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Russia significantly increased its military presence in Belarus

Russia significantly increased its military presence in Belarus The Belarusian army has deployed battalions and tactical groups in two regions (photo: Getty Images)

The Russian Federation has strengthened its military presence on the territory of its ally, the Republic of Belarus. Belarusian forces, with support from Moscow, have deployed several battalions and tactical groups in two regions of the country, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Experts from the Institute referred to information disclosed by Ukrainian military observer Konstantin Mashovets on Sunday, December 17. According to Mashovets, the Belarusian military has established a substantial military grouping in the territories of two regions. This includes:

  • airborne Assault Battalion of the 38th Airborne Assault Brigade near Uzhovo and to the south of Pinsk in the Brest region;

  • two units of the 5th Special Forces Brigade near Ivanovo in the Brest region and Pribolovichi in the Gomel region;

  • paratrooper Assault Battalion of the 103rd Separate Airborne Brigade near Lelchitsky district, Bragim, and Zyabrivka in the Gomel region;

  • tactical group of the 51st Artillery Brigade to the south of the city of Gomel;

  • rocket artillery battery of the 336th Rocket Artillery Brigade near Zyabrivka in the Gomel region.

Mashovets noted that the military grouping comprises 1,840 servicemen, around 68-70 armored personnel carriers (BTR), 24 artillery systems, and three anti-aircraft defense systems.

The role of Belarus in Russia's war against Ukraine

Belarusian journalists found possible evidence that mercenaries from the disbanded Russian PMC Wagner could have joined the newly formed special unit Tornado of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

On December 15, Belarus initiated a sudden inspection of the anti-aircraft warfare.

Moreover, Minsk regularly continues joint military exercises with the Armed Forces of Belarus and Russia. In total, they have been ongoing for 86 weeks.