Trial of Taras Avataraŭ, a fighter of Right Sector. Photo: tut.by
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 rather unbalanced approach, repressing only supporters of the Ukrainian side. By doing so Minsk risks creating a strong pro-Russian force inside the country, capable of overthrowing disobedient President Alexander Lukashenka at the Kremlin's order.
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 rather unbalanced approach, repressing only supporters of the Ukrainian side. By doing so Minsk risks creating a strong pro-Russian force inside the country, capable of overthrowing disobedient President Alexander Lukashenka at the Kremlin's order.
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...
15 February 2016
While Belarus is receiving very old modifications of the S-300 from Russia, its officials have announced that the national air force will soon receive the newer S-30 aircraft. But it is too early to celebrate.
Minsk for almost a decade has in vain tried to obtain planes from Russia to guard the sky, including that over Moscow. In addition, Belarusian generals have recently made a series...
03 February 2016
On 22 January, President Alexander Lukashenka approved changes to Belarus' military doctrine. This document reveals fundamental changes in the mindset of the Belarusian establishment. Learning Ukrainian lessons, Minsk is putting issues of military security at the top of its priority list.
Belarusian strategists have also identified which threats are to be countered. They include...
01 February 2016
At the end of 2015 Belarus published a new energy security concept according to which it remains a country with a critical level of energy dependence.
90 per cent of Belarusian energy imports come from a single supplier – Russia. Moreover, a third of export revenue is traditionally generated by refining Russian oil.
The authorities prefer to retain the status-quo as an...
21 January 2016
On 5 January, Russia declared that Belarusian firms would get direct access to Russia's military procurement orders. It this really happens, it will mean that Russia has completed the process of replacing Belarusian components with Russian ones.
Minsk is looking to diversify its links in the military sphere. Recently, it continued working with China and Pakistan, and may even have...
12 January 2016
Belarus has managed to persuade Russia to supply it with arms and renounce plans for a Russian air base on Belarusian territory.
The Belarusian official military daily newspaper admitted at the end of December that some (apparently four) Russian aircraft are still stationed in Baranavichy. But Minsk has managed to postpone or even cancelled...
04 January 2016
On 16 December, President Lukashenka requested that Belarusian security agencies not neglect the consequences which the situation in Ukraine created for Belarus. He referred to the recent case of a former Donbas war veteran detained with weapons and explosives at the railway station in Minsk.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian State Border Committee reported about serious rise in illegal...
18 December 2015
Minsk consistently avoids supporting Moscow in Ukraine and Syria. To put it mildly. After all, on 7 December, Ukrainian Internal Minister Avakov inaugurated the new Ukrainian armoured vehicle Varta designed in cooperation with "Belarusian engineers".
It became just one more of a series of examples of Belarus-Ukrainian defence cooperation. Later on, the Belarusian Defence...
07 December 2015
On 15 November, Belarusian Defence Minister Andrej Raŭkoŭ appeared on Belarusian Television to discuss a new military doctrine, which he attributed to the arms buildup in neighbouring NATO states surrounding Belarus.
This article explores the background and content — insofar as it is known — of this doctrine and the preparedness of Belarus to meet future contingencies,...
26 November 2015
On 26 October Russian President Putin planned for a discussion about the plans for establishing a Russian airbase in Belarus with his Belarusian colleague Lukashenka. They did not meet.
Instead, a Russian general told the press that the base plans had been agreed on with the Belarusian side. The Belarusian defence ministry retorted that there was no political decision on the facility....