Last week, a series of meetings and events of the CSTO were reported, where issues related to Special Purpose Forces, peacekeeping contingents and other aspects of collective security were discussed. The main events of the past week in the sphere of work of the military-industrial complex were the tests of the Volat-V2 armored personnel carrier produced in Belarus. Other events included the completion of a training course for a group of servicemen of the Internal Troops with the participation of Wagner mercenaries as instructors, and a training session on territorial defense.
On November 21, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Defense Ruslan Zhaksylykov arrived in Belarus on an official visit. During the visit, he had negotiations with Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin. The negotiations resulted in the signing of a plan on military cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries for 2024.
On November 22, a joint meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Council of Defence Ministers and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (hereinafter – CSTO) was held. During the meeting, issues related to the Special Purpose Forces of the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force, peacekeeping contingents and national contingents of the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian region of collective security, as well as the CSTO Collective Air Forces were considered. The new structure of the Joint Command of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces was also approved. The meeting was held before a session of the CSTO Collective Security Council.
On November 23, a session of the CSTO Collective Security Council was held. Apart from the standard narratives of anti-West propaganda, Aliaksandr Lukashenka said, “In this context, reproaches about the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in our country, on our territory are just absurd.” We note that at the moment, there is no reliable data that would confirm the presence of nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus.
During the week, events were held to summarize the results of the 2022/2023 academic year. It was reported that the results were summarized in the Department of International Military Cooperation, other structural units of the Ministry of Defense, and certain units and garrisons of the Belarusian Armed Forces.
During the week, it was reported that comprehensive control training, training on firearms and security of military service were conducted with conscripts. The trainings are a kind of summarization of the initial training course before taking the military oath.
On November 22, a training session was reported to be held at the 174th training ground of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces to train non-staff crews of the 23-mm ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft systems and the 2K20 Zenit mobile anti-aircraft artillery systems. Previously it was reported that the ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft systems began to be removed from storage in 2023.
Rearmament. Activity of the military-industrial complex
On November 20, the State Authority for Military Industry reported on the continuation of testing of prototypes of the Volat-V2 armored personnel carriers (MZKT-690003). The APC is designed for the transportation of personnel to the place of combat missions, its fire support, protection from small arms fire, destruction of enemy anti-tank weapons, etc. On November 25, it was reported that firing tests of the APC had been completed.
On November 24, it was reported on the completion of the fourth course of tactical-special training of servicemen of special purpose units of the Internal Troops. Instructors at the course included mercenaries of the PMC Wagner.
On November 22-23, a training session with officials of the territorial defense authorities was held at the Losvida training ground. Representatives of military commissariats and the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Flora and Fauna took part in the training. This year, the Inspectorate was included in the territorial defense..
On November 23, the II International Conference “Problematic issues of the use of units of Missile and Artillery Troops in local conflicts of the present day” was held at the Military Academy. The conference was attended by representatives of the Russian General Staff.
On November 25, those drafted for active military service during the fall conscription took the military oath. According to the Ministry of Defense, a total of more than 8000 people drafted for active and reserve military service took the oath. At the ceremony at the 72nd Joint Training Center, Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Zhuk said, “This year, the system of military training has been very seriously clarified. And starting from this year, young soldiers will start training under a new program, taking into account the world conflicts that are currently taking place, in order to train what is necessary in war.” According to the official, the strengthening of border security with Ukraine will continue.