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Belarus conducts military drills near Ukraine, EU border

April 2, 2024

Through the three-day long drills, Belarus aims to train its troops to defend their regions.

Russian-Belarusian military exercises at the Mulino training range in 2021
Russian-Belarusian military exercises at the Mulino training range aim to train officers defensive tacticsImage: Sergei Savostyanov/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

Belarus on Tuesday began military drills in areas near the border of Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said.

The military exercises continue for three days in the Gomel and Grodno regions and seek to train officers and territorial defense troops on how to defend their respective regions.

The troops will also learn the procedure they will need to follow in case martial law is enacted, the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

"A command and staff exercise is being conducted with the 336th reactive artillery brigade as part of the build-up of the combat readiness check of formations and military units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus," the ministry said.

Fortifying borders: Is Ukraine shifting to defense?

The military drills are being conducted under the supervision of the chief of the missile troops and artillery of the Armed Forces, it said.

Belarus is Russia's closest ally and its relations with Western countries have deteriorated in the past few years, in particular after Belarus allowed Russia to use its territory to launch an attack on Kyiv.

Military drills spark concern

Last week, Lithuania, Baltic EU and NATO member states protested against the statements made by Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. 

Lukashenko had spoken about a possible military attack against the neighboring countries.
A video shared on Telegram showed him talking about how the Belarusian army is prepared to attack parts of Poland or Lithuania if necessary.

The Suwalki Corridor runs between the two EU and NATO states which border the Russian Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad and Russia's close ally Belarus.

Lukashenko's statements hinted at the unsustainability of the Suwalki corridor and included instructions to arrange for a possible altercation of the Belarusian army with the Baltic states and Poland

Arming against Putin - NATO in the Baltic Sea

mf/rc (Reuters, AFP)