Belarus, a country allied with Russia and bordered by Ukraine, launched a “surprise” military exercise on Wednesday to test its army’s response capabilities, the Defense Ministry said.
The Belarusian ministry said in a statement that the military units will work on their ability to “stand on alert, move to predetermined areas and conduct combat training.”
He added, “The aim of this test is to assess the readiness and ability of employees to respond quickly to a potential crisis,” describing the exercise as a “surprise.”
The ministry published photos showing columns of vehicles, including tanks, traveling on the road.
These maneuvers should be scrutinized by Kyiv, which has said several times that it suspects Belarus is considering sending troops to Ukraine to support the Russian offensive there.
Belarus, which has been ruled by Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with an iron fist for nearly 30 years, has served as a background and logistical base for Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
However, sign that this indirect participation in the conflict is not unanimous in the country, several acts of sabotage, in particular the railways, took place there for two months. Several suspects were arrested.
In 2020, Belarus was rocked by a historic post-reelection protest movement that Mr. Lukashenko deemed fraudulent, ruthlessly suppressing it.