A total of 9,000 Russian soldiers will arrive in Belarus as part of a newly declared regional grouping of Russian and Belarusian troops, a Belarusian defense ministry official wrote on Twitter on Oct. 16.
The head of the Department of International Military Cooperation and assistant to the Belarusian defense minister, Valery Revenko, said the first units of Russian servicemen have already started arriving in Belarus.
“The redeployment will take several days,” Revenko tweeted. “The total number will be a little less than 9,000 people.”
According to the minister’s assistant, more information will be provided at a briefing for military attachés on Oct. 17.
Meanwhile, the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported that Russia has begun to transfer military aircraft and helicopters that will be part of the aviation component of the regional grouping of troops.
Self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced on Oct. 10 that Minsk and Moscow had agreed to deploy a regional group of troops. According to him, the formation of the new force has already begun.
Lukashenko said that the basis of the group would be the Armed Forces of Belarus. At the same time, he ordered to receive and deploy “more than 1,000” Russian soldiers on the territory of the republic.
According to Lukashenko, this decision was made following the alleged “aggravation on the western borders of the ‘Ally State’ of Russia and the Republic of Belarus.”
Accusations against Ukraine like these have been heard from the Lukashenko’s regime regularly since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, including from the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.
On Oct. 8, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry handed a note to Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Kyzym with a statement that Ukraine was allegedly preparing a strike against Belarus.
Kyiv denied this information and called it a Russian provocation.
On Oct. 12, the Belarusian KGB stated that foreign intelligence services were allegedly trailing “militants for a full-scale invasion” in Ukraine.
Lukashenko threatened that a new grouping of troops joint with Russia would be involved “if the level of threat reaches the current level, as it is now.”
In addition, according to the Belarusian media, Nasha Niva, Lukashenko decided to start a mobilization in Belarus. On Oct. 13, the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus adopted a bill in the first reading, which proposes to limit citizens’ ability to leave the country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, announced on Oct. 14 that the regime of “counter-terrorist operation” had been introduced in the country. At the same time, the Belarusian KGB denied this information.