On September 21, 2022, Vladimir Putin made a statement that partial mobilization of population is announced in Russia. Formally, Belarus has not joined the war against Ukraine, though providing the territory to Russian aggressors for the attack. However, till now, the Belarusian troops have not crossed the border.
At the same time, the chronology of the events shows that preparation and training of the Belarusian military has intensified.
Presenting the chronology of mobilization in November 2022.
November 2, 2022. Preparations are underway for the joint strategic military exercises of Belarus and Russia «Union Shield-2023», which will become the main event of the joint training of both military authorities and troops next year. It should be reminded that the last joint Belarusian-Russian exercises «Allied Decisiveness – 2022» in February of this year had ended with Russia invading Ukraine, in particular from the territory of Belarus.
November 3, 2022. The total militarization of society continues in Belarus. Now the authorities want to train teams of veterans of special forces units who will carry out combat missions in the event of a «mercenary invasion».
November 4, 2022. The 250th Separate security and maintenance battalion of the Western Operational Command in conjunction with persons, who were called up from the reserve, have completed military training session on technical and regulated maintenance, technical support, technical inspection and testing of weapons, military and special equipment. For 25 days 15 conscripts from the city of Grodno, and also from Grodno, Volkovysk, Berestovitsky, Svisloch and Lida districts carried out the transfer of the automotive military equipment into the winter operation mode.
November 5, 2022. At the polygons of Belarus, in addition to MiG-31K aircraft and containers where Kinzhal missiles can be stored, many tents with Russian military have appeared. In particular, new satellite images by Planet Labs show a large number of military tents and equipment located at the 230th polygon near Baranovichi (Brest region). Two campgrounds can be seen. The larger one’s dimensions are estimated to be 150×220 meter (more than two football fields). Next to it, there is another campground of size 90 × 90 meter. The pictures were taken on October 31, but, according to the publication, the militaries and equipment began to arrive at the polygon after October 16.
November 6, 2022. Belarus claimed that Kyiv was preparing for war. Initially, a message appeared on the website of the Belarusian border guards that the Ukrainian security forces had committed a provocation using armored vehicles on the border with Belarus.
A little later, the Belarusian border service allegedly intercepted a Ukrainian drone a kilometer from the border, which, in particular, according to them, was used for reconnaissance.
«This incident may be a manifestation of tension on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border on the background of the creation of a joint Russian-Belarussian military grouping,» said Konstantin Zatulin, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee.
In his opinion, Kyiv can prepare not only riots in Minsk, but also an invasion of the country.
November 7, 2022. Conflicts on ethnic grounds have become more frequent between the Belarusian and Russian militaries, tension is growing. This was reported by the General Intelligence Department of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The number of precedents is growing rapidly, which leads to an uncontrolled escalation of tension in the Republic of Belarus.
November 8, 2022. Russian militaries and equipment continue to be transferred to Belarus. Echelons are trying to bypass major cities in order to complicate the identification of military equipment on the platforms. The situation was reported by the Telegram channel Community of Belarussian Railway Workers.
November 9, 2022. The Russian army has been accumulating Iranian drones in Belarus. This was stated by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Britain Vadym Prystaiko. According to him, Iranian drones have been accumulating in Belarus ‘quite close to Kyiv’ and this is ‘the biggest concern’ for Ukraine.
November 11, 2022. The 38th Separate Guards Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus has purchased and passed as «fraternal» assistance to the personnel of the 15th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation up to 100 sets of individual first-aid kits, assault vests and other equipment, according to the message of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
November 12, 2022. Active military exercises continue at the Belarussian polygons, oftentimes with the involvement of the Russian army units deployed in Belarus. At the moment, the exercises have been extended until November 21. The reason for the extension is not disclosed.
On November, 19, 2022, the Defense Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, made a statement: «We are not planning to get involved in any conflicts.» On that day he was visiting the 72nd Joint Training Centre in Pechy, where new conscripts were taking an oath, as in the rest of the country.
During his speech, Viktor Khrenin also communicated that servicemen would participate in all operational and combat training activities planned for the upcoming academic year. One of them is «Union Shield-2023» conducted together with the Russian military.
On November 19, 2022, the Deputy Minister of the Internal Affairs, the commander of the Interior Ministry troops, Mikalai Karpiankou, said on the TV that allegedly all the conscripts that had served in the Interior Ministry troops in the previous three years, signed up as volunteers in case «they try to butt in here». Apparently, they even formed several units out of the Interior Ministry troops’ veterans.
«Military unit 3214: at this point, about 350 people were demobilized, and each of them signed up as a volunteer in case a difficult situation comes up, then even without announcing partiall or full mobilization, they are going to come on their own to military units, take weapons and fight the enemy who tries to butt in here. All the fighters of the Interior Ministry troops who resigned in 2020, 2021, 2022, they all signed up as volunteers and got registered at their military units. We have left weapons, ammunition, uniforms, means of protection for them. We shall need no conscriptions. They will all arrive and stay at their military units in special forces battalions that we are forming, to attain combat tasks together with us,» said Karpiankou.
He also said that «certain units» had additionally been formed out of veterans who had served for over 25 years, but are still of conscription age.
«We formalized everything according to the law, as it should be. We registered them with us. In case they are needed they will arrive to the units. It is the veterans who had served, who are called PMC groups, mercenaries in other countries, but they are our veterans who without money, from their own inner motivational condition, are ready to go and fight. We will reply to them that don’t you dare to come here, because we will figure it out and cope with it only with these units, reserve units,» the commander of the Interior Ministry troops said.
