The world 'has again come to the brink of the abyss', says Belarus dictator Lukashenko as Putin's top ally orders his country to prepare for WW3

  • Lukashenko also announced today that his army has a new arsenal of weapons

Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has warned that the world ‘has again come to the brink of the abyss’ and that there are legitimate concerns that a Third World War could erupt.

Vladimir Putin’s top ally said ‘we must be prepared as much as possible to neutralise risks and threats’ as he spoke at a meeting with senior officials in Minsk.

Lukashenko also announced today that his army has received a new arsenal of weapons, including two missile divisions of the S-400 system and two divisions of Iskander missile systems.

The 69-year-old, who has ruled Belarus with an iron fist for almost 30 years, allowed Putin to use his country as a launch pad for his full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost exactly two years ago.

As the anniversary approaches this week, fears are mounting that the war could spill over amid suggestions from military leaders that Putin could set his sights on NATO’s eastern flank and other former Soviet states.

the world 'has again come to the brink of the abyss', says belarus dictator lukashenko as putin's top ally orders his country to prepare for ww3

Vladimir Putin’s top ally said ‘we must be prepared as much as possible to neutralise risks and threats’. Pictured: Putin and Lukashenko meeting in January

‘I would like to characterize the current phase of the civilizational confrontation between East and West as follows: the masks have been completely dropped,’ Lukashenko said in his latest comments.

‘We need to acknowledge how serious the situation is.’

He added in the remarks, which have been reported by the state-run BelTA news agency, that there are ‘grounds for concern’ about a third world war.

It comes as NATO is carrying out its largest military exercise since the Cold War in eastern Europe, with around 90,000 troops from across the alliance joining Exercise Steadfast Defender.

Lukashenko said Minsk’s intelligence agencies were ‘keeping their finger on the pulse,’ regarding the drills.

He also claimed that approximately 32,000 troops from NATO members were deployed ‘in the immediate vicinity of Belarus and Russia.’

Belarus has been conducting joint drills with Moscow throughout the war, and has been training its forces alongside Wagner mercenaries, which he reportedly said has ‘yielded results’.

Last weekend, Moscow enjoyed its biggest victory in Ukraine since it claimed Bakhmut in May of last year, with Putin’s troops raising the Russian flag in the eastern city of Avdiivka.

the world 'has again come to the brink of the abyss', says belarus dictator lukashenko as putin's top ally orders his country to prepare for ww3

Smoke rises after tank firing in the direction of Bakhmut, where clashes between Russia and Ukraine continue to take place (February 11)

the world 'has again come to the brink of the abyss', says belarus dictator lukashenko as putin's top ally orders his country to prepare for ww3

The Kremlin’s forces sustained heavy losses in the fighting, with tens of thousands of casualties recorded in the months-long battle for the almost entirely bombed out city.

Russia has so far lost more than 400,000 soldiers in total to death or injury during the drawn-out war, according to Kyiv’s approximations.

Despite this, the country’s top advisor to the UK last week vowed that it ‘cannot be beaten’ because of the huge country’s significant resources.

Moscow has called up more conscripts and replenished its forces on the battlefield, and has new armoured vehicles and a steady supply of artillery from its allies North Korea and Iran.

Estonia warned last week that Putin’s forces are preparing for a military confrontation with the West that could last a decade.

And last month, leaked plans revealed Germany’s fears of a possible path to a Third World War in which Putin would again use Belarus as a launch pad.

Belarus was rocked by mass protests during Lukashenko’s controversial re-election in August 2020 for a sixth term, which the opposition and the West condemned as fraudulent.

At that time, Belarusian authorities detained more than 35,000 people, many of whom were tortured in custody or left the country.

the world 'has again come to the brink of the abyss', says belarus dictator lukashenko as putin's top ally orders his country to prepare for ww3

NATO troops during an exercise in Poland in May 2023

the world 'has again come to the brink of the abyss', says belarus dictator lukashenko as putin's top ally orders his country to prepare for ww3

Military vehicles including trucks and support vehicles are loaded onto cargo vessels bound for Europe

It emerged today that a political activist jailed for ‘defamation’ against President Lukashenko has died in prison, his political party the Belarusian Social Democratic Party said.

Igor Lednik, 64, was arrested in 2022 and sentenced to three years in prison for ‘defamation’ in an article in the Social Democrats’ newspaper. In prison, his health had ‘deteriorated considerably,’ the party said.

Lednik had suffered from a heart condition and had undergone surgery for a gastrointestinal issue. However, the party did not say whether this was the cause of death nor specify the exact date.

Exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanoskaya blamed the authorities for Lednik’s death, calling it ‘an injustice and an unbelievable tragedy’.

‘The regime kills in prison Belarusians who wanted to change life in their country for the better,’ she wrote on Telegram.

It comes just days after Putin’s most prominent critic, Alexei Navalny, also died in prison, with his widow laying the blame at the Russian leader’s door and saying her husband was poisoned with Novichok.

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