Presentation of the mobilisation chronology from September to December 2022.
- September-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia
- October-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia
- November-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia
- December-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia
- Conclusions and Brief overview of the events after the announcement of mobilization in Russia
Chapter 1. September-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia.
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.
September 21, 2022. The State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus, Alexander Volfovich, commented on the appearing rumors about the probability of mobilization in Belarus in connection with the announced of partial mobilization in Russia. «Mobilization does not apply to us; the people and the country of Belarus are already mobilized. We are always ready, God forbid, to fight back using the forces and means which are meant for that purpose.», – said Alexander Volfovich answering the questions of the journalists after the meeting of with the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev.
September 23, 2022. Aliaksandr Lukashenka made a statement that there would be no mobilization in Belarus: «That mobilization is in Russia. They are trying to throw that bridge that mobilization will be here as well… There will be no mobilization. I’s a lie», – Lukashenka told the journalists.
He emphasized that «Belarus will respond to possible threats and attempts at terrorist attacks». For that, military exercises are being held in the country, including these with the participation of the so-called people’s militia., so that «people would know their responsibilities and had the necessary military skills».
September 23, 2022. In the North-Western Operational Command under the leadership of the deputy commander for ideological work, Valery Yanushkevich, a training and methodological gathering of deputy commanders of military formations and units for ideological work took place. During the gathering, the issues of organization, planning and conducting activities of ideological work were discussed with consideration of the specifics of tasks for the intended purpose, included strengthening the defense of the state border.
September 24, 2022. About 130 mercenaries of the PMC «Liga» arrived to Minsk and immediately started trainings with the Belarusian security company «GuardService». The colonel of the APU, Anatoly Stefan, paid attention to that. «There is high probability of operation of sabotage and reconnaissance groups in the territory of Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr and Kyiv regions. Why do they need that? To accuse Ukraine of artificial destabilization of the situation and to create fertile ground for mobilization among Belarusian supporters of Putin.»
September 26, 2022. The Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makey in his interview to RIA News confirmed the possibility of deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus and the corresponding plans of the Belarusian and Russian regimes.
«Our presidents have already spoken on the matter some time ago, that certain types of aircrafts will be modernized and equipped also with the corresponding means of transportation of nuclear weapons. Some other variants are not excluded either,» – said the close accomplice of Lukashenka. «However, as I understand, everything will depend on the behavior of our partners, on those direct threats for Belarus and Russia. If any such steps will be made by our Western partners, then of course we, together with Russia, will elaborate an adequate response accordingly.»
September 28, 2022. In Belarus a sudden check of combat and mobilization readiness of the military unit 06752 in Machulishchy (near Minsk) started. As the Ministry of Defense announced, the check is going to be carried out for a month. The military will work through a number of issues, the main ones being the conscription, restoration of skills of those liable for military duty, removal of military and special equipment from storage with the scope to check its combat readiness. The Ministry of Defense of Belarus made a statement that the check was allegedly being conducted in accordance with the Air Force and Air Defense forces training plan. However, in the light of the Russian mobilization and obvious preparation to the start of mobilization in Belarus such statements look extremely bogus.
September 28, 2022. In the Western Operational Command, regular control sessions on combat training subjects took place, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. In the fire town of the 74th separate communication regiment of the Western Operational Command a firing training test was held, during which officers fulfilled the standards and also developed techniques and methods of firing from regular weapons.
September 29, 2022. In Belarus, repressions against people unwilling to serve in the army with a high probability to be sent to the Russian was against Ukraine continue. A 24-year-old man was tried in Minsk for the attempt to avoid military service by going to Poland. He was detained when he came home for a visit and was sentenced to two months of arrest. The court found him guilty under Part 1 Art. 435 of the Criminal Code (evasion from activities on draft to the military service).
September 29, 2022. At Osipovichsky firing range, a tactical exercise with the first rocket artillery battalion of the 336th rocket artillery brigade took place, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. Crews of the MLRS «Smerch» practiced tasks of weapons charging, exit to launching sites, and carrying out strikes at conditional enemy. After the training launches, the servicemen stowed the machinery and departed from the position.
September 30, 2022. It was communicated that a check of the radio navigation aids of the airfield network started, a rotation of aviation units of the Joint Air-Defense and Air Force Training and Combat Center of Military Forces of Belarus and Russia was carried out with replacement of three out of four available Su-30M multi-purpose fighters. Also, the Operational command «North» informs about similar work of Belarusians on the railway.
Chapter 2. October-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia.
October 4, 2022. Lukashenka spoke on whether Belarus is getting ready for war. According to the self-proclaimed president, there is no need to announce mobilization in Belarus.
Also, during the meeting on military security, Lukashenka made a statement that «Poland is building up its military forces at the Belarusian borders, Lithuania is trying to keep up. Under the guise of supporting Kyiv, a number of European countries are implementing their plans to rearm with modern weapons and equipment and reinforce their armies.»
October 4, 2022. Belarus cannot ignore the aggressive policy of NATO and neighboring countries, Belarusian defense minister, Viktor Khrenin, told the media after the meeting held with security forces to discuss the country’s military security. «We will respond to all threats that may arise, quickly, accurately and adequately. For this, we have both the forces and the means.»
