ involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war
Belarus has always functioned as a launch pad for Russia’s assault against Ukraine. Despite earlier promises from top Belarusian authorities that this would not happen, Russian forces invaded Ukraine via Belarus, and the nation has consistently supplied logistical support, supply lines, and medical treatment for Russian soldiers. Russian military planes have utilised Belarusian airfields, and Russia had fired at least 717 missiles from Belarus as of mid-September, as per the European Leadership Network.