Belarus, a historical ally of Russia’s has begun full-scale military drills of its airforce, ground forces, and anti-aircraft defenses, Interfax reports. Of course, the mobilization is being described as a “readiness check,” but as every country holding drills is saying that, does anybody really believe it?
Russia and belarus hold annual joint military exercises that often focus on invading neighboring territories such as the Baltic states and Poland. Meanwhile, six Russian Sukhoi-27 fighter jets and three transport planes have been deployed at Bobruisk airfield in Belarus. Earlier this week Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko invited Russian forces to fend off potential NATO threat.
“In case of continuing build-up of military forces in countries bordering Belarus, the country will take adequate response measures,” says a statement from the country’s Defense Ministry in Minsk.
NATO is sending 12 F-16 craft in Poland, in the wake of the Crimea crisis, and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has asked for an even greater US presence. Baltic states have also requested military assistance from NATO. Source
According to Wikipedia, The Belorussian military consists of:
In 2007, the Land Forces consisted of 29,600 soldiers (6th Guards Mechanised Brigade (Grodno), 11th Guards Mechanized Brigade at Slonim, the 120th Guards Mechanised Brigade (Minsk), 38th and 103rd Mobile Brigades (organized similarly to Soviet airborne regiments, not all of them are equipped with BMD-1), 5th Spetsnaz Brigade (Maryina Horka), five artillery brigades and four regiments, two MRL regiments, 15th, 29th, 115th, 120th and 302nd SAM Brigades, two SSM brigades, two brigades and one regiment of engineers, 8th NBC independent brigade, two signals brigades, 40th independent NBC battalion. Army equipment includes 1800 main battle tanks (MBT) and 2600 AFV/APC. The weapons and equipment storage bases include the 50th (Brest), 19th, 34th & 37th (former tank divisions), 3rd, and 28th (Baranovichi). Weapons storage bases that have been disbanded include the 29th, 30th, 193rd, and the storage base that used to be the 8th Guards Tank Division at Marina Gorka.
In 2012, it is reported that there are six mechanised brigades in the Ground Forces: three full-strength, the 6th (Grodno), 11th (Slonim), and 120th Guards Mechanised Brigade at Minsk. The others are at reduced strength, where there is one battalion, the 19th (Zaslonova), 37th, and 50th (Baranovichi).
In 2007 the AF & ADF consisted of 18,170 personnel (two fighter/interceptor bases, four FGA/reconnaissance squadrons, one transport air base, training aircraft, and attack and support helicopters, SAM units). Air Force equipment included in 2004 260 fighter-ground attack/training aircraft and 80 attack helicopters. According to Belarus government websites, the Air Forces now have two commands, the Western Operational-Tactical Command and the North-Western Operational-Tactical Command.
Russia continues it’s build up on the Ukraine border as it now seems to be mobilizing forces across the country:
In Saratov, Russia today:
In Omsk, Russia today:
All this happening while NATO steps up air patrols along the Polish-Ukrainian border..,
…and Ukraine steps up air patrols over the skies of Kiev:
Sunday is the day mark my words. I’d be shocked if I was wrong. if it doesn’t happen right on Sunday, then shortly after. Never in my life have I seen such a military buildup, so much tension involving world powers. Stay tuned.. closely.