January 8 – January 14, 2024
Security issues

Security forces are getting ready for operations in the border area

The situation got worse
Security forces are getting ready for operations in the border area
Фото: Chris McGrath

The regime is steadily strengthening the capabilities of security forces, including the State Border Committee and Internal Troops, by setting up new special forces units within their ranks. These units are expected to be used for addressing domestic issues within Belarus and handling situations abroad, including in the border region.

The State Border Committee (SBC) kicked off the year by forming a maneuver group in the Mozyr border detachment. A ceremonial meeting on January 10 marked the group’s creation, attended by Secretary of State of the Security Council Alexander Volfovich and Chairman of the Civil Procedure Committee Konstantin Molostov. The creation of these maneuver groups is said to be in response to the geopolitical landscape around Belarus, coupled with volatile situations on the Ukrainian and western borders, requiring a proactive response to challenges and threats from neighboring countries. It’s worth noting that Belarus asserts it has no intention of initiating any attacks.

Nevertheless, the State Border Committee drew upon the experiences of the border troops of the KGB of the USSR and the “lessons learned” from the conflict in Ukraine while establishing this unit. The Mozyr border detachment oversees a 360 km border section across the Jelski, Naraulianski, and Lieĺčycy districts.

In 2023, efforts were made to form maneuver groups, enhance their structure, and boost combat capabilities and potential. Volat armored all-terrain vehicles are set to reinforce the combat potential of the rapid reaction units responsible for covering the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. In case of escalation, these units can swiftly move to critical areas and, if necessary, engage saboteurs and illegal armed groups.

A modern facility, equipped with all necessary amenities for accommodation and living, was constructed to house the maneuver group within the border detachment.

At the same time, Minister of Internal Affairs Ivan Kubrakou discussed the use of new special forces units within the internal troops. In 2023, nine “elite” squads were formed, a result of analyzing the operational component both within Belarus and abroad. These units are capable of operating in border areas and executing assigned tasks. The training of personnel for these units involved not only Belarusian specialists but also instructors from the Wagner PMC with combat experience.

The leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is now emphasizing the use of internal troop units for force support in detaining especially dangerous, armed criminals. This is particularly relevant in situations where the equipment and weapons of standard units may prove inadequate.

In essence, law enforcement agencies are purportedly preparing to counter illegal armed groups and sabotage and reconnaissance units that could infiltrate Belarus from Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic countries. However, there seems to be an actual increase in force potential through the formation of light and mobile battalion and company tactical groups capable of conducting operations outside the country.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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