Footage shows a Russian anti-aircraft division arriving in Belarus for military exercises amid tensions between NATO countries and the former Soviet superpower over Ukraine.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), which recorded the video, said in a statement: ‘The units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation involved in the verification of the reaction forces of the Union State continue to redeploy to the Republic of Belarus.’
The footage shows the vehicles arriving by train in Belarus, where, despite the snow, the troops held a bread giving ceremony, which is a military tradition in numerous countries in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East.
The vehicles can then be seen being offloaded from the train. Soldiers can be seen standing in front of the large vehicles giving the drivers directions to help them manoeuvre the vehicles off the train safely.
The Russian MoD also said in the statement: ‘Upon completion of the unloading, the personnel will march on standard equipment to the specified areas, where they will carry out a set of measures for the engineering equipment of positions, carry out maintenance of the equipment and take up air defence training combat duty as part of the Unified Regional Air Defence System of Belarus and Russia.
‘The review will take place in two stages. At the first stage, until February 9, the redeployment and creation of groupings of troops (forces) on the territory of the Republic of Belarus as soon as possible, the organisation of protection and defence of important state and military facilities, the protection of the State Border in the airspace, checking the readiness and ability of the forces and means on duty for air defence to perform tasks to cover important objects on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.’
‘During the second stage of the verification, from February 10 to February 20, a joint exercise ‘Allied Resolve-2022’ will be held, within the framework of which the issues of suppressing and repelling external aggression, as well as countering terrorism and protecting the interests of the Union State will be worked out. During the exercise, measures will be taken to strengthen the protection of the State Border to prevent the penetration of armed groups of militants, to block the channels for the delivery of weapons and ammunition, as well as to search for, block, and destroy illegal armed formations and sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the enemy.
‘The practical actions of the troops (forces) will take place at the Domanovsky, Gozhsky, Obuz-Lesnovsky training grounds, ‘Brestsky’ and ‘Osipovichsky’, as well as certain areas of the area located on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. It is planned to use the airfields ‘Baranovichi’, ‘Luninets’, ‘Lida’ and ‘Machulishchi’. The number of military personnel and equipment involved in exercises falling under the scope of the Vienna Document 2011 does not exceed the parameters determined by it, which are subject to notification.’
The exercises come amid tensions between NATO member states and the former Soviet superpower over the Ukraine. The Russian military has already deployed dozens of war vessels in the Black Sea for what it claims are military exercises. Russian troops have also fortified Belarus, also under the guise of exercises.
It was announced a couple of days ago that 8,500 US troops have been put on high alert for potential deployment to Eastern Europe.