Belarus, Russia to start ‘defensive in nature’ air force drills | Military News

The elevated army exercise has raised concern that Moscow may use its neighbour to mount a renewed floor offensive on Ukraine.

Belarus has stated the joint air drive drills it should start with Russia on Monday are defensive in nature, however the workout routines are happening as considerations develop that Moscow is pushing Minsk to hitch the struggle in Ukraine.

“The train is solely defensive in nature,” stated Pavel Muraveyko, first deputy state secretary of the Belarusian Safety Council, based on a publish on the Belarusian defence ministry’s Telegram app on Sunday.

“Will probably be a set of measures to organize our and Russian aviation to hold out the related fight missions.”

The workout routines, which is able to proceed till February 1, will contain coaching for “aerial reconnaissance, deflecting air strikes, air cowl of essential objects and communications”, Muraveyko added.

The build-up of Russian troops in Belarus, mixed with a flurry of army exercise within the nation, is an echo of developments simply earlier than Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine when Moscow used the nation as a springboard to launch the assault.

The most recent build-up has triggered fears in Kyiv and the West that Russia could possibly be set to make use of Belarus to mount a brand new floor offensive on Ukraine.

Ukraine has repeatedly warned of doable assaults from Belarus, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated final week that the nation should be prepared at its border with Belarus.

The Kremlin has denied that it has been pressuring Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to take a extra lively position within the battle in Ukraine. Minsk has stated it is not going to enter the struggle.

Because the begin of the struggle, Belarus has performed quite a few army workout routines, together with large-scale complete drills in late August and quite a lot of smaller ones by itself or collectively with Russia.

Along with Moscow, Minsk has additionally been including weaponry and army tools to the drills.

Unofficial Telegram army monitoring channels have been reporting a collection of fighters, helicopters and army transport planes coming to the nation because the begin of the yr — eight fighters and 4 cargo planes on Sunday alone.

The Reuters information company was not in a position to confirm the studies. The Belarusian defence ministry stated solely that “models” of Russia’s air drive have been arriving in Belarus.

“In the course of the tactical flight train, all airfields and coaching grounds of the Air Power and Air Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of Belarus shall be concerned,” the ministry stated in a press release.

Muraveyko stated the state of affairs on the nation’s southern border — the border with Ukraine — was “not very calm,” and that Ukraine has been “upsetting” Belarus.

“We’re sustaining restraint and endurance, maintaining our gunpowder dry,” Muraveyko stated. “We’ve the mandatory set of forces and signifies that will reply to any manifestations of aggression or a terrorist menace on our territory.”

Final week, an official at Russia’s international ministry, Aleksey Polishchuk, warned that whereas the army drills with Belarus had been designed to prevent escalation, Moscow’s closest ally might be part of the struggle effort if Ukraine “invaded”.

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