The defense minister made a statement that under the guise of an imaginary «threat from the East», NATO countries and Belarus’ neighbors are not just militarizing. «They are preparing for war. Proceeding from this, we are mapping out concrete and adequate response measures,» he added.
October 5, 2022. Aliaksandr Lukashenka admitted the participation of Belarus in the «special military operation» of Russia, and added that «But we don’t kill anyone.» Instead, during the meeting held with security forces to discuss the country’s military security, Lukashenka claimed that Belarus’ participation was first of all limited to preventing the conflict from spreading onto Belarusian territory and, secondly, to have Russia’s back.
October 6, 2022. «From September, 20, till October, 14, a regular training of people liable to military service are held at the 74th separate regiment of the Western Operational Command,» the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. «The reservists replenish skills and knowledge in tactical and special, firing and ideological training, as well as in the previously obtained military specialties.»
October 6, 2022. A regular conscription campaign is held in Belarus, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. Thousands of young men are directed to military enlistment and conscription offices to determine their suitability for military service. The first conscripts are planned to replenish the armed forces by the end of October.
October 06, 2022. «As of today, the conflict in Ukraine, provoked by the West, also carries risks and challenges to the military security of our state. Even though Belarusians do not fight with Ukraine,» said the defense minister of the Republic of Belarus, Lieutenant General, Viktor Khrenin, while informing the mass media on the military and political situation in the country and abroad.
October 7, 2022. Persecution of young people unwilling to take up arms and be sent to the war against Ukraine, continues in Belarus. An 18-year-old, accused of evasion from activities on draft to the military service, is going to be tried in Minsk. The young man is accused under Part 1 Art. 435 of the Criminal Code (evasion from activities on draft to the military service), he is facing up to two years of imprisonment.
October 7, 2022. During the meeting with the Mass Media, the Defense Minister of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, answering the question about the scale of work done with servicemen of the reserve, said the following:
- this work is absolutely regular one;
- mobilization trainings with servicemen of the reserve are of constant character;
- in the last 20 years, 130 thousand people have gone through mobilization trainings;
- if necessary, the Defense Ministry can field a resource of 500 thousand persons liable to military service, and it is about the trained reserve;
- 60% of the Belarusian army consists of contract soldiers. There is no need to create a contract army in Belarus.
Also, the defense minister announced the arrival of a number of new equipment to the army: missile launchers Iskander, air defense systems S-400, as well as a presentation of unmanned combat complexes in October.
October 10, 2022. Lukashenka and Putin agreed on deployment of joint Regional Grouping of Forces. Lukashenka announced that at the meeting on military security. «If the threat level reaches the current level, as it is now, we start deploying the Union State grouping. The base of the grouping is the army, the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus. I should inform you that the grouping has already started forming. It has been going on for two days.»
October 10, 2022. Partizansky District Court examined a criminal case against a 19-year-old man, accused of evasion from activities on draft to the military service. The materials of the case state that the defendant, being a conscript and being warned of the criminal liability for evasion from activities on draft to the military service, from February, 1 till March, 31 of the current year «maliciously evaded the activities on draft to the military service till the end of the conscription, in particular, he thrice failed to appear at the location of the activities on draft to the military service without valid reasons». In the result the young man was found guilty of evasion from activities on draft to the military service and sentenced to 240 hours of community service.
October 11, 2022. The Russians continue to deploy Iranian kamikaze drones Shahed-136 to Belarus. As of October 10, 2022, 32 drones were brought to the country, other 8 drones are expected to be delivered in the following days, informed RBC-Ukraine making reference to the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Besides that, the Ukrainian intelligence states that Belarus is providing the occupation army with material and technicals means and ammunition from its storages.
«In particular, a railway echelon with ammunition arrived to Kiyevskaya railway station in the Crimea carrying 12 freight cars / 492 tons, sent from the 43rd arsenal of storage of missiles and ammunition in Belarus», – said the Main Directorate of Intelligence.
Also, according to the Directorate, it is planned to move 13 echelons with weapons and military equipment in the near future (219 platforms), ammunition (28 cars) from Belarusian arsenals and storage bases.
According to the Main Directorate of Intelligence, the main «suppliers» are:
- 46th missile and ammunition storage arsenal (Bronnaya Gora, Brest region);
- 43rd missile and ammunition storage arsenal (Dubetskoye, Gomel region);
- 391st artillery ammunition base (Bobr, Minsk region);
- 969th tank reserve base (Uruchcha, Minsk region);
- 288th automobile reserve base (Starye Dorogi, Minsk region).
It is also known that the freights are supposed to arrive to the railway stations «Kamenskaya» (Kamensk-Shakhtinsky) and «Martsevo» (Taganrog), Rostov region.
October 11, 2022. Servicemen of the 38th Brest Gurads Separate Airborne Assaul Brigade had a night airdrop mission from a military transport aircraft Il-76MD, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel.
October 11, 2022. «The tasks of the Regional Grouping of Forces are purely defensive,» – said the Defense Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin, while informing the mass media on the military and political situation in the country and abroad. «Today, accordingly to the unfolding situation, we are gradually implementing separate measures, directed at proactive preparedness of RGF(S) to respond to the unfolding situation to ensure safety along the perimeter of the borders of the Union State. In accordance with the threats, a regrouping maybe carried out to cover separate directions.»
