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Belarus launches military drills near Poland, Lithuania

08.08.2023 12:00
Belarus has launched military exercises near its borders with Poland and Lithuania, according to the Belarusian defense ministry.
Victory Day celebrations in Minsk.
Victory Day celebrations in Minsk.Photo: PAP/EPA/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

The exercises began on Monday and include the use of drones and close collaboration between armored and mechanized units in conjunction with other branches of the armed forces, the Belarus defense ministry said, as cited by the Associated Press.

The Belarusian defense ministry has officially described the maneuvers as "command and staff exercises with the 6th Independent Guards Mechanized Brigade," with the training location near the town of Gozha in the western Grodno region.

The military activities are concentrated in a sparsely populated area between Belarus and Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad.

Polish and Lithuanian leaders have said their countries are ready to counter any provocations originating from Moscow and Minsk in the area. On August 1, two Belarusian helicopters briefly entered Polish airspace at low altitudes, according to officials. The authorities in Minsk subsequently refuted claims of a “provocation.”

Western military analysts have long regarded the Suwałki Gap area of northeastern Poland as a potential flashpoint in the event of a confrontation between Russia and NATO. The situation is further complicated by unverified reports of approximately 7,000 Wagner Group mercenaries stationed near the town of Osipovichi in central Belarus.


Source: PAP, AP