Russian Military Conscripting, Belarus Says Will Fight Alongside Russia
MOSCOW - Russia says that they are now conscripting 'Russians permanently residing in the Donetsk and Luhansk people's Republics' (DNR and LNR) into the Russian military 'if they so wish'. Belarus says that if Russia invades Ukraine it 'will fight alongside Russia' in spite of Russia saying that it has no intention of invading.
Russian state news agency TASS reportedly quoted Viktor Vodolatsky, first deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots who stated "The Duma said that Russians living in the DNR and LNR may be drafted to serve in the Russian Armed Forces. In this case, they will serve in Russia".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergeĭ Lavrov has stated that Russian passports issued to residents in Donetsk and LNR are not in violation of international law and that Russians living in DNR and LNR will be able to vote in State Duma elections online.
According to TASS over 250,000 residents in LNR have already received a Russian passport and will now apparently be able to vote in State Duma elections over the internet.
"If the citizens of the Russian Federation living in the DNR and LNR want to serve in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Rostov regional military registration and enlistment office will admit them, register and conscript them into the army" a TASS source allegedly stated, adding that the draft citizens will be serving in Russian territory.
Meanwhile in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko stated on Friday that Belarus 'will fight alongside Russia' if Moscow attacks Ukraine, despite the fact that Russia has publicly stated that they have no intention of invading Ukraine, or going to war.
Lukashenko stated that he would welcome 'hundreds of thousands' of Russian soldiers into Belarus if either Belarus or Russia is attacked by another country.
"If there is an aggression against Belarus, there will be hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers. Who, together with hundreds of thousands of Belorussians, will defend this land" Lukashenko stated.
However, responding in kind with Putin, Lukashenko also stated that if there was a war 'there would be no winners' and that 'everyone would lose everything'.
Russia has repeatedly denied that they have intentions to attack Ukraine, but they have put out a great many threats and warnings regarding NATO's presence near its borders, including claiming that NATO has been Practicing Sorties With Nuclear Missiles near its borders.