Working trip to Pukhovichi District
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko inspected the 5th Independent Special Operations Brigade in Maryina Gorka on 24 July.
The helicopter of the head of state landed in the territory of the brigade where Aleksandr Lukashenko was greeted by Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin. The President had a brief conversation with the minister and joined the military and officials waiting for him.
Vadim Denisenko, Commander of the Special Operations Forces, spread a poster in front of the President and started telling him something, sometimes in a low voice. Obviously, this information was classified. Journalists were told that the head of state was informed about the structure, staff and main tasks of the brigade.
The President also saw the weapons, gear and uniform of the special forces units. Aleksandr Lukashenko was also shown several samples of standard military uniform. The President asked the military whether this uniform is comfortable and enduring. Soldiers and officers did not voice any complaints and noted that the new uniform is made of breathable fabric and wears well; in addition to that, there are uniform sets for any weather conditions. “The most important thing about a uniform is comfort. I remember the old uniform; wearing it was a torture, especially in summer,” the head of state said.
The President inspected the small arms used by special forces: machine guns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, grenade launchers and rocket launchers. The Viking feed system caught the President’s eye due to its artful mechanism: a gunman has a backpack behind with an ammunition belt loaded with 580 cartridges. These cartages go through the belt in less than a minute.
“You mean it never fails?” the President asked. Senior officer of the armaments division of the Special Operations Forces Command Maksim Baranov noted that the Viking system has been used over two years and no one has complained about it so far.
Addressing the military at the Special Operations Brigade, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the brigade in Maryina Gorka is special. “Our Armed Forces have two units like this – your brigade and the mechanized brigade in Uruchie. When I served in the army as an officer, these were also special units. Over ten years ago, when I had to make up my mind and to choose which units would become dual-purpose brigades, I chose these two brigades,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“When I had to decide what kind of Armed Forces we needed, especially after 2010, I realized that we needed to have well-trained soldiers, units in the Armed Forces, just in case. We would not want to resort to using the Armed Forces. However, anything can happen. The United States is a case in point,” the Belarusian head of state said.
The Belarusian leader recalled that the U.S. President had to use the army in some states. “First, no one in the world expected the ongoing developments in the USA. Second, this is a serious catastrophe for the entire world. If the U.S. President withstands this pressure, it will be a good sign for us, because if this empire caves in or, God forbid, collapses, it will seriously affect the whole world,” he believes.
Speaking about the brigades in Maryina Gorka and Uruchie, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that they are well trained to prevent the escalation of tensions inside the country.
“State Secretary Andrei Ravkov was right when he said that all modern wars begin with street protests, rallies and Maidan-type revolutions. If there are not enough people here to take part in such revolutions, they will bring them from abroad. These are professional military, gangsters who are specially trained, mostly as part of private military companies all over the world and they make big money from staging provocations in various states,” the President said.
He added that it happened in many countries, including Libya, Iraq and Syria. “It made it even worse. It is a manageable chaos,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state noted: “I think the number of army units I visit so frequently is small. It is no accident. You are a special unit in our Armed Forces. At least I think you are and you have not proved otherwise yet.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko traditionally asked State Secretary of the Security Council Andrei Ravkov to remind participants of the meeting about provisions of the updated Military Doctrine, which takes into account peculiarities of modern wars and conflicts. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “In my time we’ve modernized our Armed Forces three or four times to adjust their ability to wage wars in modern conditions. A new Military Doctrine was adopted in 2018. It stipulates how and what wars we will wage if we have to defend our fatherland all of a sudden.”
Andrei Ravkov noted that the risks of a large-scale war and Belarus’ getting involved in it are minimal at Present. “The probability is low. The things we’ve studied – conflicts, local wars that have happened across the globe, events preceding them, the undercurrents preceding these conflicts and wars – have a higher probability. All of that was studied and incorporated into the Military Doctrine,” the state secretary of the Security Council noted. “Today we can confidently say that a war will not break out just like that. A war begins in advance. First of all, it starts with domestic armed conflicts, color revolutions, which may be inspired by outside forces, just like it happened in the conflicts we’ve studied. This is why we should be constantly ready for it.”
While talking to residents of the city of Maryina Gorka later on, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the army unit is one of the best in the Belarusian army. “They are very well trained. I’ve contributed a lot to their growth. It was the fourth time I’d visited this army unit,” he said.
“If someone tells you that Lukashenko came to force the military to put things right in streets… Although due to its specialization this unit can very well be deployed to restore order by law if some riots happen somewhere, god forbid. But that's a different issue. Our readiness to always defend our country, the fatherland, this piece of land where we and our kids should live is the idea. It is my key goal,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the museum of history and military glory of the 334th separate special operations group that was established to take part in the Soviet-Afghan War. The President was also told about the feats of Belarusian soldiers and officers who fought in Afghanistan. Some members of the group died in the famous Battle of Maravar Pass during the Soviet-Afghan War.
During the working trip the President also went to see the AkvaMarin swimming pool recently built in Maryina Gorka.
“This facility has everything necessary to train professional athletes,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the President, the swimming pool should be both open to residents and also train promising athletes for the national team. The head of state added that not a single swimming pool in Minsk is subsidized.
Minsk Oblast Governor Aleksandr Turchin reported to the head of state on the progress in the construction of other social facilities in the region: schools, polyclinics and hospitals, sports grounds. For example, a school is being built in the agro-town of Zanaroch, Myadel District. Aleksandr Turchin said that the facility will be inaugurated by 1 September and that the President will be able to attend its opening ceremony.
“If you meet the deadline, then I will," Aleksandr Lukashenko replied.
The head of state also congratulated Maryina Gorka on the anniversary. 65 years ago, on 22 July 1955 the urban settlement received the status of a city. “I did not joke when I said that your city reminds of a spa resort. This is one of the most beautiful corners of our Belarus. Quite young, green. Happy city day to you all! Should you need some help, please, do not hesitate to ask,” Aleksandr Lukashenko assured.