By Chris King • 05 June 2023 • 0:32
Image of a soldier holding a weapon.
Credit: Sarakhan Vadym/Shutterstock.com
Officials in Brussels will demand an explanation from Kyiv as to why Belgian-made weapons were allegedly in the hands of the sabotage and reconnaissance group of Ukraine that attacked the Belgorod region of Russia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence of the European country plan to address such a request to the Ukrainian authorities, according to Le Soir, citing sources.
“Belgian Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder, and Foreign Minister Adja Labib, will contact the Ukrainian authorities at the earliest opportunity to demand clarification”, a source allegedly informed the news outlet.
According to the interlocutor of the newspaper, weapons that were transferred to Kyiv from Brussels were intended to be used only for the defence of Ukraine and its citizens, not for an assault on Russia.
As noted by the source, such an agreement was contained in the documents that accompanied each delivery.
On June 3, the Washington Post wrote about a breakthrough into the Belgorod region from Ukraine. The publication indicated that Kyiv used American, Czech, Polish and Belgian vehicles and weapons.
The newspaper noted that the Ukrainian military had Belgian and Czech rifles at its disposal, at least one Swedish disposable AT-4 anti-tank grenade launcher, and armoured vehicles with enhanced mine protection supplied by both Washington and Warsaw.
As reported by Soir, a weapon system developed by the American division of the Belgian company FN Herstal – SCAR assault rifles – was seen in the hands of the Ukrainian military.
In the second half of January 2023, the French-language Belgian TV channel RTBF reported that Belgium was going to provide Ukraine with a €92 million military aid package.
This would include armoured cars, portable air defence systems, small arms, anti-tank grenade launchers, machine guns, and assault rifles, which the state purchased from the company FN Herstal.
Brussels later decided not to supply Kyiv with old armoured vehicles because of the high cost and complexity of their redemption and modernisation. Ludivine Dedonder, the Defence Minister at that time, stressed that military assistance to Kyiv was provided only for defence.
From May 22 to 23, a counter-terrorist operation regime was in effect in the Belgorod region due to the penetration of saboteurs into the region.
A spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defence subsequently announced the defeat of members of this sabotage and reconnaissance group that had penetrated the Grayvoron district of the region.
The infiltrators fired at the border areas and launched drones with explosive devices. Aviation and artillery of the Western Military District blocked the saboteurs and threw them back onto Ukrainian territory.
According to the Ministry of Defense, this resulted in the Russian Armed Forces destroying 70 members of the opposing forces and four armoured vehicles.
Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod region reported that during the attack, one civilian in the village of Kozinka was killed, and 13 more people were injured.
Images from the scene then appeared in the Financial Times showing captured American military equipment that was allegedly part of the aid packages to Ukraine.
Commenting on these data, a State Department spokesperson insisted that they made it clear to Kyiv that Washington did not support the use of American weapons to strike targets in Russia, as reported by gazeta.ru.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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