Meeting to discuss military security
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko convened a meeting on 4 October to take stock of the military and political situation and to develop response measures.
The meeting was attended by the prime minister, the head of the Belarus President Administration, senior officials of the military, security and law enforcement agencies, the commanders of the troops.
“As it was agreed earlier, today we are holding a routine meeting with heads of the military, security and law enforcement agencies in order to jointly analyze the rapidly changing military and political situation and, of course, to decide how we will respond to ongoing developments. First of all, I want to say that there is no emergency. Therefore, there are no reasons for any rumors and fake news," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
At the same time, the situation is heated. The intensity of Russia’s special military operation is not dwindling. The West is actively adding fuel to the fire in the form of military assistance and comprehensive support for the Ukrainian regime, the head of state said.
“Some say that they would like to end the war. Others, on the contrary, take specific steps to show their determination to keep this war going. The position of the Russian Federation is absolutely understandable and clear to us. The President has made it clear more than once: they are ready to sit down at the negotiating table right away and to hold talks in a realistic way proceeding from the current situation. We are aware of systematic deliveries by the United States and other NATO countries of weapons and military equipment through Poland’s Rzeszow airfield. Every day, about a dozen, sometimes more, American transport aircraft arrive there. A number of European countries are trying to show their support for the Ukrainian army and send old equipment and weapons they do not need.
“Western politicians make cynical statements with regard to the Russian Federation on the interstate level. I will not give examples: you know them well. These are both statements of individual MPs and leaders and also the ones made at the United Nations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the head of state, the purpose of these actions is clear and simple: the United States wants to weaken or completely remove Russia and its allies from the international arena in order to take on its main competitor - China. “They also seek an increased dependence of the European Union on the United States. You will see, if not met halfway, the United States will destroy the European Union,” the President said.
“The collective West has an account to settle with Belarus. For quite some time already: the policy we pursue has been getting in their way for a quarter of a century,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
This is why a 35,000-strong NATO force remains in Europe. Most of it – about 25,000 people – is located in the countries Belarus borders with, he said.
“The intensity of recon flights near our borders remains high. Operational training and combat training events are actively organized, including by using the military training area Pabrade in Lithuania. The training area is only 15km away from the state border of Belarus. At the same time under the guise of support to Kiev a number of European countries are implementing plans to reequip their armies with modern weapons and hardware and reinforce them,” Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying.
Poland is most active in this regard, the head of state pointed out. A new mechanized division is being set up in the south of the Belarusian direction. Cadre brigades of territorial defense of Poland are being set up in the north and the south of the country.
“The geography of weapon purchases is growing larger. South Korea has been added to traditional USA and Germany. Instead of supporting their population amid a complicated social and economic situation the Poland government intends to increase its military spending,” the President said.
In his words, Lithuania and Latvia are trying to keep up in the militarist race. But they do not have resources of their own, this is why they ask NATO to increase presence in the countries by deploying brigade-level battle groups instead of battalion-level ones. “The construction of new military camps has begun in order to permanently house the troops, including in direct vicinity of our border – 20km away,” he said.
Apart from that, Lithuania has declared its intention to buy U.S. multiple-launch rocket systems HIMARS. “I don’t think I have to explain why they need them to the military,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
According to the head of state, Ukraine continues provocations on the Belarusian border. They have deployed 15,000 troops to the Belarusian border, are installing engineering equipment at checkpoints and firing positions there, and have set up barriers on roads.
"In short, they have not just barricaded themselves. They have built a wall. Ukraine conducts optical, electronic and radio-technical reconnaissance of our territory, troops, and facilities, with their drones often violating the Belarusian state border. They say they are allegedly very concerned about Belarus’ entering the war and yet at the same time they continue provocations on the border," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“We should not expect tensions to ease in the near future. On the contrary, Russia will increase efforts in its special military operation. The West will seek to arm Ukraine even more,” the Belarusian leader said.
He stressed the need to be prepared for any development of the situation. “We have gathered here once again to analyze the development of the military and political situation around Belarus and to determine our response measures,” the President said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he constantly warns the heads of all security agencies, primarily the Defense Ministry and the State Security Committee (KGB): “Keep an eye on your enemy, make sure we do not miss anything. We must be aware of all their movements near the state border of Belarus. This also applies to the border troops, the Defense Ministry, and other special services of Belarus. I am briefed that everything is under control. That is good.”
The head of state also asked to report on any problematic issues in the security agencies.
"The Belarusian self-exiled opposition did not fail to take advantage of the aggravation of the situation. Probably, hysterical from the fear to be forgotten they churn out more and more perverse ideas. They used to call for sanctions against Belarus. Now they call on servicemen to non-fulfill and sabotage commanders' orders, dodge conscription," the President said. “The goal is the same, as it was in 2020: to destroy the country, overthrow the existing system and deal with the country's leadership. They have opted for violence to achieve their goals. Other options are no longer on the agenda."
