Military activity

Military activity on the territory of Belarus on July 1-7

July 8, 2024 11 minutes to read

Aviation activity, movements of the troops by rail and roads in Belarus.

The aircraft and helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces, which took part in the parade on July 3, left Belarus. At least 5 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces are still stationed at Baranavichy and Lida airfields.

Another rotation of units of the Special Operations Forces deployed in Homiel district took place. Such rotations are carried out on average once every two months.

Aviation activity

Aviation activity was recorded at Machulishchy, Lida, Baranavichy, Luninets, Lipki airfields, and at Minsk National Airport. Flights of aircraft and helicopters of the Belarusian Air Force and Russian Aerospace Forces were recorded.

Belarusian Air Force

  • On July 1 and 2, flights of helicopters of the 50th Combined Air Base were recorded near the southern border of Belarus.
  • On July 1, active flights of aircrafts and helicopters of the Belarusian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces connected with the rehearsal of the military parade were recorded.
  • On July 3, 13 aircraft (Su-25 attack aircraft, Yak-130 and L-39 combat trainers) of the 116th Attack Air Base of the Belarusian Air Force returned to Lida airfield. The aircraft had been at Machulishchy airfield since June 20 and took part in the military parade on July 3.
  • On July 3, a Mi-24 helicopter of the Belarusian Air Force flew from Machulishchy airfield to Asipovichy district.
  • On July 5, a Mi-8 helicopter of the Belarusian Air Force flew from Machulishchy airfield to Luninets airfield.

Russian Aerospace Forces

  • On July 1 and 3, flights of Su-30SM fighters of the Russian Aerospace Forces were recorded in the southern regions of Belarus.
  • On July 2, T-134 and Tu-214 passenger aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces arrived at Machulishchy airfield from Moscow. On July 3, the aircrafts flew back. The arrivals of the aircraft were connected with the participation of Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov in a meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS member states.
  • On July 3, 11 MiG-29 and Su-30SM fighters of the “Strizhi” and “Vityazi” aerobatic groups of the Russian Aerospace Forces left Baranavichy airfield for Russia. The aircraft had been in Belarus since June 25 and took part in the military parade on July 3.
  • On July 4, an Il-76 military transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces arrived at Machulishchy airfield from Moscow.
  • On July 4, an Il-76 military transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces arrived at the Baranavichy airfield from Russia.

Rail activity

On July 5, a military cargo train with equipment of the Belarusian Armed Forces was spotted at Navabielitskaya station (Homiel). It consisted of about 20 flatcars with vehicles and at least 4 passenger cars.

Movements by road

  • Single vehicles of the Russian Armed Forces were repeatedly spotted in Mazyr district. Separately, we can note a convoy of equipment of the Russian Armed Forces, which was moving along the M5 highway towards Babruisk on July 4.
  • Small convoys (up to 10 pieces) and single vehicles of the Belarusian Armed Forces were spotted in Minsk, Yelsk, Hrodna, and on some sections of the М1, М5, and other highways.
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General conclusion on current situation

1) The “sudden inspection of readiness of the Belarusian Armed Forces” and the escalation of the situation on the Belarus-Ukraine border, which started on June 21, continued. It can be noted that due to the celebration of Independence Day on July 3 and the military parade, the topic was not so actively covered by the Ministry of Defense of Belarus.

Aliaksandr Lukashenka spoke out about the situation on the border last week. For example, on July 2, he told his version of what was going on at the Belarus-Ukraine border: “To put it straight, it’s nothing special. Our neighbors have become very active in the last few days, maybe a couple of weeks.” He also added that they “will not allow any clashes on the border with Ukraine.” Lukashenka linked the concentration of Ukrainian troops near the border with “the arrival of a large contingent of servicemen from friendly countries in Belarus to participate in the events on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus.”

And on July 3, Lukashenka said that there were “thousands of calls from citizens to military commissariats and units, to our military, generals: take us into the army, give us weapons, we’ll defend our homeland.”

Uladzimir Kuprianyuk, the head of the Main Intelligence Department of the General Staff of the Belarusian Armed Forces, held a briefing on the situation on the Belarus-Ukraine border. It is notable that Friday, July 5, was chosen for the briefing. By coincidence (or not?) previous statements of Belarusian officials about the situation on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border were made exactly on Friday. For example, on June 21 (Friday), because of the escalation of the situation on the border with Ukraine, it was announced about the beginning of the combat readiness inspection. On June 28 (Friday), the State Border Committee of Belarus reported about another provocation by Ukraine, and the Ministry of Defense of Belarus – about the redeployment of the Polonez MLRS to the border.

During the briefing, Kuprianyuk repeated the statements made earlier by officials of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus. In general, the statements made by representatives of the Lukashenka regime were rather aimed at maintaining the current level of tension than at its further escalation.

The situation requires further close attention.

2) As we supposed earlier, all the aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces, which took part in the parade on July 3, returned to Russia. As of July 8, the composition of the aviation group of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Belarus is as follows: Lida airfield – 1 Su-25 attack aircraft; Baranavichy airfield – 4 Su-30SM fighters.

3)As noted above, on July 5, a military cargo train with equipment of the Belarusian Armed Forces was seen in Homiel. This may mean that there was another rotation of units of the Special Operations Forces deployed in Homiel district (Ziabrauka airfield). Probably, a battalion of the 103rd Airborne Brigade was replaced by a battalion of the 38th Air Assault Brigade.

The previous rotation of units took place in mid-April. Rotations are usually held every two months. The military is engaged in guarding the border with Ukraine and Russian military facilities in Homiel region.