Meeting with Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin on 27 June.

“It might seem strange to start our conversation with what I am going to say. This mutiny attempt in Russia made us nervous too. Our military did well. All our military, both the police and border guards, did well. They were brought to combat readiness within half a day. This is our job, and this is how it should be done. Ahead of Independence Day I would like to thank the families of the military for their support. Not a single wife, not a single family complained. They showed their full understanding of the situation. They even had this get-up-and-go attitude. This is why I would like to express my gratitude to the wives, children, and families of our military. This is their reliable backup,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“We need to thank the unit commanders we had to call to arms, and to thank the wives and families of our servicemen. This is true unity. In no way, however, can we let our guards down,” the head of state added.

“We will surely do this, Mr. President. The most important thing I would like to note is that our people understand the importance of the tasks we perform. Our assessment of the situation was right. The response was immediate. Everyone was calm and cool-headed,” Viktor Khrenin said.

“The main thing for us is to make sure we do not let our guards down,” Aleksandr Lukashenko reiterated.

“This is our priority task. The Armed Forces training process prioritizes combat mobilization readiness, the Armed Forces' development, and combat practice, taking into consideration the experience gained by our colleagues in the armed conflict. We also keep track of all other military activities elsewhere,” the minister said.

“There has been a lot of talk about the Wagner Group recently. People do not understand but we are taking a pragmatic approach here, too. If their commanders come to us and help us, this means new experience. They have hands-on combat experience. They are assault squads. They will tell us what is important right now. Putin told me during our previous phone talk that counterfire operations were pivotal. So are drones. They have been through that. They will tell us which weapons worked well and which did not. They will tell us about offensive and defensive tactics. This experience is invaluable. We need to adopt this experience from PMC Wagner,” the President added.

“There is no need to be afraid of them. We keep our eyes open,” the head of state stressed.

Before delivering a report, Viktor Khrenin gifted an unusual souvenir to the commander-in-chief.

“Let me accomplish one mission...” the minister began.

“Have you brought a bomb?!” the President was surprised.

“That’s right. Let me give you a symbolic gift - the first nuclear bomb that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1949,” Viktor Khrenin said.

“So this is the old one. The modern one looks different,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

“It is symbolic that it is kept here. This is a replica of the very first nuclear bomb that was developed in the Soviet Union,” the minister added.

“Our enemies should not think that we are obsessed with symbolism or that we are very happy about nuclear weapons. It is just a symbolic thing,” the Belarusian leader said.