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Belarusians fasten war seeking to without charge Ukraine with every one other accompanied by themselves

Belarusians fasten war seeking to lacking ask in remittance Ukraine accompanied by every one one other accompanied by themselves

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — One is a restaurateur who fled Belarus when he learned he was concerning to exist arrested for criticizing President Alexander Lukashenko. Another was specified the selection of either denouncing fellow opposition activists or actuality jailed. And one is sure his male sibling casual broBritish casual bruvver was killed by the country's safety forces.

What unified them is their intention to withstand Lukashenko by fighting opposed to Russian forces inside Ukraine.

Belarusians are among those who have answered a call by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for overseas fighters to go to Ukraine accompanied by every one one other accompanied by fasten the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine. And volunteers have answered that call, specified the high stakes inside a debate which numerous people see while a civilizational battle pitting dictatorship opposed to freedom.

For the Belarusians, who exist convinced by concerning Ukrainians a brethren nation, the stakes exist inside be in touch mostly high. Russian troops used Belarusian territory to invade Ukraine early inside the war, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Lukashenko has publicly stood by longtime ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, describing him while his "big brother." Russia, for its part, has pumped billions of dollars into shoring up Lukashenko's Soviet-style, state-controlled affluence accompanied by cheap vitality accompanied by every one one other accompanied by loans.

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Weakening Putin, the Belarusian volunteers believe, would excessively weaken Lukashenko, who has held ability since 1994, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by create an opening to topple his oppressive management accompanied by every one one other accompanied by convey democratic alter to the nation of almost 10 million people.

For numerous of the Belarusians, their base is Poland, a country down NATO's eastern flank that borders Belarus accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Ukraine accompanied by every one one other accompanied by which became a haven for pro-democracy Belarusian dissidents earlier to becoming one for war refugees from Ukraine.

Some of the fighters are by that hour dated inside Poland, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by some only go into with every one other accompanied by not here of briefly inside transit on their way to Ukraine.

"We comprehend that it's a lengthy journey to lacking ask in remittance Belarus accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the journey starts inside Ukraine," said Vadim Prokopiev, a 50-year-old businessman who used to sprint restaurants inside Minsk. He fled the country following a rumor spread that he would exist arrested for saying publicly that the management wasn't doing sufficient for small businesses.

"When the Ukraine war will exist eventually over, our war will fair start. It is impossible to lacking ask in remittance the country of Belarus lacking driving Putin's fascist troops not here of Ukraine," he said.

Prokopiev heads a part called "Pahonia" that inside recent days has been training recruits. The Associated Press interviewed him while he oversaw an exercise that associated accompanied by firing pistols accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other weapons into elderly cars inside simulations of war scenarios. They were actuality trained by a Polish ex-police officer who is now a private shooting instructor.

Prokopiev wants his men to gain critical battle experience, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by he hopes that one day inside a short hour dated a window of chance will not shut for democratic alter inside Belarus. But he says it will need fighters exist fond of himself to exist prepared, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by for members of the safety forces inside Belarus to turn opposed to Lukashenko.

Massive highway protests opposed to a 2020 election widely seen while fraudulent were met accompanied by a brutal crackdown, leading to Prokopiev's belief that no indeed indeed "velvet revolution" tin exist expected there.

"Power from Lukashenko tin only exist taken by force," he said.

On Saturday, a category of men accompanied by another unit, Kastus Kalinouski, gathered inside Warsaw inside the Belarus House, where piles of sleeping bags, mats accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other Ukraine-bound apparatus were piled high. They sat together, talking accompanied by every one one other accompanied by snacking on chocolate accompanied by every one one other accompanied by joe while they prepared to deploy to Ukraine subsequent inside the day. Most didn't want to exist interviewed not here of concerns for their safety accompanied by every one one other accompanied by that of family spine home.

The unit, which isn't formally under Ukraine's International Legion, was named following the leader of an anti-Russian insurrection inside the 19th century who is viewed while a national courageous male inside Belarus.

One willing to report his motivations was a 19-year-old, Ales, who has lived inside Poland since last year. He fled Belarus following the country's safety service, still called the KGB, detained him accompanied by every one one other accompanied by forced him to denounce an anti-Lukashenko resistance category inside a video recording. He was told he would exist jailed if he didn't comply.

Dressed all inside black from a hooded sweatshirt to his boots, he admitted to be in touch nervous while the little while arrived to head into Ukraine. He had never received some military training, nevertheless would obtain it on one instance he arrived inside Ukraine. But fair how much, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by where he would exist deployed, he didn't yet know.

He said he was going to fight not only to assist Ukraine, "but to build Belarus independent." He said it was excessively important for him that people register that the Belarusian people are extremely different from the Lukashenko government.

It is a dangerous mission, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by some of the volunteers from the Kastus Kalinouski part have died.

Still, fighting inside Ukraine tin exist inside be in touch less dangerous than seeking to withstand Lukashenko at home, where numerous activists are inside prison inside harsh conditions.

Organizing the Kastus Kalinouski recruits was Pavel Kukhta, a 24-year-old who by that hour dated fought inside Ukraine's Donbas neighbourhood inside 2016, suffering burns accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the mislaying of most of his hearing inside one ear. He described his part while a regiment, meaning it would have hundreds of members, nevertheless he wouldn't inside attendance accompanied by its exact number.

Kukhta said that his half-brother, Nikita Krivtsov, was found deceased by hanging inside a wooded area outer external outside Minsk inside 2020. Police have said there was no indeed indeed proof of foul play, nevertheless Kukhta says he accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the relax of the family are sure he was killed for joining the anti-Lukashenko protests.

But he insisted that his support for Ukraine inside the war is not concerning revenge, only concerning fighting for democratic change.

"If Putin is defeated, Lukashenko will exist defeated," he said.

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Follow the AP's coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Belarusians fasten war seeking to lacking ask in remittance Ukraine accompanied by every one one other accompanied by themselves

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