Belarus army conducts surprise check of combat readiness
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Belarusian forces are increasingly moving towards the country’s border with Ukraine, raising fears that Minsk, Moscow’s longtime and dependent ally, might directly enter the war.
The Belarusian monitoring group Belaruskyi Hayun claims Russian troops inside Belarus have been moving equipment closer to the Ukrainian border.
On Tuesday, the Belarusian military announced snap combat readiness drills.
The announcement came “at the instruction of the President of the Republic of Belarus,” the Belarusian Defence Ministry wrote on Telegram.
It is not clear how long the readiness drills will last or their implication for Ukraine.
A video showing Belarusian tanks with red squares as tactile signs on they sides marching towards Ukraine has been circulating on social media.
Minsk’s armed forces say they are moving as part of a “surprise check of combat readiness”, claiming the official reason is the protection of important facilities and organisation of defensive lines.
It comes as the Institute for the Sturdy of War (ISW) said in its latest report that Belarusian ground forces could in fact join the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine.
The American think tank also argues that Belarus is highly unlikely to invade Ukraine in the foreseeable future. A Belarusian intervention in Ukraine would involve a new deployment of Ukrainian ground forces from other parts of the war theatre.
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The Belarusian regime’s support for the Russian invasion has already made Belarus a co-belligerent in the war in Ukraine.
President Alexander Lukashenko has offered Belarusian territory to Russian forces with a view to starting operations in February 2022.
Minsk has opened land routes to Russian forces marching towards Kiev and withdrawing from northern Ukraine.
The ISW has already stressed that Belarus materially supports Russian offensives and provides Russian forces with secure territory and airspace from which to attack Ukraine with high-precision weapons.
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The Kremlin’s pressure on Belarus is part of a long-term effort to cement what is a super alliance.
The Ukrainian Resistance Centre has reported that 12,000 Russian personnel are stationed in Belarus.
The Belarusian Army is approximately 45,000 active and standing at the Higher Institute of War probably has limited capacity to train current and new personnel,
The communication relating to the war situation made by the Belarusian presidency does not encourage Minsk to enter the war, in fact Alexender Lukashenko continues to support the thesis according to which NATO is preparing to attack his country.
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