Russia moving weapons and troops to Belarus

Russia began to move heavy weapons and troops to Belarus, reports The Moscow Times, citing the monitoring group Belarusian Hajun.

On July 7, Minsk announced that it had handed over to the Russian military the Pribytki (Zyabrovka) airbase in the Gomel region. On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin  said at a meeting with the leaders of the State Duma factions that the Russian armed forces "by and large have not yet seriously started anything."

On July 11, Belarusian Hajun discovered that Russian long-range radar detection and control system (AWACS) aircraft flew into the Belarusian airspace for the first time since April 4. In addition, flights of transport aircraft from Russia have become more frequent. Only in one day, on July 10, three Il-76s of the Russian Aerospace Forces with unidentified cargo arrived at the military airfield in Machulishchy.

In parallel with the visits of Russian military aircraft at five Belarusian airfields, air training has increased. The training takes place in Baranovichi, Machulishchy, Lida, Luninets and Bobruisk.

In Baranovichi, the Belarusian and Russian troops trained on drop operations from helicopters. About 20 Russian pilots also arrived at this airfield. The airborne forces also trained in Bobruisk, Machulishchi and the Yelsky district. Belarusian Hajun calls such training unusual. In Bobruisk, the exercises have already been held twice. Training flights became more frequent at  Luninets and Lida airbases.

According to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will not risk directly interfering in the fighting in Ukraine because direct participation in the war may be dangerous for his regime. However, he is likely to continue to give the Russian armed forces access to his country's airspace to demonstrate loyalty to Vladimir Putin.

  Belarus, War in Ukraine, Russia