FACT CHECK: Did Ukraine Encircle 10,000 Russian Troops Invading From Belarus?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Ukraine encircled 10,000 Russian troops invading from Belarus.

Verdict: Misleading

While Russian troops have been gathering in Belarus, there is no evidence of an invasion from the country.

Fact Check:

Ukraine hit Russian airbases located in Russia –bases that housed strategic bombers– with drones, according to The New York Times. At least two bombers were damaged, with Russian Telegram channels reporting that they were Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers, The Washington Post reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 191,000 times, claims Ukraine has encircled thousands of Russian troops invading from Ukraine. The video’s caption reads, “Ukraine troops encircled tens thousands Russian soldiers coming from Belarus.”

The claim, though, is misleading and lacks evidence. If Russian troops had invaded from Belarus, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Belarusian and Russian troops are gathering on Ukraine’s northern border, but they have not launched an attack, according to the Kyiv Post. A Ukrainian commander told the outlet that the Belarusians think it would be “crazy” to attack Ukraine.

“We know that the Belarusians think it would be crazy to attack us. Lukashenko doesn’t want to attack, but we all know he may be forced,” Andriy Bondarenko, the head of the Hostomel regional defense command, told the Kyiv Post. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Volodymyr Zelenskyy Dancing With A Rocket Launcher?)

Belarus is unlikely to join Russia in invading Ukraine, according to The Institute for the Study of War’s Dec. 11 campaign assessment. The ISW’s report states, “Belarus is extraordinarily unlikely to invade Ukraine in the foreseeable future whatever the course of these information operations.”

The video itself does not make the claim. The video is a readout of a Daily Express article that reports how Ukrainian forces are preparing a “hellish reception” if Russian/Belarusian troops invade from Belarus.

This is not the first time misinformation regarding Belarus’ involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war has circulated online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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