Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko visited Military Unit No. 3214 of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs based in Uruchie in Minsk on 28 July.
Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Minister of Internal Affairs Yuri Karayev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs – Head of the Internal Troops Yuri Nazarenko, Commander of Military Unit No. 3214 Vladimir Zhiznevsky, Commander of the Special Rapid Response Unit Aleksandr Bykov and Commander of the Special Purpose Police Unit of Minsk Dmitry Balaba.Aleksandr Lukashenko greeted the military and noted that he had seen footage of one of street actions in Minsk where people attacked the police and some of protesters even kicked a policeman. “You should not let it happen. You should understand that this is your home country and no one is allowed to attack you. Do not respond to provocation, but protect police officers. Otherwise we might end up nursemaiding like in the kindergarten,” the president said addressing Commander of the Special Purpose Police Unit of Minsk Dmitry Balaba.
The head of state familiarized himself with the military hardware of the internal troops and the Special Purpose Police Unit of Minsk. He saw special-purpose vehicles LIS-PM, Volat, Hishchnik, Tsunami, assault barrier vehicle Rubezh. These vehicles can be used to conduct counter-terrorist and special operations, and for defense purposes. The president was also shown a drill of the special forces battalion.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also visited a dormitory that had recently been built in the territory of the unit. The head of state was told that the dormitory is to be commissioned in August. It has 116 studios and 26 one-bedroom apartments. It is primarily meant for single servicemen. It might also be used to provide accommodation for fourth-year students of the Internal Troops Faculty of the Military Academy.
“We need more housing like that. People like it and they would want to live here,” the president said inspecting the apartments.
According to Yuri Nazarenko, the list of Internal Forces servicemen in need of housing features 1,800 names. All in all, 472 apartments have been built across the country with the support of the state since 2015. In line with the state investment program, 331 apartments and this dormitory have been commissioned. There are plans to build an apartment building across the dormitory.
Aleksandr Lukashenko met with senior officials and the staff of the national security system agencies.
“I apologize for my voice. I have had to talk a lot lately. But, most amazingly, as it turned out, I had coronavirus. This is the conclusion that the doctors made yesterday. It was an asymptomatic case," the head of state said.
“As I have said earlier, 97% of the Belarusians who contract the virus recover without showing any symptoms. Thank heavens, I am now one of the asymptomatic ones,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“Visiting the 38th Air Assault Brigade, the 103rd Airborne Brigade, and the 5th Special Operations Brigade recently I saw well-equipped mobile military units that meet all present-day requirements. I am confident that the decision to develop a reliable national security system was the right one,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled the early 1990s, the breakup of the Soviet Union and Belarus’ first steps towards sovereignty and independence. “At that time the law enforcement agencies were thoughtlessly destroyed and the military equipment was turned into scrap metal, high-class military professionals left the service and were forced to accept the lowest paid job in order to feed their families. Monetary allowance of officers who remained in the army dropped several times. The troop commander in those years earned less than $15, the regiment’s commander - $35,” the president said.
“It was a very difficult period which we withstood. We made the right decisions and can say now that our national security system has been developed thanks to the efforts of our people. No one gave us anything, and we owe nothing to anyone,” the head of state said.
The Belarusian leader stated: “You and I should worry most of all about preventing the situation in our country from getting destabilized. It is the first and foremost task for you and I. The presidential election is a secondary matter. To preserve the country is the most important thing.”
The Belarusian army is compact armed forces that have been created on the principle of defense sufficiency and that can independently ensure the military security of the state.
The president noted that the work to strengthen the country's defense capabilities is ongoing.
“We have set up a national military school and established the process of training specialists. It is no coincidence that the Belarusian army ranks 53rd out of almost 140 countries on the annual Global Firepower index. This is much higher than most CIS states," the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that a lot has been done for the armed forces over the years and this approach makes the country more powerful and stronger.
“We have been successfully countering illegal migration, drug trafficking, smuggling and so on. The internal affairs bodies and other public security organizations maintain the rule of law and order in the country,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the government will keep supporting the military. “I will not dwell on housing provision, money and so on. If economic performance does not deteriorate, our living standards will not deteriorate, either. I will not promise you any helicopter money, because if I do so, we will have to distribute it from the helicopter. We have no helicopter money. However, we will try our best to support you, to provide you with decent salaries,” the head of state said.
“Big families and the military will have a priority need for accommodation in the next five-year period. We will do everything so that your living standards will not deteriorate,” the head of state said.
The president noted that this meeting is important for him. “I would like to see how our military live. Actually, the president has long maintained close contacts with this unit,” he added.