Ukraine conflict: Russia set to inflate threat of Belarus training exercises to fix Ukrainian forces in the North - MoD

The Kremlin is set to inflate threat of Belarus training exercises to fix Ukrainian forces in the North in a bid to prevent Ukrainian troops from being committed to the battle for the Donbas.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) report in their latest intelligence update that seasonal exercises from Belarus are expected to be inflated by Russia, despite no deviation from normal activity in the country.

The update reads: “Belarusian land forces have been observed deploying from garrison to the field, for exercises. This is in line with seasonal norms as Belarus enters the culmination of its Winter Training cycle in the month of May.

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"Russia will likely seek to inflate the threat posed to Ukraine by these exercises in order to fix Ukrainian forces in the North, preventing them from being committed to the battle for the Donbas.

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"Deviation from normal exercise activity that could pose a threat to allies and partners is not currently anticipated.”

Ukraine’s military said the country’s forces made some gains on the border of the southern regions of Kherson and Mykolaiv and repelled multiple Russian attacks in the east.

In its daily morning update, the General Staff said the Russians “lost control over several settlements on the border of Mykolayiv and Kherson regions”.

Tanks of Donetsk People's Republic militia in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

Ukrainian forces also repelled 11 attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the update said.

Fighting over the Azovstal plant in Mariupol continued, the General Staff said.

“With the support of aircraft, the enemy resumed the offensive in order to take control of the plant,” the update said, adding that Russian troops were “trying to destroy Ukrainians units” at this last remaining pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the ravaged port city.

Russia has moved to obstruct the flow of Western weapons to Ukraine by bombarding rail stations and other supply-line targets across the country.

Heavy fighting also raged on Wednesday at the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol that represented the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in the ruined southern port city, according to the mayor.

The Russian military said it used sea and air-launched missiles to destroy electric power facilities at five railway stations across Ukraine.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of “resorting to the missile terrorism tactics in order to spread fear across Ukraine”.