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Lukashenka builds up Armed Forces in response to regional security situation

Lukashenka builds up Armed Forces in response to regional security situation

In recent years, the Lukashenka regime has paid more attention to the mobilisation and combat readiness of the Armed Forces, learning Russia’s lessons from the war against Ukraine. In 2023, Belarus revised the procedures for calling up reservists; the recently amended laws allow for accelerated mobilisation of reservists and an increase in the number of reservists. Since the end of 2022, Belarus has intensified the combat readiness training of manoeuvre units. In 2023, the Armed Forces tested the transition of a mechanised brigade to a wartime establishment. In addition, Wagner mercenaries provided training and passed on the latest combat experience to the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Belarus has also increased its military presence towards Ukraine. In addition to the manoeuvre units that have been patrolling the Ukrainian border since spring 2022, a new regiment equipped with S-300 surface-to-air missile complexes was formed in Luninets in early 2023. It is planned to establish a new garrison with training facilities in the Gomel region.

In 2023, Belarus has acquired a significant amount of modern combat equipment from Russia. The Iskander operational-tactical missile complex was delivered to Belarus. Its guided missiles have a range of 500 km and can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads. The Special Operations Forces received a battalion set of BTR-82A armoured personnel carriers. Belarus strengthened its Air and Air Defence Forces with new S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and Mi-35M attack helicopters. The growing combat and mobilisation readiness of the Belarusian Armed Forces as well as the significant assistance provided to Belarus by Russia in the form of military equipment are increasing the country’s military potential.

The delivery of Iskanders and S-400 systems to the Belarusian Armed Forces likely meets Russian operational needs Belarus Ministry of Defence

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