October 11, 2022. Starting from October, 11, the State Secretariat of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus, in accordance with the instructions of the president, carries out an inspection of the Armed Forces of Belarus, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. During the inspection, military units and divisions will work on achieving combat readiness, marching and «deployment in designated areas with the implementation of combat training tasks.»
October 11, 2022. «Belarus participates in the «special operation» in Ukraine, fulfilling several functions,» – the First Deputy of the State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus, Pavel Muravejka, told the Belarusian television. «We are an ally of the Russian Federation. We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our Russian brothers, and we will not allow any blows in their back, we will not allow any attack on them. Peace and order must always be in the territory of Belarus, which will also provide tranquility in the Western regions of the Russian Federation,» said Muravejka.
October 12, 2022. During the inspection of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, held by the State Secretariat of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus, military units and divisions, in the shortest possible time, marched and arrived to the assigned areas of fulfilment of training and combat tasks, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. Upon arrival, the servicemen started equipment of frontiers in an engineering manner.
October 13, 2022. On October, 12, Belarusian parliament adopted on first reading the draft law specifying, among others, the grounds for granting the right to deferment of military service. The main thing, the draft law suggests a decrease in the number of people receiving the right to deferment of military service. It suggests that only those students studying abroad will be granted the right to deferment who have been sent there by the state.
October 13, 2022. The State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus, Alexander Volfovich: no mobilization is being planned in Belarus, all the conscription activities are regular. «Now, a regular autumn conscription is starting. Send your children, so that they would become morally stronger, gain experience, independence, become mature.»
October 14, 2022. They started to prepare the citizens of Belarus to the general mobilization for war, in the image and likeness of the Russian mobilization. The former leader of the General Staff of Belarus, currently the Chair of the Standing Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus on National Security, Oleg Belokonev, said on the air of ONT that if there was going to be a mobilization in Belarus, it would be held in the shortest possible time. «No mobilization has been announced here. However, if it is needed, it will be held in the shortest possible time. Thus, the size of the armed forces will multiply many times.» The former leader of the General Staff of Belarus also informed, that according to his data, a «quite powerful operational equipment» of territories is happening in the Baltic countries and in Poland. «It’s one of the indicators that a state is preparing for [war]. (…) We should react accordingly to all those things,» said Belokonev.
October 15, 2022. First echelons with Russian servicemen, making part of the Regional Grouping of Forces, arrived to Belarus, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel.
October 15, 2022. Commander of the Joint Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev said, that up to a thousand servicemen from Russia, 6 aircrafts, 4 Iskanders and 12 anti-aircraft missile systems C-400 are constantly deployed in the territory of Belarus.
October 16, 2022. Russia started transferring military aircrafts and helicopters to Belarus, which will constitute the aviation part of the Regional Grouping of Forces, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel.
October 16, 2022. Around 9 thousand Russian servicemen are planning to arrive to Belarus in the framework of the deployment of the joint grouping of forces, informed the head of the International Military Cooperation Department, Assistant Minister, Valery Revenko. Redeployment is going to take several days. The total number will constitute slightly less than 9 thousand people.
October 17, 2022. The Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus continue to fulfill tasks to strengthen border security, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. Under protection are bridges, crossings, railways, are equipped positions for firing of small arms and military equipment.
October 17, 2022. Emergency officials of Belarus received arms from the Ministry of Defense. The head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Vadim Sinyavsky, informed that when ordered, emergency officials will perform tasks to maintain order and defend the country in case of mass riots or armed conflict. Also, Sinyavsky made a statement that over five thousand of closed constructions will be used in Belarus to shelter the population from missile attacks.
October 17, 2022. Belarus threatens to take preventive measures of strategic deterrence to prevent attacks on its territory. Use of military force is considered among those measures, informed the head of the International Military Cooperation Department of Belarus, Valery Revenko. He made a special mention of the threat from the side of Lithuania. He underlined that Belarus will defend its national interests using all the means it possesses, including the use of military force.
October 18, 2022. Belarusian servicemen from different arms received a communication forbidding their travel abroad with any purpose. At the same time, in the whole country, the campaign to withdraw passports from the law enforcers started. The only country, that Belarusian servicemen are allowed to travel, is Russia. That order is given verbally to the military.
October 20, 2022. The Russian aviation component of the Regional Grouping of Forces is conducting regular patrolling of the air borders, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel.
October 20, 2022. Starting from October, 24, citizens of the Republic of Belarus drafted for military service, service in the reserves, will be sent to military divisions and units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on its Telegram channel. On the first day, about 1000 conscripts will be sent to the troops; they will join the ranks of special operations forces, 72nd combined training center and Minsk military commandant office. In general, it is planned to send about ten thousand people to man the Armed Forces, other troops and military formations of the Republic of Belarus in October and November. Besides that, it is planned to send about two hundred people to the service in the reserves in the same period.
October 20, 2022. «On the basis of the 72th Guards Joint Training Centre for Warrant Officers and Junior Professionals scheduled training military sessions are held with those liable for military service,» the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported in its Telegram channel. According to official statements, the purpose of the event was the retraining of the arrived personnel in the military registration specialty. In particular, classes were held with recruits in military topography, fire and tactical training.