On November 22, 2022, the Deputy Minister of the Internal Affairs, the commander of the Interior Ministry troops, Mikalai Karpiankou, said that in order to raise the motivation of the fighters of the special forces units established in the Interior Ministry troops, rental housing will be built. According to him, the rental housing will be situated next to the corresponding military unit.
On November 22, 2022, Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine, Hanna Maliar, said that the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine was not expecting invasion of Russian or Belarusian army from the territory of Belarus in the near future, as, according to the Ukrainian experts, insufficient forces had been assembled there for that purpose.
When asked, if there was an immediate threat of assault from the territory of Belarus, she replied that Ukraine assumed all scenarios as possible since they were being elaborated by Russia anyway.
On November 23, 2022, the Ministry of Defence of Belarus reminded that military conscription and enlistement offices continued the scheduled verification of registration details of persons subject to conscription. The ministry said, that the data of all people liable for conscription would have been verified by the end of the year.
On November 24, 2022, the TV Zvezda channel reported that withing the framework of military training, the Russian army had deployed a field hospital in Belarus. 124 medical specialists work there: therapists, ultrasound specialist, ophthalmologists, orthopedists, neuropathologists and radiologists. The hospital has an emergency room, a therapeutic department and a surgery unit, an intensive care unit, a pharmacy. Its capacity is up to 300 people per day. During the military training in Belarus, the medical specialists learn to evacuate the wounded from the battle zone and provide the necessary medical assistance to them.
On November 24, 2022, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus reported that a complex training camp with officers from the ideological structure of the Armed Forces of Belarus continued. The participants of the camp were acquainted with peculiarities of the equipment of field recreation and information rooms, with the order of usage of propaganda munitions and modern means of ideological work, audio broadcasting station during combat actions. Besides that, the officers were shown a band of psychological training necessary to prepare the servicemen for conducting combat activietes.
On November 24, 2022, Oleksiy Gromov, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that according to the estimates of the General Staff, about 10-15 thousand of Belarusian enforcers are ready to fight against Ukraine. Their main motivation is money. At the same time, the moral and psychological state in the Belarusian army is low.
Also, according to him, the readiness of the Belarusian Armed Forces to conduct independent combat activities in Ukraine is estimated as low: the majority of the army personnel refuses to participate in the war.
– The enemy is spreading information about the so-called possible exacerbation of the situation in the period from November, 23 to 28 at the Russian-Ukrainian border. At the same time, it is claimed that NATO and Ukraine want to conquer the borderline areas of the «peaceful Belarus and Russia,» said Gromov. He added it is not ruled out that Russians can organize provocations in the said period.
On November 27, 2022, the Military Commissioner of Gomel district, Dzmitry Kalesnikau explained why the district military enlistment offices continue to verify personal data of Belarusians subject to military service. According to him, it is done so that the information about their family status, home address and health condition stays updated. People subject to military service, can be called to the human resources department at their place of work, to a local executive committee or to the military enlistment offices at their place of residence.
The military enlistment offices of Lepelsky and Ushachsky districts repeated several times that there was no hidden mobilization conducted in the country. Also, the commissariats explained what sort of information they were verifying about people subject to military service and till what date they were going to do it.
On November 28, 2022, the Telegram channel «Live. Community of railway workers of Belarus» informed that Russia had deployed to Belarus a huge echelon with military equipment by the railway: not less that 15 units of the Tor-M2 air defense systems and 10 units of engineering equipment. According to the channel, the military echelon N. 961 departed from the railstaition of Yeisk (Krasnodar Territory, Russian Federation) on November 25, 2022.
On November 28, 2022, at 10.40 a.m., the train arrived to Orsha-Central station in Vitebsk region. The railway workers suspected that destination of the echelon was the station Lesnaya near Baranavichy. According to the railway workers’ information, it was not the last echelon with Tor-M2 air defense systems deployed to Belarus.
On November 29, 2022, the external adviser to the office of the president of Ukraine, Oleksiy Arestovich, said that another offensive of the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine from the Belarusian direction was hardly probable for the time being. According to Mr. Arestovich, the Belarusian educational and material resources were used by the Russian military for the training of mobilized soldiers that later were sent mainly to Donbass.
In his interview, the external advisor assumed that «if everything goes normally» then the war would have ended by the summer of autumn of the next year, but there are numerous factors that can have an impact on the duration of hostilities.
On November 30, 2022, the Mayor of Brest, Aliaksandr Rahachuk warned that on November 30, 2022, during the daytime, a shooting cannonade can be heard from time to time in the city. «According to the information provided by the command of the Brest Regional Military Enlistment Office, instructor and methodical trainings with platoon commanders of the 38th Gurads Separate Airborne Assaul Brigade will be held at Brestsky firing range,» said Rahachuk. He added that the activities were held in the framework of preparation for the new academic year starting in the Belarusian army of December 1, 2022.
On November 30, 2022, the Defense Minister of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, claimed that the Russian experience of mobilization had been taken into consideration, what led to the decision to introduce corrections into the legislation. What corrections they decided to introduce remained unclear, but they promised to submit the issue to the public discussion.
The head of the Ministry of Defense said that in Belarus they analyze the Russian experience of conducting mobilization activities. He reminded that at the moment a «systematic and planned» verification of registration data of people subject to military service was being carried out in Belarus. According to him, over a million people liable for military duty have been verified.
Khrenin also said that the ministry «sees an elevated interest to get basic skills of military preparation among women as well», and reminded that there is a system of preliminary military training and pre-conscription training centers in Belarus.