China Conducts Military Drills Near Polish & Ukrainian Borders

China and Belarus kicked off ultra-rare joint military drills near the Polish border inside Belarusian territory on Monday. It is unprecedented given Chinese troops are now deployed so close to a raging war zone in Eastern Europe.

The Belarusian armed forces pointed specifically to “Ukrainian provocation” as a key reason to hold the drills. Vladimir Kupriyanyuk, the deputy head of the general staff of the military, said the exercises are a response to the “West’s aggressive foreign policy towards Belarus” and to “Ukrainian provocation.”

Alarmingly, the maneuvers dubbed ‘Eagle Assault’ are not just a single day or two-day drill, but are slated to last eleven days, until July 19. The drills are being staged near the city of Brest on the Belarus-Poland border, and which is some 40 miles from the Belarusian border with Ukraine to the south.

“As part of the anti-terrorist exercises, the military personnel of both countries will work out the issues of night landing, overcoming water obstacles, and conducting operations in [urban settings],” the Belarusian defense ministry announced on Telegram.

The statement called out NATO’s growing involvement in Ukraine specifically: “The NATO grouping on the border with Belarus is growing rapidly, which leads to an increase in tension in the region,” stated a follow-up post. It additionally warned of “harsh reaction” should any external forces “cross Belarusian borders.”

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