October 20, 2022. According to the Telegram channel of Belarusian Intelligence, in the first half of October, the mobilization department of the Belarusian Ministry of Defense issued an order under the seal «classified» on the preparation of «urgent training» for both reserve servicemen and reserve troops. Packages were received by numerous military registration and enlistment offices over the country.
Here’s how it’s going to go down.
Recruits are called to the military registration and enlistment offices by means of a call or draft notices to «clarify information». Upon arrival, the necessary identification data is specified, the conscript undergoes a medical examination (if necessary) and a permanent mobilization order is glued into the military ID card, a briefing is given and responsibility for evasion is reported. Those liable for military service who have prescriptions, in the event of an announcement of mobilization or military trainings, are obliged to immediately arrive at the collection points. Particularly the conscripts with ‘deficient’ specialties for the military infrastructure will be drafted.
The selection of candidates will be carried out taking into account special criteria, primarily loyalty to the current Belarussian government. Primarily the residents of depressed areas of no contact on the border with Ukraine will be conscripted. These will be Belarusians from the Vitebsk and Gomel regions, as well as the north-east of the Mogilev region. Future soldiers should not experience good-neighborly empathy for the people of Ukraine.
October 20, 2022. According to the Belarussian Ministry of Defense, purposeful work is being carried out to re-equip the troops with new modern types of weapons, military and special equipment. The equipment is being upgraded in three directions: the modernization of existing equipment at industrial enterprises in Russia and Belarus, the purchase of modern samples produced in Belarus, delivery of such samples from Russian enterprises within the framework of military-technical cooperation.
Thus, the Armed Forces have already received new armored vehicles BTR-82A, modernized tanks T-72B3 and armored vehicles BTR-70MB, lightly armored combat vehicles «Dragon» and «Caiman», other types of weapons and military equipment. In view of the evolving military and political situation, considerable attention is being paid to equipping troops with unmanned aerial systems of various levels and purposes.
As modern weapons are delivered to formations and military units, obsolete models of military equipment are withdrawn from the troops to arsenals and weapons bases for the purpose of their subsequent modernization or repair and laying in reserve. To date, the re-equipment of tank, mechanized and landing units with new models of armored weapons and vehicles has been completed.
The released samples of weapons and military equipment are sent to industrial enterprises, including the Russian ones, for modernization. Upon completion of the upgrade, these samples will be delivered both to active military formations and army units, also they will be intended to provide reserve units.
October 21, 2022. In the Pinsk and Stolin districts of Belarus, special services have banned any video recording, including the use of car DVR. This was reported by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
October 21, 2022. «The Belarussian State Military-Industrial Committee demonstrates the combat capabilities of national promising models of weapons, military and special equipment at the 230th combined-arms polygon Obuz-Lesnovsky,» The Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported this information in its telegram channel.
October 23, 2022. Republican unitary enterprise Beldorcenter finally closed access to hundreds of traffic cameras throughout Belarus. Previously, the picture from the cameras was updated once an hour and allowed everyone to assess the condition of the road surface on the main roads of Belarus. The cameras were accessed through the i.centr.by website, but that function was disabled with the beginning of the full-scale war. One day earlier access to Beldorcenter surveillance cameras on the weather service windy.com was also disabled.
This year, it is the second similar case. For the first time viewing was blocked shortly before the Russian troops’ intervention in Ukraine, January 14, 2022. Then the Belarussian State Border Committee denied access to cameras at the entrance and exit of the Belarusian border crossings. Moreover, cameras stopped operating first and foremost on the border with Ukraine.
October 24, 2022. In Belarus, Iranian instructors train the Russian military and supervise the launch of drones. This was written by the Centre for National Resistance created by the Special Operation Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In Belarus the Iranian instructors were noticed, they could coordinate the launches of Shahed-136 kamikaze drones at infrastructure facilities in Ukraine. It stated that a group of Iranian instructors, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Officers, was observed in the village of Mikulichi in Gomel region. The above-mentioned group was under heavy guard of both Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) and FSB officers. Namely, these instructors coordinated the launch of drones on the infrastructure objects of the Kyiv region, the Northern and Western regions of Ukraine. In addition, it is reported that the Russians have completely taken control of the air bases in Baranovichi and Lida and continue to use them to attack the territory of Ukraine.
October 29, 2022. Belarusians have been boycotting Lukashist military training and mobilization. The Volkovysk District Court gave a fine of 2,240 in Belarusian rubles to a 30-year-old Belarusian for ‘willful evasion of calling up for military training’.
In the meantime, in Gomel, a show trial was held in the military enlistment office (pictured) over a 21-year-old conscript who did not appear on the summons to the recruitment office this May. To a direct question about the desire to serve in the army, he answered, «No, I don’t want to serve.» The so-called court sentenced him to one month of imprisonment with sending to an arrest house.
October 31, 2022. General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Kadyrov’s men began to arrive in Belarus together with the Russian military servicemen.
October 31, 2022. Lukashenka signed another decree No. 387 approving a draft agreement with the Russian Federation on the establishment and operation of joint military training and combat centers
- Further details about the project have not been disclosed. There is no additional information about the number of planned centers, their possible location, training format. However, we can confidently assume that Russian specialists will train others, including Belarusians, for the needs, interests and tasks of the Russian Federation;
- It can also be assumed that the centers will be used as a mechanism for direct recruitment – the recruitment of Belarusian citizens into the Russian armed forces or Russian private military companies.
