Russian war games in Belarus designed to ‘send Ukraine a message’

Russia is preparing to begin 10 days of military drills in Belarus in a show of strength that security experts have said is designed to show Ukraine and the West that it is serious about the potential of war.

Russian forces and hardware began arriving in Belarus in mid-January, with about 30,000 combat troops expected to participate in exercises known as “Allied Resolve”.


Two battalions of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and 12 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets have also been positioned.

NATO has called it the biggest deployment to Belarus since the Cold War and it comes as Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops and military hardware in territories around Ukraine’s borders and in annexed Crimea.

The “active phase” of the drills will begin on Thursday and mark the latest in a surge of military activity during a standoff with the West over Ukraine as Western leaders continue diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation.

It is thought that Allied Resolve will include large-scale manoeuvres of airpower and ground troops to simulate an attack from a nearby NATO country.

The US and NATO have warned that the drills could be used as a smokescreen for a real attack or an attempt to take the capital Kyiv, which is 150km south of the Belarusian border; an unannounced Russian military exercise took place just before the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Related Articles

Back to top button