The facilities built are already being used for the training of troops.
In May and June 2023, it became known about the construction of strongholds for the military in Homiel and Zhabinka districts. With a light hand of journalists, these facilities were named “Khrenin’s line.” However, the story with the sudden construction of trenches in the border areas of Belarus continued.
Back on June 20, the monitoring group Belarusian Hajun reported that the construction of a stronghold started in the vicinity of Saki village (Zhabinka district, Brest region). It was a system of trenches and firing positions for armored vehicles. The so-called “Dragon’s teeth” were placed in two rows in the field in front of the stronghold.
Flagshtok noticed that a tender was held for the construction of this facility under the title “Construction of a training and material base site near Saki village, Zhabinka district.” According to the State Informational and Analytical System, 2,275,129 BYN (about $706,000) was spent on its construction. The winner of the tender was Brestzhylstroi. The service contract was signed on August 14.
This is not the only procurement related to the construction of the “training and material base site.” Information about 6 tenders realized in July-August of this year is available in the State Informational and Analytical System.
Among the procurement documents, we can find, for example, the decision of the Zhabinka District Executive Committee of June 27. This document determines the Brest Regional Department of Major Construction as the customer for the construction of the “training and material base site.”
There are almost no details about the construction of the facility either in the State Informational System or on the public procurement portal. From the available documents (a letter from the Zhabinka District Executive Committee dated July 18), for example, we can learn that a 30-hectare plot of land was temporarily occupied for the construction of a “training and material base site.” It is important to note that in this case we are not talking about the area of the facility, but about the occupation of the territory for construction needs (for example, placing construction equipment, etc.).
It should be noted that the following is indicated in the State Informational System as the reason for selecting a single-source procurement procedure: “On the basis of the decision of the Brest Regional Council of Deputies of 13.06.2023 No. 416 “On determination of general design and general contracting organizations” and the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of 24.09.2021 No. 366 “On procurement in the construction of objects included in the investment programs of regions and the city of Minsk.” From this we can conclude that the construction of the “training and material base site” was included in the Investment program of Brest region for 2023. However, the document doesn’t mention the construction of any military infrastructure facilities. It is possible that the Investment program was amended during the year. However, the document with amendments was not found in open sources.
Reference. Single-source procurement is a method of selecting a contractor in a public procurement in which the authority offers the contract to only one potential contractor.
A similar situation was with the stronghold built near Kalinina village in Homiel district, 20 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. We reported about its construction on May 18.
A fortified area in Homiel district was built for demonstration to officials at the annual training session “Military security and defense of the state,” which was held on May 26. Among other things, during the training, the participants were taught how to organize and conduct the defense of settlements based on the prepared fortified areas. However, after the end of the training, the elements were not dismantled.
A scheme of elements of the fortified area in Homiel district Screenshot: VoyenTV
According to the State Informational System, on September 5, the Homiel Regional Department of Major Construction and Homiel House-Building Plant OJSC signed a contract as a result of the tender within the procurement “Selection of the general contractor for the construction of the facility “Construction of the training and material base site near Kalinina village of Homiel district.” The contract amounted to 865,072.12 BYN ($269,000). The construction of the facility is to be completed from October 1 to December 31, 2023.
The name of the construction project is similar to the one built in Zhabinka district.
It should be noted that preparations for construction started much earlier. Back at the end of June, a tender was held to select a general design organization to perform design work. In general, we may assume that the stronghold built back in May should be equipped to fulfill the tasks of a “training and material base site”.
Thus, the strongholds in Zhabinka and Homiel districts were transformed into “training and material base sites”.
A “training and material base” is understood as a set of material, technical training means and equipped facilities (areas of terrain) designed for training and education of personnel, combat coordination and training of units. It is established for training ( of troops) to act with the use of standard weapons and combat equipment, bringing the conditions of training of troops to the real conditions of combat operations. In turn, the training material base is subdivided into field, classroom, command post and portable.
Thus, we may be talking about the improvement of constructed strongholds for training a unit in defense based on the strongholds prepared in advance. Most likely, in case of military aggression, these facilities can also be used for their intended purpose (as strongholds).
The facilities built are already being used for the training of troops. For example, from August 4 to August 14, combat training of the Belarusian Armed Forces with the use of pyrotechnics was scheduled near Saki village and Sakalova village, Zhabinka district. No details about the training were reported.
Earlier, we received information about the possible construction of a checkpoint similar to the one built in Zhabinka district and in Malaryta district of Brest region. Currently, we can’t confirm this information.