Chapter 3. November-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia.
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. It carried not less than 15 units of the Tor-M2 air defense systems and 10 units of engineering equipment.
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.
Chapter 4. December-2022: chronology of events in Belarus after announcement of mobilization in Russia
On December 3, 2022, the Defense Minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, arrived in Belarus to negotiate with the Defense Minister of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin. As the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported, the airplane with the head of the Ministry of Defense of Russia landed at the airfiled in Machulishchy.
«The Defense Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin, and the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, Army Genral Sergei Shoigu, discussed the pressing issues of the bilateral military and military-technical cooperation and signed a protocol between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation on amendments to the agreement of joint provision of regional security in the military sphere of December 19, 1997», the ministry reported.
On December 3, 2022, Aliaksandr Lukashenka had a meeting with the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Shoigu. They discussed preparation of military units of Belarus and Russia, deployed in Belarus, and also talked about the war in Ukraine.
«I think, the Belarusian Defense Minister has told you about the situation in Belarus, about training combat coordination of Belarusian and Russian units deployed in Belarus. I must say, we had a very serious approach to the matter. Both our and your officers are training the guys. Training Belarusians and Russians, too. So that in case of necessity, our first lines – the defenders of the Union State, could repel every aggression,» Lukashenka said at the meeting. «From first aid kits to… I am not speaking about uniforms and other stuff, weapons. We don’t divide anybody here: we are training today as a unified group, as a unified army. Everybody around knows about that. We are not hiding that. It’s impossible to hide that in the modern world, actually».
According to him, that was the agreement he had made with the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
On December 12, 2022, the Telegram channel «Community of railway workers of Belarus Live» informed that a military echelon N. 963 with 13 tanks T-72Б3 arrived to Belarus from the Russian Federation. The echelon arrived to the station of destination on December 10, 2022, at 2.05 a.m. The tanks started to be unloaded on December, 10, at 5.10 p.m.
On December, 13, 2022, the Ministry of Defence of Belarus announced an unexpected check of combat rediness on the orders of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. «The activities are going to be comprehensive, conducted in the shortest possible terms, the troops are going to advance to designated areas, conduct their engineering equipment, organize their protection and defense, as well as build bridge crossings over Neman and Berezina», the communication said.
It also indicated there that «in the said period, it is planned to organize movement of military equipment and personnel, as well as to temporarily restrict movement of citizens (vehicles) on separate public roads and sectors of terrain».
On December 14, 2022, a Russian airborne warning and control system (AWACS) airplane of the Military Space Forces of the Russian Federation landed at the military airfield of Machulishchy. The AWACS А-50У of the MSF of RF «Sergey Atayants» with the registration plate RF-93966 landed at Machulishchy airfield around 3.27 p.m. of Minsk time. It was exactly А-50 of MSF RF with the plate number RF-93966 that had been spotted in Belarus in February, 2022, at the beginning of the Russian war against Ukraine. It coordinated the strikes of Russian cruise missiles against targets in Ukraine, first of all, in Kyiv.
On December 14, 2022, the Telegram channel «Community of railway workers of Belarus Live» reported that at least 60 units of military equipment of the Armed Forces of Russia were deployed in Belarus by two military echelons. The first train departed from the city of Chebarkul on December, 8, and arrived to the railway station of Palonka in Baranavichsky district of Brest region on December, 12. It carried 30-40 units of new Ural trucks supposedly designated to supply the Russian troops deployed at the «Obuz-Lesnovsky» training ground, the nearest to the Palonka railway station.
The second echelon was sent from the station of Ostrogozhsk of Voronezh region of Russia on December 11, 2022, at 11.43 p.m., which arrived to Palonka on December, 14, at 7.50 a.m. The train included 26 flat cars with tracked and wheeled equipment of the Russian armed forces: 20 Urals, fuel trucks, at least four BPM-2.
On December 18, 2022, the head of the fourth division of the the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, Aliaksandr Shalpuk, informed that over 85% of people liable for military duty had passed the second stage of the registration data verification. Also, Shalpuk talked about mobilization assignments that Belarusians arriving to enlistment offices receive.
«That assignment is established by the legislation of our country: its form, issue procedure, who it is issued to. The assignment does not restrict citizens from moving or otherwise, it is a document that is telling a citizen that he is assigned to a specific military division in a specific military unit in accordance with his military occupation speciality. Such assignments had been issued by military enlistment offices before, but because the verification activities are now conducted in shorter terms, and not during a whole year, as it was done before, our citizens got the wrong idea that the assignment is given to everybody who enters a military enlistment office. It is not true. The assignments are issued to a limited number of people subject to military service», he said.
On December 19, 2022, the Internet mass media Zerkalo reported that Belarusians encounter restrictions to travel abroad on the order of military enlistment offices.
According to the information, provided be Zerkalo, one of the subscribers of a chat of Belarusians in Poland wrote that he had not been allowed to leave Belarus. The man was confident that the reason for that was a decision of a commissariat.
Another Belarusian was also restricted from leaving the country. He was going to permanently live abroad and get a PP series passport. For that, the man had had to close his individual entrepreneurship, pay all the debts to the state and child support (if applicable), and also to get a consent from the military enlistment office.
