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Monitoring group: Belarus prepares large-scale military drills in late September

by Martin Fornusek September 14, 2023 4:12 PM 2 min read
Russian and Belarusian troops take part in the Zapad-2021 military exercise in Brest Oblast in Belarus on Sept. 14, 2021. (Photo credit: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The Belarusian military is actively preparing large-scale exercises that are scheduled to take place at the end of the month, the monitoring group Belarusian Hajun reported on Sept. 14.

According to the report, the drills will involve troops of the 6th, 11th, 19th, and 120th mechanized brigades, as well as those of the 336th Rocket Artillery Brigade armed with Smerch and Polonez multiple rocket launchers.

The rocket artillery units have reportedly already begun to move into the area of the exercises.

Belarusian Hajun said that inspections are underway to assess the status and availability of weaponry and other equipment. The units also reportedly conduct classes to "prevent negative information influences on the personnel," the anti-government organization reported.

According to the group, head of the Department of International Military Cooperation of Belarusian Defense Ministry Valery Revenko announced the plans for the drills in late August.

The official claimed that the countries of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have been notified of the upcoming drills.

Belarus is currently conducting joint military drills with units of the Russian military, scheduled to last at least until Sept. 17, just as the country's dictator Alexander Lukashenko leaves for a state visit in Russia to meet Vladimir Putin.

Last year, Russia used the Belarusian territory, with Lukashenko's approval, to launch an unsuccessful offensive against Ukraine from the north, hoping to capture the capital of Kyiv.

Since then, the number of Russian troops stationed in the country has been steadily decreasing. In July, Ukrainian officials reported that Russia had withdrawn the vast majority of its troops previously stationed there.

Belarus became a host to a number of Wagner Group mercenaries, who arrived following their short-lived rebellion against the Kremlin in late June.

Although reports emerged that the contractors began to depart following their boss Yevgeny Prigozhin's death in a plane crash on Aug. 23, Minsk denied these claims, saying that the mercenaries would remain in Belarus.

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