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Belarus announces snap inspection of tactical nuclear delivery capabilities

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 7, 2024 6:11 PM 2 min read
Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin during military drills on May 7, 2024. (Belarusian Defense Ministry/Telegram)
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The Belarusian Armed Forces launched a sudden inspection of military units capable of using tactical nuclear arms and other forces, the country's Defense Ministry said on May 7.

The announcement came a day after Russia, Belarus's key ally, said its forces would practice the usage of tactical nuclear weapons.

The snap inspections took place on the orders of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko on May 7.

"A unit of Iskander operational-tactical system and a squadron of Su-25 aircraft are being prepared to carry out their intended tasks," Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said.

"An entire range of activities from planning, preparation, and use of tactical nuclear weapons will be tested," he added.

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At least two Su-25 attack planes were relocated from their home airfield, Lida, to the Machulishchy airbase near Minsk, said the independent Belarusian monitoring group Belarusian Hajun.

Missile systems Iskander-M and Polonez-M are also to be transferred into positions for the drills, the group said.

Belarus does not possess its own nuclear weaponry, but Russia signed an agreement with Minsk last year to place its tactical nuclear arms on Belarusian territory.

Belarusian authorities claimed in December 2023 that the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons had been completed.

Belarus is Moscow's close ally and has provided extensive support to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, namely allowing Russian troops to launch their unsuccessful offensive toward Kyiv from its territory in 2022. Despite this, the Belarusian military has not directly participated in Russia's war.

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