On 14-20 September 2016 the Belarusian Armed Forces conducted large-scale military drills. Despite the fact that these military exercises were planned, they demonstrate a significant shift in security policy as Minsk increasingly takes into consideration possible risks and challenges from Russia. It seems that the Belarusian Armed Forces are preparing for a possible Donbass-like hybrid conflict in light of increasing pressure from the Kremlin.
On 14-20 September 2016 the Belarusian Armed Forces conducted large-scale military drills.
Despite the fact that these military exercises were planned, they demonstrate a significant shift in security policy as Minsk increasingly takes into consideration possible risks and challenges from Russia.
It seems that the Belarusian Armed Forces are preparing for a possible Donbass-like hybrid conflict in light of increasing pressure from the Kremlin.
- 05 September 2016
01 September 2016
Оn 20 July 2016 Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka approved the final version of the new Military Doctrine of Belarus. The previous version had been adopted in 2002 and has obviously outlived its usefulness in light of the dramatic changes in the global and regional security architecture.
The Russia-Ukraine hybrid conflict and a new “Cold...
29 August 2016
On 22 August the Belarusian the defence ministry announced the purchase of trainer and light ground-attack aircraft and transport helicopters to modernise its Air Force. At first glance this unimpressive deal seems to contradict Minsk's recently announced ambitious plans to develop strategic deterrence capacities.
Belarus's military equipment procurement policy, however, is less...
18 August 2016
On 11 August, the State Military Industrial Committee of Belarus announced that in the first half of this year its defence enterprises earned a net profit of $80m, thus over-fulfilling the assigned export plans by a quarter.
Foreign media have recently reported that new Belarusian military equipment or equipment modernised in Belarus is being used by the Turkmenistani and Kazakhstani...
03 August 2016
On 10 July 2016 there was an incident at the construction site of the new Astraviec Nuclear Power Plant.
According to local whistle-blower Mikalai Ulasevich, a crane dropped the 330-tonne reactor from a height of 2-4 metres during a test lift. Until 26 July the officials either actively denied the incident or simply kept silent.
For Belarusians, this is painfully reminiscent of...
09 June 2016
Minsk wants to maintain its own position in the latest confrontation between NATO and Russia in the region. Various Belarusian officials state that they see no immediate threat to Belarus from NATO, but rather from a possible internal conflict like those that occurred in Ukraine and Arab countries.
The Belarusian government is more preoccupied with bringing the Ukrainian border under...
20 May 2016
As NATO started to construct its European missile defence system, Moscow on 16 May held talks with Minsk on its planned response. “We have an identical approach to the missile defence system,” insisted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. His government reportedly wants to deploy its missile units next to the system facilities, also in Belarus.
Yet Minsk is resisting...
06 May 2016
On 25 April, Belarus ' State Military Industrial Committee announced that in the first quarter of 2016 its defence industrial enterprises had increased exports by 31 per cent compared to the previous year. Their net profit grew even more, by 1.6 times.
Remarkably, the Belarusian defence industry has succeeded even while Moscow continues its policy of restricting access to Russian...
21 April 2016
On 18 April the Belarusian authorities launched the trial of Taras Avataraŭ, a fighter from the Right Sector battalion who participated in the Ukraine conflict.
Earlier this month they introduced amendments to legislation which allow prison sentences for those fighting in foreign conflicts for ideological, not just mercenary, reasons.
However, the government seems to be taking a...
12 April 2016
On 6 April Moscow declared that the agreement on establishment of a Single Air Defence System of Belarus and Russia had been implemented.
That announcement downplayed the contradictory situation around military cooperation between the two countries and the question of Belarus' international balancing.
First, the air defence agreement itself brings little new. It mostly...
04 April 2016
Saturday 2 April witnessed intensive clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijan forces in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The same day Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka ordered the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Relations to start consultations with their Armenian and Azerbaijan colleagues.
Moreover, the Belarusian leader held telephone conversations...
29 March 2016
As soon as one large-scale control check of combat readiness ended in February, the Belarusian army command launched another one in mid-March. Minsk also strengthened its territorial defence troops by introducing regular training and providing these units with their own equipment and materials.
Meanwhile, Belarusian officials reiterated the following: national armed forces are getting...