26 June, 05:01 PM

Russia increases its military footprint in Belarus, Ukrainian intelligence says

Russia is once again ramping up its military presence in Belarus, particularly in terms of air power, Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) said in a Telegram post on June 26.

According to HUR, officials in Belarus’ Gomel region were notified that Russian units could be redeploying there.

At the same time, Moscow is planning to station even more of its air force at Belarus airfields. Ostensibly, this is to conduct “joint airspace patrols for training purposes”. Some 10 Russian aircraft are slated to be deployed to the Baranavichy airfield.

Mobilization drills have been underway in Gomel Oblast since June 22.

However, previously announced reservist combat readiness drills did not go ahead.

“(Belarusian) reservists are tasked with logistical duties,” Ukrainian intelligence said in its report.

In a recent meeting with Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has pledged to arm Belarus with Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile launchers, compatible with nuclear-tipped missiles. He also suggested Belarusian Su-25 war planes could be upgraded at Russian factories.

In response, Lukashenko said that Belarus must be prepared to use “serious weapons” to defend their homeland “from Brest to Valdivostok.”

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