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World on the brink as Putin rival issues terrifying nuclear attack warning | World | News

World on the brink as Putin rival issues terrifying nuclear attack warning | World | News

A rival of Vladimir Putin has issued a terrifying warning Russia and an allied country could launch a nuclear attack.

Belarussia’s participation in joint nuclear drills with Russia are a clear attempt to exploit what President Putin sees as “Western weakness”, the former Soviet Republic’s opposition leader has claimed.

And Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has warned there are “no guarantees” the two countries would not launch a nuclear attack against NATO targets.

A statement shared on Telegram by Belarus’s Ministry of Defence today announced the Belarusian military was “participating in the second stage of exercises with non-strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation”.

The spokesman insisted the country’s participation in what it called “joint nuclear exercises” was not intended to “create tension in the region”.

Lukashenko tried to have Ms Tsikhanouskaya arrested in the wake of the 2020 Presidential election, which she is widely believed to have won but which he refused to accept the result of.

The 41-year-old, who now lives in Lithuania, but whose husband is currently imprisoned in their home country, said it would be a mistake to dismiss the seriousness of the nuclear drills.

She told Express.co.uk: “Is a big war possible? No one can guarantee that Putin and Lukashenka will not go for that.

“If they see the weakness of the West, they will go further. This is why it is so crucial to support free Belarus and Ukraine’s fight right now.”

Up to now, Putin and Lukashenko had used nuclear weapons for “blackmail”, Ms Tsikhanouskaya said.

She explained: “They want to scare Western societies, in order to weaken support for Ukraine.

“We don’t have evidence that nuclear weapons are actually in Belarus, but there are active preparations for that.

“The western response must be firm. More sanctions, isolation of the regime, support for freedom fighters. No more ‘business as usual’.”

Nor was nuclear proliferation the only concern, Ms Tsikhanouskaya stressed.

She added: “We also see that the regime is producing weapons for the Russian army.

They transform Belarusian civil enterprises to military production.

“Lukashenko gains money on the war against Ukraine. And we must stop it.

Speaking last month, Lukashenko said: ‘We are closer than ever to a nuclear catastrophe.

‘We are not planning to attack anyone. But everyone should understand that we will hit back.

“And all their chatter ”Ah…Putin is pushing Lukashenko”. And then about me ‘He’s bonkers, he has no red lines’’.

“They are absolutely right in saying so. I am far from stupid but I have no red lines.”

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