"They continue to hatch plans to create their own paramilitary units, the so-called Kalinovsky Regiment. No matter how preposterous this regiment may be, it includes radically minded fighters who are bent on destabilizing the situation in our country through, first of all, sabotage and subversive activities," the head of state said.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, there are radicals in Belarus who are staying under the radar now. "In 2020-2021, law enforcement agencies identified the main instigators of the riots, but they still have followers who are lying low waiting for a go-time," he said.
The President drew attention to the way "the sleeper cells" behaved in Russia. The trigger for the destructive forces was the important decision by the Russian President to conduct a partial mobilization. "Immediately we saw rallies with ‘handkerchiefs and flowers’, anti-state slogans and calls to dodge the mobilization. Those who lined up their pockets under the current administration and built their palaces and castles publicly tore up the passports of the Russian Federation and fled abroad. The so-called cultural elite in Russia behaved similarly like the one in Belarus in 2020. It has set on a course to destabilize the situation inside Russia. What we are seeing in Russia now is identical to what happened in Belarus in 2020," the Belarusian leader said.
"Our self-exiled opposition hopes that armed provocations of militants from among the Nazi formations can serve as a similar impetus to destabilize the situation in Belarus," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He urged to prepare for any developments.
According to the head of state, the self-exiled opposition has run out of things to do and things to talk about, since there is not much going on in Belarus. “They started jumping on all sorts of occasions: since Russia announced mobilization, they began to say that Belarus would follow suit. I want to bring home to everyone that we do not need mobilization. Fortunately, there is no war on the territory of Belarus,” the Belarusian leader assured.
“I have already said it several times, and I will repeat it: one bastard who looks like a beetroot has recently appeared speaking under the headline “Lukashenko is preparing for war”. It is absolutely right. As long as I have been President, I have been preparing for war. It was not me who devised the phrase: If you want peace, prepare for war. I made it clear several times that we upgrade our Armed Forces. This is probably the fifth upgrade already. We are responding to ongoing developments. And above all, we draw conclusions and learn our lesson from those wars and conflicts that have taken place and are taking place on the planet,” the President said.
According to him, while upgrading its army in recent years and decades, Belarus kept in mind various military operations - from the U.S. Operation Desert Storm to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
Aleksandr Lukashenko once again commented on ungrounded speculations about mobilization. Although there is no need for mobilization in Belarus, it is necessary to draw from Russia’s experience when it comes to registration and training of military reservists.
“I warn the military as well as the military enlistment offices through you. Once Russia declared mobilization, we saw the issues it faced. We won’t delve into it - it’s up to the Russian Federation how to conduct mobilization. When Russia started sending draft papers, it turned out that some people were out of Russia. Someone died, someone fled, someone was sick and so on. This is a lesson for us. Therefore, we checked and will check all eligible people in our reserve through military enlistment offices. It should be done in every district in a calm and orderly manner. That is what I told you to do. When harvesting is over, we should ask people to show up at draft offices, see how many reservists we have, check all our materials, lists and documents in enlistment offices,” the head of state noted.
“I emphasize once again: someone may be sick, someone lame, someone dead, someone outside the country... There may be all kinds of situations. And we should build a clear picture of what we have today. This has nothing to do with mobilization. We have done this before,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
Another lesson to be learned from mobilization in Russia is how to train people to defend their land and families, if necessary. “Indeed, they announced mobilization in Russia and drafted people. But many of them forgot how to use weapons. Therefore, we have been continuously training our reservists, our territorial defense troops and will continue to do so. Once again I want to make myself clear: everyone who can and should be armed in Belarus should know how to use weapons, at least simple ones. This applies to both women and men. They should learn how to use at least small arms in order to protect, God forbid something happens, their families," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
He noted that the goal of the Armed Forces and the security forces of Belarus is to defend their land and state. “That’s it. We are not setting any other goals today. And we are preparing for war, because anything can happen. Had we not held our ground here in 2020, other troops would have been stationed near Smolensk now. It is clear where we would have been, first of all, you - people in uniform. The answer is right on the nose. Therefore, learn, learn more, learn forever. And above all, study the art of war seriously. We have always adhered to this principle and we will learn indeed,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President urged to ignore what some people may say about the summoning of reservists to enlistment offices ... We have always done it and will continue doing it! This is not done to send them somewhere to kill. I am not making excuses, but I want you to understand this. At the same time, if God forbid something happens, we will not flee abroad. We will defend our home and our land.”
“As far as our participation in the special military operation in Ukraine is concerned, we are participating in it. We don’t hide it. But we don’t kill anyone. We don’t send our military personnel anywhere. We don’t violate our commitments,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“Our participation is limited to preventing the spread of this conflict into Belarus’ territory. Secondly, to preventing a strike on Belarus from Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia under the guise of the special military operation. As I’ve said, nobody is going to shoot Russians in the back from Belarus’ territory. This is our participation,” he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying: “Yes, we offer medical aid to people. We’ve treated people if necessary. Yes, we feed people. And not only Russians. Most of all, we feed those refugees, those beggars, those poor people, who come to Belarus from Ukraine 400-500 people per day. How can’t we feed them or treat them? This is our participation in this military operation. There will be no other kind.”