Ukraine under attack from Russian ally Belarustext_fields
Ukraine was under attack from neighbouring Belarus, a Russian ally that was not directly involved in the invasion until now. A statement from the military disclosed a massive bombardment of twenty rockets targeted the Ukrainian village of Desna in the northern Chernihiv region on Saturday.
The infrastructure of the village was hit but no casualties have been reported yet.
Belarus is an Eastern European nation bordered by Russia to the east and Ukraine to the south. It is not a NATO member. However, the nation was part of the Soviet Union till it declared sovereignty in 1990 and gained independence in 1991.
Minsk has been providing logistic support to Moscow since the beginning of the Ukraine invasion. It has helped Russia deal with Western sanctions but isn't involved in the war officially.
The Ukrainian intelligence service said today's strike is directly linked to Russia's efforts to pull Belarus as a co-belligerent into the war in Ukraine. The attack comes ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Saint Petersburg.
Moscow on Friday criticised the EU's move to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it a move to contain Russia geopolitically. President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to speak at a summit of G7 nations in Germany on Sunday.
After a long fight, Ukrainian forces have given up the industrial city of Severodonetsk which was a key holdout for Kyiv. Now, Moscow is relentlessly attacking Lysychansk, a city that will allow them to push further into the wider Donbas. The northern city of Kharkiv is also seeing more aggressive attacks from Russia.