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Border Guard Service: Russia pulls almost all its troops from Belarus

by Martin Fornusek July 14, 2023 2:23 PM 2 min read
Belarusian border guard checks drivers and vehicles entering the border zone near the settlement of Divin in the Brest region on Feb. 15, 2023. (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
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As part of the latest military rotation, Russia has withdrawn almost all its troops from Belarus, the State Border Guard Service's spokesperson Andrii Demchenko said on July 14.

As the spokesperson explained, the Russian military has been using Belarusian territory primarily as a training ground.

"Fortunately, the number of Russian soldiers in Belarusian training areas has been steadily decreasing," he revealed at a press briefing.

"Until recently, we estimated their number to be up to 2,000 soldiers, but now another rotation has taken place and almost all Russian personnel has been withdrawn from the territory of Belarus."

Demchenko did not rule out the possibility that Russia may re-deploy troops in the country sometime in the future, however.

The spokesperson added there is no reliable information on the presence of the Wagner Group mercenaries behind Ukraine's northern border.

Wagner contractors were set to leave for Belarus following the short-lived insurrection by their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin against the Kremlin on June 23-24. Several media subsequently reported on a new military camp being built near the town of Asipovichy, 200 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, allegedly to station Prigozhin's mercenaries.

Minsk denied that the facility is meant to house Wagner mercenaries, saying it is intended for Belarusian territorial defense forces.

According to Demchenko, the situation at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border remains stable and the State Border Guard Service does not observe a significant strength for another enemy incursion from Belarusian territory.

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