Belarus being drawn into Russia's war, says Zelensky: 'You are not slaves'
- Zelensky accused Putin of sowing "hatred" between Ukraine and Belarus
- Russia said it will supply Belarus with missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads
- "But you are not slaves and cannon fodder. You don't have to die," Zelensky said
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday night warned Belarus not to get drawn into the war that has been started by Russia. Zelensky said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is dragging Belarusians into his war.
"You are being drawn into the war. The Kremlin has already decided everything for you," Zelensky said during a video address on Sunday night. "But you are not slaves and cannon fodder. You don't have to die."
"Your lives are worthless to them," he continued. "And you cannot let anyone decide what awaits you next."
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The Ukrainian leader's remarks came after Putin told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Saturday that Russia will supply them with missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads after the president complained about nuclear-armed NATO flights coming close to its border.
Reuters reported that during a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Lukashenko told Putin that he was concerned about the "aggressive" and "confrontational" actions of neighboring countries Poland and Lithuania.
Putin said such a response wasn't necessary, but that Russia would transfer "Iskander-M tactical missile systems to Belarus, which can use both ballistic and cruise missiles, both in conventional and nuclear versions."
Putin said the details and logistics of delivering the weapons would be discussed by the defense ministers of Russia and Belarus.
Putin offered to upgrade Belarusian warplanes to make them capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
"This modernization should be carried out in aircraft factories in Russia and the training of personnel should start in accordance with this," he said in a broadcast on Russian television.
"In particular, another consignment of ammunition of up to 20 rail cars has been sent to the Belgorod region," the statement said.
Zelensky accused Putin of sowing "hatred" between Ukraine and Belarus.
"And that is why the Russian leadership wants to involve you, all Belarusians, in the war. It wants to sow hatred between us. A lot depends on the common people of Belarus now."
He added: "I know that you may not take part in this war. Your lives belong only to you, and not to someone in the Kremlin."