«If any governmental body does not think that a person can move to another country, a letter arrives that the departure for permanent residence abroad is prohibited», explains Mikalai. «As I understand, the reason to prohibit my departure was that I had not served in the army. I am not fit for service due to my state of health, but I received a draft notice for another medical examination. I could not go there, as my visa was about to expire. Therefore, I just ignored the draft notice and did not show up for the examination.»
As he was prohibited to leave the country for permanent residence, the man decided not to risk and crossed the border illegally.
On December, 19, 2022, at the press conference in Yereva, the General Secretary of CSTO, Stanislav Zas, informed that the for the upcoming year the Collective Security Treaty Organization had planned a number of trainings on Weastern borders, that is, on the territory of Belarus; for now joint Belarusian-Russian activities are sufficient for strategic deterrence.
As Zas said, the CSTO member states are going to conduct a number of joint trainings on Western borders in 2023; the trainings are going to be held in Belarus.
Also, the CSTO General Secretary claimed that joint Belarusian-Russian activities, that he called «a certain measure of deterrence», are alredy being conducted in the territory of our country. According to him, no expansion of the CSTO peacekeeping forces is being planned now.
On December 19, 2022, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, arrived in Minsk. At 1.09 p.m., a special purpose aircraft passenger plane, control point Tu-214PU-SBUS with the registration plate RA-64529, landed in Minsk. The plane belongs to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and is equipped with a special onboard communication unit SBUS-214.
Sergei Shoigu had a meeting with the Defense Minister of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin. The parties discussed issues of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation. The heads of the military bodies were also expected to participate in the negotiations between Aliaksandr Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin with restricted attendance.
On December 19, 2022, Goskomvoenprom of Belarus reported that investigation tests of a recent development of the «Precise Electromechanics Factory» Republican Production Unitary Enterprise, a simulator of infrared radiation of a aerial objects IKI-1 had been successfully completed at Domanovo military training area in Ivatsevichsky district. «The product is completely of local origin,» says proudly the ministry. «There are not imported spare parts in it. The construction design was completed in May.»
IKI-1 is a decoy imitating an aerial target for anti-aircraft guided missiles with a heat-seeking head. It is used to teach and train anti-aircraft gunners of portable anti-aircraft missile complexes Igla, Igla-1, Strela-10 air defense missile systems. Also, the new product can lighten the targets for gun-missile systems «Tunguska», Tor, Osa-AKM air defense system and ZU-23 in the conditions of a test site.
On December 19, 2022 the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported that check of combat rediness activities in the Armed Forces of Belarus had been completed. The check was carried out since December, 13, on the orders of Aliaksandr Lukashenka and under control of the State Secretary of the Security Council, Alexander Volfovich.
On December 19, 2022, the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and Aliaksandr Lukashenka, illegally holding the power in Belarus, held a joint press conference on the results of Russian-Belarusian negotiations.
Vladimir Putin: «Of course, in the course of the today’s negotiations, we have discussed in detail the issues of creating a unified defense space, ensuring security of the Union State, as well as cooperation in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, especially because the CSTO presidency passes to Belarus on January, 1.
I want to remind, that in the framework of consequent implementation of the joint Military Doctrine of Russia and Belarus, a joint military planning is being conducted, and a joint Russian-Belarusian Regional Grouping of Forces is acting. Currently, combat coordination activities of military units and divisions of our coutries are being held in the territory of Belarus. A single air defense system has been created and is on duty. We have agreed to continue take all the necessary measures to strongly ensure security of both our countries, to give priority to preparation of troops, increasing their combat readiness and capability and to continue regular joint military trainings and other combat training activities, execute mutual supply of the demanded weapons and jointly produce new military equipment.
I consider it possible to continue also the implementation of suggestions of the president of Belarus on preparing crew members of reequipped combat aircrafts of the army of Belarus for possible application of air-launched munitions with a special military unit.»
Also, Putin talked about transferring anti-aircraft missile systems C-400 and missile launchers Iskander to Belarus.
On December 20, 2022, in Minsk, at the seating of the Inter-Confessional Consultative Council under the Commissioner for Religious and Ethnic Affairs, the head of the Main Directorate of Ideology of the Ministry of Defense, Major General Leonid Kasinsky, spoke in front of the heads and representatives of all confessions of Belarus.
Kasinsky told the priests about the military and political situation and about the measures of national security protection. Here is what his speech was about:
– NATO is increasing its presence in Europe creating new strike aviation groups, weapons and equipment depots;
– NATO countries are conducting more trainings, including trainings held in the Belarusian direction;
– the situation at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border is complicated;
– the neighboring countries are establishing terrorist organizations and conducting anti-Belarusian informational campaign.
On December 20, 2022, observers communicated that trains with Russian military equipment and servicemen moved to the Southern borders of Belarus. On that day, an echelon carrying 23 T-80 tanks departed from Palonka station near Baranavichy to Luninets. In Luninets, the echelon stood still for almost 24 hours, and then it went back without unloading the equipment.
On December 20, 2022, the head of the the Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev, claimed that Russian airplanes were taking off from Belarusian airfields to set out Ukrainian future targets for their missile strikes. He also noted that the second motorized rifle division of the First Tank Army of the Russian Federation, an aviation group, as well as divisions armed with Iskander operational-tactical missile systems with ballistic missiles are currently in Belarus.
