Aleksandr Lukashenko hears our report of Belarus Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin to receive his report.

    “We agreed to have another look at our army and make certain decisions regarding its modernization or improvement in order to keep it on the right track (because the wrong track entails huge spending) and build the army able to respond to modern challenges. For example, why do we need to buy or keep old weapons if they cannot be used in the modern-day war? The same pertains to the number of personnel and certain military officials and the structure of the Armed Forces,” the head of state said.

    “Therefore we made a decision to bring together smart people, we have many of them in the army, to discuss the recent developments in various parts of the world and look at our Armed Forces again. This is the number one task,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The President also wanted to know what was done to put in order garrisons and military units: “We know what garrisons and military units we will need; we should make sure they have adequate hardware maintenance facilities and housing for personnel and so on. This is also extremely important. I know you have worked on it. What is the current state of things and what else has to be done?”

    Yuri Zhadobin reported about the results of the 2011-2012 academic year in the Armed Forces and the major events related to operational and combat training. Over 350 training sessions were held during the year.

    The head of state was also informed about the state of things in aviation. “We have reached the average flying rate of 77 hours for the first time ever. Last year the pilot training included 66 hours, in the previous years the figure stood at 30 hours. I think the level of training of our pilots is pretty good,” the minister said.

    Yuri Zhadobin also informed the President about the state of things with hardware and weapons, measures to keep all types of machines combat-ready, efforts to optimize the Armed Forces and fulfill the instructions of the President to increase salaries of the military and resolve housing issues.

    “We have commissioned four houses this year and are going to commission another five soon. Two of them will be commissioned this year, and the remaining ones in H1 2013. I mean the construction of service housing. Eight cooperative houses were constructed and commissioned. Another eleven will be ready by the end of the year,” he said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko gave a generally positive evaluation of the work of the Defense Ministry in the last academic year and set a number of tasks aimed to improve the operations of the ministry.