Report of Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report of Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin on 23 November.

First of all, the head of state asked about the situation in the Armed Forces. “You have been working as defense minister for a rather long period of time. In this period, we have gone through a serious stage: we had to redeploy military units, to deploy and move them to more dangerous directions, as we viewed them back then and even now. After all our events, the transfer to the military reserve and the conscription to army, what is the current state of affairs in the Armed Forces? What are the major problems?”

The agenda of the meeting also included the measures to counteract destructive forces which have been trying to destabilize the country and the measures to promote the patriotic education of youth. “Or even not only to destabilize, but to overthrow it,” he said. “We see, as one of the major drawbacks in this situation, the absence of true patriotism, especially among our men. First of all, among those (we can see it among our students) who did not serve in the Armed Forces, who did not try this bread. However, there are people like that among former soldiers as well, although only a few. Therefore, there is a serious gap in patriotic education, and we must eradicate it. How will we do it?” the head of state asked the defense minister.

“As I often say, the world has gone crazy. More and more stress points have emerged in recent time. The demand for peacekeeping operations is increasing, and we are the participants of peacekeeping missions in the United Nations Organization. What is the state of affairs here?” the President said.

In July Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the 103rd Airborne Brigade in Vitebsk. There he familiarized himself with the combat potential of the peacekeeping unit, the availability of military equipment, living conditions of soldiers. “Where will we, probably, have to participate as peacekeepers? What is the current state of affairs: soldiers’ morale, technical equipment and financial standing? These are certain costs, although the UNO will cover them. But still,” the head of state added.

The President also asked about the work with personnel in the Armed Forces and the financial situation in the Belarusian army. “The new year is coming. What else do we need to do?” he wondered.

Viktor Khrenin said that the situation in the army is under control, the Armed Forces are prepared to fulfill their tasks. “The events concerning the preparations of the Armed Forces, in spite of all difficulties, have been implemented 100%,” the defense minister stressed.