«That potential is sufficient to create a threat to Ukraine and to conduct tactical actions with limited objectives,» said General Nayev in response to the question if those forces were enough for another invasion from the territory of Belarus.
The head of the Joint Forces noted that Ukraine is closely monitoring what equipment Russia is deploying to the territory of Belarus.
«The level of military threat is gradually growing, but we also take adequate measures. Besides that, the General Staff has provided for a significant build-up of troops in case a considerable increase in forces and equipment is observed on the opposite side,» General Nayev said.
On December 21, 2022, the Telegram channel «Community of railway workers of Belarus Live» reported that an echelon with military equipment arrive to Palonka railway station of Baranavichsky division of the Belarusian Railway. The echelon had departed from Zaslonovo station (Minsk department of the Belarusian Railway) on December, 20, at 6.20 a.m. It transported military equipment and personnel of the Armied Forces of Russia. The echelon consisted of 51 cars:
– 46 flat cars with military equipment: 31 tanks T-72Б3 and Т-80, 13 units of wheeled freight transport, one BTR-80 and one tracked engineering vehicle;
– 3 covered cars (with escort, equipment and VM);
– 2 passenger cars (with military personnel of about 100 persons).
The itinerary was: Zaslonovo – Orsha-East – Cherveno – Mogilev-2 – Osipovichy-1 – Slutsk – Baranavichy-Palesskiye – Baranavichy-Centralnye – Borovtsy – Palonka.
The train arrived to the destination on December, 21, at 5.30 a.m.
On December 21, 2022, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus published a video of Belarusian and Russian military conducting combat coordination activities at Belarusian training grounds. In the framework of combat coordination, the crews took firing positions and started target search for further destruction. During the training complex, the servicemen trained urban fighting including building- and room-clearing operations. In forests, military equipment management classes were held.
On December 21, 2022, Vladimir Putin and Aliaksandr Lukashenka claimed that airplanes of the Air Forces of Belarus have already been refurnished to be used with special (meaning, nuclear) combat element, and their crew teams are now undergoing the necessary retraining. Meanwhile, for many years, Russia has been reproaching NATO that such cooperation contradicts the letter and spirit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Kommersant asked the MFA of Russia if such an upgrade of Belarusian aircrafts is not a violation of the NPT. They responded it was not.
The MFA commented that countermeasures taken by Russia and Belarus are being «taken in strict compliance with obligations under NPT».
«Currently, we are speaking about transferring Iskander-M complexes of double equipment with missiles with conventional warheads to the Republic of Belarus, and also about modifying a part of Belarusian aircrafts Su-25 to make them technically capable of carrying nuclear weapons. At the same time, we are not planning to transfer the technology of refurnishing aircrafts into nuclear weapon carriers,» said the representative of the MFA of RF, Maria Zakharova.
According to the response of the MFA, currently «it is not planned neither to physically equip Belarusian systems with nuclear warheads, nor to deploy such warheads in the Belarusian territory», «no provisions are made as for building any objects for storage of nuclear warheads in Belarus, as usual, they are going to be kept within the territory of Russia», and «training of Belarusian servicemen is going to be executed in Russian training centers according to programmes that exclude nuclear warheads operation topics».
On December 23, 2022, the assistant to the Belarusian Minister of Defence for ideological work in the armed forces, Leonid Kasinsky, said on TV that another batch of Tor-M2K air defense systems had arrived to Belarus from Russia. The batch of weapons was received in the framework of the existing intergovernmental agreement on military-technical cooperation between Belarus and Russia. Within the next couple of days, the said systems were supposed to arrive to military formations and units to which they are designated. The personnel had already passed the training and successfuly learned to operate those systems.
On December 23, 2022, the State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Alexander Volfovich announced new checks of combat readiness of the Armed Forces of Belarus. According to Volfovich, the previous check-up showed that Belarusian servicemen «were highly motivated to execute the given tasks excellently, in a quality manner».
«The checks will continue; a detailed analysis is being made. We are going to correct some things and to aim at elevating other things to a higher standard. We will continue working. In general, the system is in force, it is functioning today,» claimed Volfovich.
On December 23, 2022, the head the Main Directorate of the Main Organizational and Mobilization Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, Aliaksandr Shalpuk, informed that in 2023 it is planned to draft 9 thousand people to reserve trainings. Also, no reserve training was planned for the rest of the current year. That was reported by Minsk Radio. According to Shalpuk, also in 2022 about 9 thousand people were drafted to reserve trainings.
Previously, the Defense Minister of Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, claimed that «over 130 thousand people have passed mobilization reserve trainings in Belarus in the last 20 years.» It means that the average estimate is about 6.5 thousand people per year. That is, in Belarus, the number of people participating in such trainings in 2022 exceeded the average number of any year in the previous 20 years by 2.5 thousand. In 2023, it is also planned to draft 2.5 thousand more people than in the last years before 2022.
On December 24, 2022, the Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, in his interview to New York Times, called the activity of the Russian army in Belarus a part of «disinformation campaign» and said that for now he does not see any actual preparation for invasion of Ukraine from the North.
