Joint aviation exercises with Russia to kick off in Belarus

16 January, 01:46 PM
Russia transferred its military aircraft to the airfields of Belarus allegedly to participate in the exercises (Photo:Vitaly V. Кузмін/Wikimedia)

Russia transferred its military aircraft to the airfields of Belarus allegedly to participate in the exercises (Photo:Vitaly V. Кузмін/Wikimedia)

The air forces of Russia and Belarus have begun joint flight and tactical training in Belarus on Jan. 16, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported on Telegram on Jan. 16.

Minsk claims that the goal of the maneuvers is to increase interoperability during the joint execution of training and combat missions.

During the exercises, Russian and Belarusian aviation plans to practice aerial reconnaissance, joint patrolling of airspace along the border, and aviation support of military groups.

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Additionally, the Russian invasion forces and the Belarusian military want to practice the landing of tactical airborne troops, the delivery of goods, and the evacuation of wounded.

The Ministry of Defense of Belarus announced that all airfields and training grounds of their country's Air Force and Air Defense Forces will be involved in the exercises.

This training will last until Feb. 1. The Kyiv City Military Administration had noted that a repeat attack on Kyiv from the Belarusian direction may happen in the future, but these exercises should not be perceived as a direct threat to the capital.

In a December interview with the UK magazine The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that Russia may launch a new offensive in February.

According to him, the offensive may not take place in Donbas, but in the direction of Kyiv from the side of Belarus.

Previously, the General Staff also stated that this time the direction of the attack could be changed to the west of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, in order to cut the main logistical arteries of the supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine from partner countries.

On Jan. 6, spokesperson for the State Border Service, Andriy Demchenko, said that the situation on the border with Belarus remains under control, and that Ukrainian border guards do not detect any enemy movements near the border.

Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavlyuk, commander of the defense of Kyiv, said that the threat of an invasion from Belarus remains unlikely, despite the Russians’ deployment of military equipment to the country’s territory and planned joint exercises.

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