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Belarus Announces Snap Combat Readiness Drills

BM-27 Uragan (9P140) self-propelled multiple rocket launcher systems during the Allied Resolve 2022 joint military drills by Belarusian and Russian troops. Russian Defense Ministry / TASS

The Belarusian military announced snap combat readiness drills on Tuesday, with orders to move troops to designated areas and set up bridge crossings over two major rivers.

The drills were launched "at the instruction of the President of the Republic of Belarus," the Belarusian Defense Ministry wrote on its Telegram channel.

The ministry did not reveal how long the readiness drills would take or their potential implications for neighboring Ukraine, which has been defending itself against Russia’s invasion for nearly 10 months.

It also did not specify how many troops and what type of military hardware will be moved, identifying only the Berezina and Nemana rivers for bridge crossings.

Belarus, a close ally of Moscow, allowed Russian forces to use its territory as a staging ground for their invasion of Ukraine in February. The Belarusian army has so far avoided direct involvement in the war.

Tuesday’s announcement bore similarities to the Belarusian Security Council’s statement last week that its troops and hardware would be moved over a two-day period to counter the threat of terrorism.

As it was last week, access to roads and transport links will be restricted over the course of the latest inspections.

"If we look at the trajectory of events in Belarus, it couldn't be any clearer that Belarus is preparing for a mobilization," Konrad Muzyka, a military analyst at Poland-based Rochan consulting, told The Moscow Times.

"The question is when and what the Belarusians will actually do. It's still unclear what the ambition is, or what they're trying to achieve."

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