Belarus will continue to monitor and respond NATO activities near the border
MINSK, (BM) – The activity of NATO forces near the Belarusian borders continues to worry Minsk, an adequate response to the situation on the border will continue, Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said following a meeting with the President on Saturday, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
“The complex of measures that was carried out within the framework of the exercise in the Grodno tactical direction was curtailed, the troops returned to their permanent deployment points. But we continue to adequately respond to what is happening near our state border,” Khrenin said on the STV TV channel.
At the same time, on the air of the ONT TV channel, he clarified that the forces and means of the missile and artillery forces, the Air Force and the Air Defense Forces remain on training and combat duty.
“As part of the 3rd stage of a surprise check of the Armed Forces, we brought the tank battalion of the 11th Mechanized Brigade into combat readiness, which is currently fully mobilized, put on alert, raised all materiel and ammunition. The battalion is loading onto railway transport and will be It was transferred to the Osipovichsky training ground, where it will perform live-fire missions, and a battalion tactical exercise will be held,” Khrenin said.
“Also, five more military units are mobilizing,” he added.
The minister said that the defense department continues to monitor the situation in the territories adjacent to Belarus, in particular, it sees the movement of NATO troops within the framework of the “Enhanced Forward Presence” and “Atlantic Resolve” operations.
So, now the alliance forces are being transferred to the Pabrade training ground, “the 2nd tank battalion of the 69th US tank regiment is located 15 km from our state border.” “In principle, the same event took place in the spring. But this also cannot but worry us – that in the immediate vicinity of our border there will be involved about 500 people, 29 tanks, 43 Bradley combat vehicles,” the minister said.
“We also note the intensified flights of aviation along our border. And the conduct of reconnaissance of events taking place on the territory of our state. We cannot but be concerned about the flights of B-52 bombers along our state border,” Khrenin added.
Earlier on Saturday, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko held a meeting with the Security Council power bloc, inquired about the strategy of actions on the western border, taking into account the NATO exercises in the neighboring countries.
“The first question is about the situation on the western border. I would like to hear the report of the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff on what actions you propose for our army in the near future. That is, if NATO troops in Poland, Lithuania, in principle, have completed the so-called exercises and They move more there, we should respond appropriately. We cannot stay there for a long time without the need to keep the Armed Forces in such numbers. Moreover, it is not cheap,” Lukashenka said, quoted by the state agency BelTA.
If, he added, “the same events are still taking place there as a month ago, then your proposals, how will we react in this regard?” “In a word, further actions of our Armed Forces on the western border, based on the situation that is developing in Poland and Lithuania?” Lukashenka asked.
Lukashenko threatened to use joint troops with Russia if the West just ‘twitches’
Not a single Russian serviceman is on the territory of Belarus, but if anyone to ‘twitch’ on the western border of the Union State, Minsk and Moscow will use a joint group of troops, said President of the Republic Alexander Lukashenko on August 28.
“We have a contract. … Putin has already gone through several such stages from the Chechen war and knows what is happening around the borders. And we agreed with him. We will deal with this problem. But if they twitch outside, it is necessary to use a joint grouping of armed forces, the basis of which is the Belarusian army. And the Russians should support us and follow us. We have built up reserves with him. Not a single soldier from Russia crossed our border. We are doing it ourselves so far. But our voice, hand, or foot will not even tremble in order to together settle anyone who twitches on the western border of the Union State,” said Lukashenka, quoted by BelTA.
Earlier, Lukashenko also advised “them abroad” to think about what Europe could turn into if Belarus “burns out”.
Last month, Vladimir Putin responded to Alexander Lukashenko’s request to form a reserve of Russian law enforcement officers to help Minsk control the protest actions. A number of European countries have threatened to introduce targeted sanctions against Belarus in connection with the refusal to recognize the results of the August 9 elections.
In order to not lose influence, Russia could send military forces to Belarus
Russia cannot afford to lose influence in Belarus. Therefore, one can boldly imagine that in a critical situation, to achieve his political goals, he will use a variant of force – a hidden or open intervention, appropriately legendary, e.g. destabilization of a country or an alleged threat from NATO.
In the Belarusian direction, for armed intervention, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Armed Forces of the Russian Federation) can use most of the potential of the Western Military District (ZachOW), and in the first place, tactical units located closest to the Belarusian border – i.e. units of central (district) subordination, airborne troops (pow-des), and the 1st Panzer Army and the 20th All-Military Army. The elements of the 1st Apanc Gw, the core of which are two divisions – the 4th Kantemir Armored Division and the 2nd Taman Mechanized Division – traditionally participate in bilateral allied exercises (Szczit Sojuza / Union Shield, West / Zapad), so the possible transfer of some subunits to Belarus seems to be natural.
