Belarusian volunteers create military council in Ukraine

The first founding congress of the Belarusian Military Council took place last weekend not far from the Belarusian border, in Chernihiv. Volunteer soldiers involved in the antiterrorist operation in Donbas and who have either a Belarusian passport or Belarusian origin decided to get together to defend their interests and help each other.

The Chernihiv meeting gathered about 30 Belarusian ATO fighters, in total they represent 120 people. For security reasons, members of the Council did not allow journalists into the meeting, but later they made a statement to the press.

Yan Melnikau, Belarusian volunteer in Ukraine:

“We are faced with the goal not to create a combat unit but rather to make an organization that will help with coordination and help with any other issues, including material support, moral rehabilitation, help with documents and registration.”

Although officially foreigners can take part in the fighting on the side of Ukraine, the Ukrainian government does not help the Belarusian volunteers in matters of equipment or food on the front. Much rests on volunteers, just like it was two years ago.

Zubr, Belarusian volunteer in Ukraine:

“Guns, food and other things came from military commanders from the front line, and volunteers who are there decide how to write stuff off and give it to the volunteers.”

Belarusia volunteers went to the undeclared war either on their own or in small groups.

Zubr, Belarusian volunteers in Ukraine:

“A couple of weeks ago, in a trench 150 meters from the front line, I met a Belarusian guy. I heard from a Ukrainian soldier that there is a Belarusian fighter. We talked. War has been here for more than two years, and the Belarusians who came here first has not get in touch with anyone.”

Siarhei Bahukalets, Belarusian volunteer in Ukraine:

“These are mostly volunteer units. Right Sector, Azov, OUN. Among the members of the Armed forces there are a lot of Belarusians, but they either do not consider themselves Belarusians or consider themselves Belarusians, but are hiding it.”

One of the goals of the Belarusian military council is to get to the official level of communication with the Ukrainian government to help its members. So that they can help Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian hybrid aggression.

Yan Melnikau, Belarusian volunteer in Ukraine:

“Only a well-armed resistance will stop the invaders and their ambitions. That is why I am here, so that there is no war in Ukraine.”

Will there be created a separate large volunteer formation of the Belarusians in the Ukrainian territory — Belarusian military council has left this question for the future.

Yaraslau Stseshyk