Kyrylo Budanov said that the Ukrainian Intelligence cannot say unequivocally that an offensive from Belarus is not possible, but currently the agency has no information confirming the existence of such threat. According to the Chief of the Intelligence, there are no strike groups of Russian troops in Belarus, and the Belarusian training grounds are used to train recently mobilized Russian citizens which are sent to the Eastern Front in Donbas upon completion of the training course. Besides that, Budanov said, Russian army deployed in Belarus has insufficient armored vehicles in good condition to carry out an offensive.
He also noted, that Russia is artificially creating tension at the Northen border of Ukraine by organizing «carousels» with military trains. According to Budanov, not long before a whole train with Russian servicemen had arrived to Belarusian-Ukrainian borderline, but half a day later they went back.
On December 25, 2022, the assistant to the Belarusian Defense Minister for ideological work in the armed forces, Leonid Kasinsky, spoke on STV channel about the accelerated procedure of receiving anti-aircraft missile systems C-400 and Missile launchers Iskander.
According to him, Iskander and C-400 «can produce fire damage to both ground and air targets at longer ranges, at strategic depth».
«As of today, our servicemen, crew teams, squads, have passed a complete course of training at joint training and combat centers of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. As of today, such weaponry is on combat duty and is totally ready to perform tasks for the intended purpose. Besides that, during the meeting of the heads of the countries, the issue of reequipped air assault weapons able to accept special warheads was discussed. As the heads of the states said, today airplanes have been reequipped, and the training of aircrew teams and flight officers to task performing is going on,» Kasinsky added.
On December 25, 2022, head of the social protection and ideological work of the military commission of Minsk, Vladimir Ignatik, explained why verification of records of registration data of those liable for military service had been so tense in 2022.
«It is necessary to understand that all those liable for military service fall into three categories. Those who represent the main part of the military personnel, those in the reserve and those in unrestricted remnants. If we take the total number of those liable for military service in Minsk as 100%, then the main part constitutes 20%. 30% of the reserve are added to it. Therefore, year after year, gradually and on a planned basis, we’ve been working with those 30%. Today the head of the country gave us the task to verify data records of those in unrestricted remnants. We must complete that verification of the registration data records in a very short term of two months,» Ignatik explained.
He noted that it is a huge and extensive task. Previously, it was done in the term of the whole year, and today the task is to carry it out in two months. According to him, Belarusian have shown high consciousness: to date, about 85% of the registration data of those liable for military service have already been verified.
On December 26, 2022, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation said that the Russian servicemen making part of the Regional Grouping of Forces continue a course of intensive combat training at training grounds of the Armed Forces of Belarus.
The Russian military body published a video of training of troops of radiation, chemical and biological protection of the Western Military District and demonstrated a «lab on wheels», a machine of chemical reconnaissance – RHM. Another demonstrated vehicle was TDA smoke machines used to generate aerosol smokescreens.
Brief overview of the events after the announcement of mobilization in Russia
The period under review:
The period from 21st September 2022 to 31st December 2022
In September Lukashenko made statements that there would be no mobilization in Belarus, but in October he and other representatives of the regime began to declare that Belarus would participate in a ‘special operation’ and would not allow Ukraine to stab Russia in the back.
Throughout the period under review, both military gatherings and exercises took place in various cities in Belarus, partly due to the planned conscription campaign and partly unrelated to it.
In October, the Belarusian military gatherings were supplemented by joint activities with the Russian militaries, and on October 10, 2022, Lukashenka and Putin agreed to deploy a joint regional grouping of troops.
The movement of the Russian military on the territory of Belarus was observed, as well as Russian equipment on the Belarusian railways. Most of the events associated with the manifestation of Russian intervention, including the visits of Sergei Shoigu, took place in December 2022. However, the activity of Belarusian military training and exercises decreased significantly.
During this period, there were at least five cases in which men were charged under Article 435, Part 1 of the Criminal Code (evasion of regular call-up to active military service). One of them was fined 2,240 BYN (approximately 907 EUR). On September 29, 2022, a 24-year-old man who tried to avoid military service and went to Poland was tried. He was detained on his return to Belarus and sentenced to a two-month arrest.
In October two regulatory legal acts were adopted: the law on deferrals for those liable for military service and Lukashenka’s decree. On October 12, the Belarusian parliament adopted in the first reading a draft law which, among other things, clarified the grounds for granting the right to defer conscription. Most importantly, the draft law proposed to reduce the number of persons receiving deferment of conscription. Decree No. 387 approved a draft agreement with the Russian Federation on the establishment and operation of joint combat training centers for the armed forces.
Military events for the year 2023 have been repeatedly announced. One of these should be the Union Shield 2023 exercise, which will be held jointly with the Russian military. This is alarming because the last military exercise in 2022 ended with a strike against Ukraine from the territory of Belarus on February 24, 2022.
Thus, the first two months after the announcement of the mobilization in the Russian Federation are characterized by active military gatherings and exercises of the Belarusian Armed Forces, whereas the last month of the year is marked by more frequent movements of Russian equipment on Belarusian territory, as well as by both the visit of Russian Defense Minister Shoigu and especially Vladimir Putin’s first in three years visit to Minsk.
This gives reason to believe that the Kremlin intends to push Lukashenko into full-scale participation in the war against Ukraine.