8 April 2020, Wed 9:38

Belarus Holding Large-Scale Complex Drills Of Armed Forces 50

16:14 23.03.2020 — Politics

Six thousand soldiers are involved in them.

A sudden check of the combat readiness of the Armed Forces of Belarus has reached the active phase - comprehensive exercises, which are “one of the responses to NATO's multinational maneuvers near the Belarusian borders,” the Ministry of Defense of Belarus said in a statement, Radio Svaboda reports.

The exercises will also provide an opportunity to assess the level of training of the Belarusian army. In total, they are supposed to involve about 6,000 military personnel, as well as about 200 units of various weapons.

The Minister of Defense of Belarus Viktar Khrenin in a comment on the agency’s website notes that the verification of the combat readiness of the Belarusian troops is carried out “against the backdrop of a difficult military-political and strategic situation”.

“There is a militarization of Europe, an increase in the composition of force groupings and the number of armaments, and an increase in the intensity of exercises in the territory of neighboring countries,” said Viktar Khrenin.

As the minister emphasizes, the Defender of Europe 2020 exercises in Poland and the Baltic countries, which were not completely refused, will be the largest exercise in the past 25 years, “despite the statements by the US European command to reduce the number of participants and also to cancel four adjacent exercises due to an outbreak of the coronavirus infection.”

As part of the NATO Defender 2020 exercises, the United States planned to work out the rapid transfer of its troops across the Atlantic Ocean to Germany, Poland and the Baltic countries. A total of 37 thousand NATO soldiers from 18 countries were planned to be involved in the maneuvers, but later, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the scale of the exercises was radically reduced.

In October 2019, after the information about the arrival of American tanks in Lithuania on the eve of the exercises, Lukashenka called the deployment of the American military and tanks in Lithuania “a precedent”, and said that he and the Russian president “would have to think about how to protect themselves during this period” .

On October 28, Lukashenka held a meeting “on the military-political situation, risks, challenges and threats for Belarus, as well as proposals for a response”, after which Belarus’s Defense Minister Andrei Raukou said that Belarus was planning a number of measures to adequately respond to the deployment of NATO machinery at the Belarusian border. In particular, measures aimed at strengthening the state border and increasing the number of land forces in the Lithuanian direction.

At the end of January 2020, a sudden combat readiness check began in the Armed Forces of Belarus.

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