(Read full article on rferl.org)
Russian soldiers returning or redeploying from Ukraine frequently try to sell looted goods to Belarusians in southern border districts, according to interviews with multiple residents.
The reports from the southeastern Homel region are the latest example of how Moscow has used the region bordering both Ukraine and Russia as a staging ground for troops rotating in and out of Ukraine — and how that’s disrupted Belarusians’ lives.
Last month, residents of Homel, the region’s main city, and other outlying towns reported how corpses of Russian soldiers killed in combat in Ukraine were overwhelming some of the region’s morgues.
Hospitals were also being filled to capacity with wounded Russian soldiers, and doctors and medical staff were being forced to work exclusively on treating them, according to residents.
In recent days, Ukrainian and Western officials have reported that Russian troops have pulled back from frontline positions close to Kyiv, and redeployed elsewhere, including into Belarus.