Naiev: Continuous drills of the Belarusian Armed Forces – legitimization of their presence in the border area

October 30, 2023 4 minutes to read

That's not really true.

Lieutenant General Serhii Naiev, Commander of the Joint Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, named the reason for the constant drills of the Belarusian Armed Forces in Belarus.

He said that in order to legitimize the presence of the Belarusian Armed Forces in the areas bordering Ukraine and at training grounds, instead of making a legal decision on the use of military organization, which is provided by the legislation of Belarus, they constantly continue trainings and drills.

“In this way, they are strengthening the presence of the Russian Armed Forces in the areas bordering Ukraine. Their total number is about 1800 people from Volyn to Chernihiv regions,” Serhii Naiev said.

We note that according to the Belarusian Hajun monitoring group, the constant drills and the presence of the Belarusian Armed Forces in the border area are only partially connected.

As an example, we know about the deployment of about 250 people from the 38th Brigade near Homiel, where Ziabrauka airfield is located, as well as about the deployment of soldiers of the 5th Brigade at Mazyr (Bokau) airfield. Both of these locations are actually in the border area, but these groups of fighters of the Special Operations Forces are there not for drills, but to protect the airfields (+ partly to cover the border).

In addition, Naiev said that the number of the Belarusian Armed Forces in the area bordering Ukraine is 1800 people. Apparently, this number includes soldiers of the 38th Brigade, permanently deployed in Brest. The 38th Brigade indeed conducts periodic drills a little closer to the border, which matches Naiev’s words. For example, the brigade will conduct the next drills in Malaryta and Brest districts (border area) from October 31 to November 3.

In general, conducting continuous and cyclical drills is a very standard practice, especially considering that Belarus has a partly conscript system of staffing the troops, and drills are one of the main ways to train recruits and improve their skills.

Another thing is that the drills in the Belarusian Armed Forces have been held intensively, continuously and at several training grounds simultaneously for 79 weeks already. And this, one way or another, contributes to everything that Belarus’ Defense Minister Khrenin was talking about at the 10th Xiangshan Forum in Beijing:

“It is no coincidence that today we see a trend for states to increase military budgets, purchase offensive weapons for their armies, increase numbers of troops, and conduct endless drills near their opponents’ borders,” Minister Khrenin stressed.