Kyiv [Ukraine], June 25 (ANI): Ukraine accused Russia of dragging Belarus into the ongoing war in Kyiv, after reports that missiles were fired from Belarusian territory into a northern border region.
As Ukrainian authorities assessed the damage from dozens of missile strikes overnight, the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate said that many of the missiles were fired from Belarusian airspace, CNN reported.
"Missile strikes from the territory of Belarus are a large-scale provocation of the Russian Federation in order to further involve Belarus in the war against Ukraine," the Directorate said.
"Russian bombers hit directly from the territory of Belarus. Six Tu-22M3 aircraft were involved, which launched 12 Kh-22 cruise missiles," it said.
The Directorate said the missiles had been launched from airspace above the district of Petrikov in southern Belarus.
Meanwhile, the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk is "completely under Russian occupation," the city's head of military administration said Saturday, CNN reported.
Ukraine's control over Lysychansk has become more tenuous in recent days. Russian forces have advanced into several villages south of the city, though not without sustaining losses from Ukrainian artillery fire.
The Ukrainian military claims that some Russian battalion tactical groups are being consolidated or withdrawn to restore their combat capabilities, reported CNN.
Luhansk and neighbouring Donetsk together make up Ukraine's Donbas region, an industrial heartland dotted with factories and coal fields.
Shortly before invading Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the two separatist territories as independent states, ordering the deployment of Russian troops there in defiance of international law. (ANI)