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UK intelligence: Russia, Belarus bluff to make Ukraine 'divert its forces to guard northern border'
Russia has unlikely managed to deploy 15,000 troops to Belarus to join the Belarusian military in their new Group of Forces, as Alexander Lukashenko announced on Oct. 14-15, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry. Russia can't generate combat-ready formations of the claimed size, while the Belarusian troops "maintain a minimal capability to undertake complex operations," reads the report.
Lukashenko's announcement "is likely an attempt to demonstrate Russian-Belarusian solidarity and to convince Ukraine to divert forces to guard the northern border," the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote.
On Oct. 14, Belarus declared a counter-terrorist operation regime and, according to independent Belarusian publication Nasha Niva, started to conduct small-scale covert mobilization to "man up the existing combat units."
On Oct. 10, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko gathered top military command and announced that his country had begun the process of creating a joint regional military command with Moscow.