Pavel Muraveiko appointed chief of General Staff - first deputy defense minister

  • 6
  • 5:00

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has appointed Major General Pavel Muraveiko Chief of the General Staff - First Deputy Defense Minister of the Republic of Belarus.

Until now, Pavel Muraveiko served as First Deputy State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus.

When making the appointment, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized the importance of coherent work of the defense minister and the chief of the General Staff: “In our country the position of a defense minister is worth its name, and everyone in the Defense Ministry reports to him. Nevertheless, the chief of the General Staff has certain independence. He is directly involved in planning and implementing certain military activities. He oversees everything that concerns the troops. There is a very fine line between the defense minister and the chief of the General Staff.”

State Secretary of the Security Council Aleksandr Volfovich who presented the candidacy of Pavel Muraveiko, assured that both Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin and Pavel Muraveiko are experienced, knowledgeable and, most importantly, result-oriented statesmen in matters of state security. “They know full well their responsibilities and goals. The most important thing is achieving the result. And the chief of the General Staff, as you have rightly said, is an independent figure. He is directly responsible for building and developing the Armed Forces. He is also a member of the Security Council and the right hand of the President who is the commander-in-chief in the event of an aggravation of the situation, the introduction of martial law. I think these people have a good understanding of their roles, they will succeed in them and will solve the problems,” said Aleksandr Volfovich.

“At the same time, the defense minister is not the left hand. Therefore, it is very important for you to be on the same page. You did your service together, after all. You know each other well,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted in response. “I’m saying this not because I want to highlight this aspect, but because I want you to understand that I am closely monitoring the situation not only in the country as a whole, but also specifically in our Armed Forces during this difficult period. And I do care about the working environment in the Defense Ministry. A lot depends on both of you,” the head of state continued.

The President emphasized that he does not tolerate lies, and lying makes no sense, because sooner or later the truth comes out. “In Belarus it is impossible to paper over problems. Therefore, let’s keep improving the Armed Forces the way we have been doing so far, by studying all the developments around us,” he said.

In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled the events in Ukraine: “This is a lesson for us. A serious lesson. We must see what a modern war looks like.”

“We have already made certain conclusions for ourselves. We understand what mines and minefields are, the things we once wanted to destroy at the direction of the West. Thank God, we didn’t. We know what counter-battery warfare is. And we understand very well that now it is impossible to fight without unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as without electronic warfare systems that should be effective against unmanned aerial vehicles and other modern types of  weapons. We have discussed this more than once. You will have to deal with this thoroughly,” the President noted.

As for the scope of responsibility of the defense minister, political, economic and other issues are also part of his job description.

Aleksandr Volfovich noted that Pavel Muraveiko previously served in various positions in the Armed Forces. For nine years until 2022, he was chief of the Main Operational Directorate - Deputy Chief of the General Staff; he took part in the development of the state defense plan, and was involved in the preparation and conduct of major exercises, including joint drills with the Russian Federation. The state secretary of the Security Council also described him as an experienced, competent, energetic, tough and responsible person.