Russia-Belarus Joint Air Exercise to Begin January 16th

On October 16th, 2022, this publication reported that the Russian Federation had sent a detachment of MiG-31K fighters and about 9,000 ground troops to establish a new grouping of forces in the former Soviet-bloc nation. Today, the Belarusian Ministry of Defense announced that joint air drills between Russia and Belarus would begin on January 16th, another Russian Aerospace unit had deployed to Belarus, and every Belarusian air base would be involved in the drills. The press release reads below:

”During the tactical flight exercise, all airfields and training grounds of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Belarus will be involved.“

Also today,  Belarusian President Lukashenko visited the Obuz-Lesnovsky training ground where a large contingent of Russian Ground Forces have accumulated and continue to reinforce. While there, he presided over the transfer of several thousand first aid kits from the Belarusian military to the Russian forces in Belarus.

Concerning the first aid kits Belarusian State Secretary of the Security Council Alexander Volfovich told journalists:

“The President talked to the servicemen of the Russian Federation and congratulated them on the Christmas holidays. They were given individual first-aid kits, which were developed exclusively at Belarusian enterprises and equipped with a Belarusian component,” Alexander Volfovich said.

“At the training ground, the President noted that Belarus had thoroughly studied various options for individual first-aid kits: NATO, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian. It turned out that Western-style first aid kits are more practical. Therefore, doctors and the military were instructed to make a high-quality Belarusian first-aid kit. The corresponding task was set by the President at the same training ground, but in October 2022, when he got acquainted with the domestic developments of the military-industrial complex” Volfovich added.

“And in a couple of months they made a first aid kit that is better than the NATO one. In combat, this is a man’s life. The kids need to have what they need on hand. We continue to improve,” President Lukashenko said.

During the visit, President Lukashenko also said: “I will listen very carefully and use this in the preparation of our armed forces of Belarus and Russia to protect the common Fatherland. Most importantly, the most important thing is that we agreed with your military leaders what you will say about the shortcomings, because we will have to continue working in the same mode – to train both Belarusians and Russians,” the Belarusian leader said.

“We not only helped you, we helped ourselves. We get a lot of information from you, this is experience. Figuratively speaking, helping those who have not smelled gunpowder and those who need to remember their military skills to get ready, this is also a school for them, this is an experience.”

In addition to these developments, more Russian supplies have flowed into Belarus including several rail cars of BTR-82A, BTR-80K, armored medical and recovery vehicles.

While the Ukrainian intelligence apparatus has dismissed the threat of a renewed Russian operation from Belarus, it is worth noting the impressive military buildup in that country since the Ukrainian counteroffensives in August which ousted Russian troops from Northern Ukraine. As the Ukrainians continue to fortify their Northern border with mine fields and anti-armor fortifications, the Belarusians maintain their drills and hosting of Russian troops is not directed by a third party nation. However, the opportunity for a false flag operation or an errant Ukrainian missile presents an Avenue for Belarus to become more involved in the conflict.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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