Ukraine is erecting a reinforced concrete wall on its border with Belarus to mitigate the risk of Russia further using its ally to stage more ground invasions. 

Ukraine has already built three kilometers of reinforced concrete walls topped with barbed wire on the border with Belarus in the region of Volyn, Reuters reported, with additional fortifications going up elsewhere in two other regions. 

Ukrainian officials did not disclose further details of the fortifications, but protecting the 1,000-kilometer-long border will be challenging. 

The move comes after Russia redeployed thousands of troops into Belarus, sparking concerns of a joint incursion on Ukraine’s northern border and promoting Kyiv to warn that “if the Belarusian army supports Russian aggression, we will respond … with our entire arsenal of weapons.”

Reuters cited Ukraine’s Defense Minister as saying on Thursday that Belarus was considered a threat, though forces along the border were in a “passive position”. 

News of the enhanced fortifications comes as Ukraine moves back into Kherson city after Russian forces withdrew across the Dnipro river. Kherson was the only regional capital that Russia had managed to occupy since it invaded Ukraine, leading analysts to view this as a major defeat for Moscow. 

Kyiv has remained skeptical about Moscow’s intentions following a withdrawal, expressing fears that Russia is regrouping and preparing for a scorched earth attack on the city or another major bombardment of critical infrastructure. 

Russian attacks have already ground some 40% of Ukraine’s power plants to a halt, and the Kremlin’s strategy appears to be to cripple Ukraine’s power and heating ahead of the winter season. 

Last week, the mayor of Kyiv said that some half a million apartments in the capital city are now without power and advised residents to be prepared to temporarily evacuate if the city loses water and heat. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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