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The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EST.
12:02 a.m.: In Moscow-allied Belarus, officers look out across a snowy training ground outside the capital, Minsk, as Russian and Soviet-era tanks fire into the distance.
The tanks are driven by cadets from an elite academy that turns young Belarusians into officers.
The army in Belarus, an isolated country of around 9.5 million people, showed Agence France-Presse the combat training and the main military academy on an organized tour.
Fears have grown that Minsk, which allowed Moscow to use its territory to send troops to Ukraine last year, could also enter the conflict.
President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, said on Thursday he would be ready to wage war alongside Russia if Belarus was attacked on its soil. He also accused Kyiv of provocations.
At the firing range, Colonel Maxim Zhuravlev said the academy was training “future defenders of the motherland.”
Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse.