June 17 – June 23, 2024
Security issues

The sudden readiness inspection of the Belarusian army is set in the context of non-strategic nuclear exercises.

The situation got worse
The sudden readiness inspection of the Belarusian army is set in the context of non-strategic nuclear exercises.

The sudden readiness checks in the Belarusian Armed Forces have become routine, usually justified by officials due to the tense situation and alleged aggressive plans of Ukraine and NATO against Lukashenka’s regime. However, the recent readiness check combined with joint non-strategic nuclear force exercises with Moscow places it in a broader operational-strategic context, specifically, preparations by Russia and Belarus for an offensive against Kyiv and NATO’s “eastern flank.”

On June 21, a sudden readiness check of the Belarusian Armed Forces began, involving units and divisions from the Western and North-Western operational commands, special operations forces, missile troops and artillery, and air force and air defense troops.

Initially, the exercises will cover operational occupation of designated areas, their engineering preparation, organization of protection and defense, and commencement of combat duty. Subsequently, the military units and divisions will perform training combat tasks.

The check will utilize training grounds and areas near the Ukraine border in the Brest and Gomel regions.

The day before the exercises started, the Belarusian State Border Committee justified their necessity, claiming an increase in military formations, including special operations forces and special units, near the Ukrainian border. They reported the concentration of various units, including heavy weaponry like MT-LBs, BMPs, American Bradley vehicles, HIMARS rocket systems, M777 howitzers, and German-made Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns.

Consequently, the Belarusian Border Service is operating in an enhanced mode along the Ukrainian border, responding to changes in the situation by increasing the density of border coverage through maneuverable groups from the southern direction, equipped with modern weapons and technology. Additional reconnaissance and border control activities are also being conducted.

In recent years, the sudden readiness checks of the Belarusian Armed Forces have been regular, conducted at least twice a year and extending over several months, unlike in pre-war times. The uniqueness of the current check lies in its coincidence with the start of joint non-strategic nuclear force exercises with Russia, placing it within a broader operational-strategic context.

The composition of the participants suggests that the Kremlin is conducting strategic command-staff maneuvers (SCSM) with the participation of the Southern, Leningrad, and Moscow military districts, aerospace forces, Baltic and Black Sea fleets, and the Regional Group of Forces of Belarus and Russia. According to Soviet experience, SCSMs of this scale likely involve planning and launching a first nuclear strike during a front offensive operation. Such an attack fits within the framework of a strategic operation on the European theater of military actions—against Ukraine and NATO member states located on the alliance’s “eastern flank.”

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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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