Ukraine says if Russia tries to invade from Belarus again, this time, it’s ready – with “presents”

MARCH 3, 2023

Northern Ukraine — The Ukrainian military has been conducting drills near the country’s northern border with Belarus, aimed at showing preparedness to defend against any repeat of Russia’s land invasion across that border. These drills on the northern front follow warnings that the Kremlin is planning a renewed offensive this spring.

CBS News visited the maze of trenches that Ukraine‘s forces built close to the border after Russian troops crossed over from Belarus as part of their failed push to capture Kyiv last year.

One of the Ukrainian commanders there said his troops were “fully ready,” adding with a wry smile that they had “prepared a lot of presents” for any invading forces that might try to cross the border again.  

Commander Kent, a callsign, wouldn’t give details about those “presents,” but he made it clear that, unlike 12 months ago, Ukraine has a “a fortified border” capable of stopping heavy equipment and even light armor from “trespassing.”

The trenches look like they could be right out of World War I, but the soldiers bracing for battle inside them have modern technology at their fingertips.

A Ukrainian soldier flies a surveillance drone near the country’s northern border with Belarus, in early March, 2023. CBS NEWS

CBS News watched as a soldier used a reconnaissance drone to scour the skies and the border for any signs of trouble.

Several Ukrainian units are now spread across the 650-mile frontier with Belarus, but they have yet to detect any new mass mobilization of Russian forces in the neighboring country. U.S. officials are also watching what they say is a regular flow of Russian troops and hardware in and out of Belarus, but no signs of a new buildup there yet.

The Ukrainian forces are determined not to be taken by surprise. 

We asked the soldier flying the drone, who goes by the callsign Kraken, what he was spending six hours every day scanning for.

“Clusters of Russian military equipment,” he said. “They need to gather somewhere… If we see any columns of equipment, we forward this information.”

In Ukraine’s east, however, the fighting is only intensifying. The industrial town of Bakhmut, right on the front line, has been the focus of much of the worst fighting this year. Once home to about 70,000 people, it has been virtually razed to the ground, and now nearly all of it is under Russia’s control.

That has made protecting the north an even higher priority for Ukraine.


  1. I hope that the AFU hasn’t over-prepared the northern border with men and material. The mafia army can use only roads with their heavy gear in an otherwise swampy, forested terrain, and so completely blocking and securing the few hard-surfaced thoroughfares should be an easy matter. And, masses of landmines and booby traps should keep most of the footroaches in check.

  2. Ukraine must declare war on Belarus in case of any aggression from their territory and strike Minsk.

        • You’re right, Mike. I’ve been calling for an invasion of Belarus for months now, but no one is listening to me.🙄😁
          The AFU has troops and material there anyhow, might as well put them to good use. I’m sure the Belarusian army would rather run than fight and the few cockroaches there could easily be stomped.

          • Also plenty of pro-ukrainian saboteurs there that would help UA forces to advance quick to Luka’s palace to break his sorry ass and steal his golden toilet. 😁

            • My words all along! I even believe that most of the Belarusian army would run over to join the Ukrainians.

  3. In reference to Bakhmut…”…and now nearly all of it is under Russia’s control.”
    It is a challenging position to put it mildly, however according to the map AFU is hard-pressed north and south but Ukraine still retains the west and center. In the east rashists look to have a lead on going to the river eventually. The entire town looks to be covered by even short range rashist mortars and low range art pieces. Two life lines for AFU both routes however getting more dangerous by the day. AFU for now is continuing to give the orcs fiery hell and sending them to blue blazes. God be with the AFU and any decent human being left in Bakhmut.

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