It would also be possible to use elements of the pow-des troops, e.g. 76 or 106 divisions of the VDV, especially since the Russian airborne units and their Belarusian counterpart, the Special Operations Forces, often train with each other, the staff knows each other well, they also share the tradition of blue berets, etc.
In turn, the battalions and regiments of the 144 Motorized Rifle Division, recently formed, are located almost at the Belarusian border (Smolensk, Jelnia, Klincy, Poczep, etc.). Therefore, an almost immediate intervention is possible in the direction of Orsha-Minsk (M1 main) or Gomel-Minsk (M5).
In the event of a sudden deterioration of the situation and the choice of a force variant by Moscow, it will rather be an allied intervention in defense of the Russian sphere of influence (which is tantamount to defending Lukashenka’s regime at the moment), rather than an enemy invasion. The range of tactical relationships and the allied nature of the intervention basically excludes the necessity / need to deploy troops in field camps along the border, as in the Ukrainian variant in 2014. So far, it seems more likely that Russian troops will enter at the invitation of the regime and show allied force than the enemy intervention, in the “Ukrainian” variant.
In the event of an intervention, it can be expected to introduce, first of all, light, mobile units with wheeled means of transport, i.e. special, reconnaissance, motorized shooters on BTRs. The tactical link of the first line in this case will be, for example, the 144th Mechanized Division, with its headquarters in Jelnia. Its reconnaissance battalion is stationed in Smolensk, so it can be directed to the Minsk direction in emergency mode and take operational action within hours. First of all, you should also take into account special purpose units, which can be quickly moved to Belarus, e.g. 2nd Spetsnaz Brigade (Psków), 16th Spetsnaz Brigade (Tambov), 45th Spetsnaz Brigade of VDV (Kubinka) etc.
It is also highly probable – in the event of an allied military intervention – that elements of the 1st APancGw will enter Belarus.
It should be remembered that the Belarusian-Russian exercises (e.g. Zapad-2017), involving the transfer of forces and resources of the POW-des troops and 1APanc strike elements to the territory of Belarus, were in fact a practical exercise in the event of the need to enter the Republic of Russia for the Armed Forces. Thus, there are not only plans, but also practical logistic experience of moving selected forces and assets of an armored army (wheeled and rail transports, fuel supply centers, concentration and unloading sites, field bases and pipelines, etc.).
More likely than the intervention of the armed forces, it seems that the scenario of supporting the ally with units of the Rosguard, which consists of OMON, SOBR, former internal troops, special-purpose units, etc. In the emergency mode, you can direct to Belarus, e.g. by air by any a centrally subordinated special unit, just as fast can be transported by road, e.g. from Moscow or St. Petersburg. The intervention of the Rosguard (OMON), or the Russian Armed Forces, would be presented as restoring order in the face of a threat to Belarus’ security, inspired by the externally inspired “Maidan”. Defense Minister Viktar Chrenin recently spoke of a failed coup attempt in the wake of a “color revolution” inspired from outside and the ongoing hybrid war against Belarus.
The fact that this scenario of the support of Belarusian security forces by Russian colleagues was / is taken into account – so far – is most taken into account by the words of Vladimir Putin that a special reserve has been formed from forces subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, which can be used “if necessary”.
Unfortunately, it is not known what the number and composition of this reserve is. Seen in mid-August, the columns of trucks without identification marks used by Rosgvard, traveling from Moscow and St. Petersburg towards Belarus, may have been part of the reserve. These columns did not cross the border, and at present, as the Belarusian security forces are in control of the situation, it is possible that they have been returned to the base.
A video from St. Petersburg recently released of OMONs carrying backpacks and shields from unmarked trucks. Some experts believe that for some time OMON units from St. Petersburg or Moscow could have been located close to the border with Belarus in order to support the relatively small Belarusian OMON if necessary.
The ideal for an intervention in Belarus, in the conditions of a hybrid war (operation between peace and war) may be, for example, the Division of Dzerzhinsky (ODON) from Balashycha near Moscow. 604 Spetsnaz Center and operational regiments (1, 2, 4) are capable of performing the entire spectrum of tasks, while the division also has heavy equipment – BTR-80/82, Gaz Tigr family vehicles, mortar and anti-aircraft units, etc. As a mobile unit, professional and numerous (about 10,000), she is predisposed to the role of a separate “reserve”, even in the strength of several thousand soldiers.
The division has the strength and means to carry out various tasks: anti-terrorist and counter-terrorism, pacification of mass protests, protection of important state facilities, etc. In the central region, near Moscow, Rosguard also has other forces and resources, including 95 and 55 divisions in Moscow, 21 Brigade in Sofrino, Moscow region, 33, 63, 110 brigades in St. Petersburg, as well as brigades and regiments in neighboring regions (including the 12th Brigade based in Tula and regiments in Voronezh, Bryansk, Kursk etc.). The 25th Independent Special Purpose Unit “Merkury” (Zornovka) is stationed in the Smolensk region.
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