Belarus Launches Military Exercises Near Polish and Lithuanian Borders
Belarus has launched military exercises near the Polish and Lithuanian borders, and the Belarusian Ministry of Defense has announced that the exercises build on the experience of the military special operation and include the use of drones and the interaction between tank and tank units. motorized rifles with units of armed forces branches.
Heightened Border Security
Poland and Lithuania tightened border security as thousands of ‘Wagner’ fighters arrive in Russia’s ally Belarus under a deal that ended their armed rebellion in late June, sparing them and their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, criminal charges.
Location of Military Maneuvers
The military maneuvers are taking place in the “Grodno” region near the sparsely populated Suwalki, which stretches for a distance of 96km along the Polish-Lithuanian border.
Strategic Significance of the Area
L’area in which the maneuvers are taking place connects the three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, with the rest of NATO, and separates Belarus from Kaliningrad, a heavily armed Russian military region on the Baltic Sea that has no land connection with Russia.
Concerns and Arrival of Wagner Fighters
Military analysts in the West have often considered “Suwalki” a sticking point in any confrontation between Russia and NATO, and expressed their concern that Russia is trying to seize the region and isolate the three Baltic states from Poland and “NATO” member states.
Military exercises began with news of the arrival of more Wagner fighters in Belarus.
According to the Belarusian Hagun, an activist group that follows troop movements in Belarus, Wagner’s forces arrive daily in small groups.
According to the “Gray Zone” blog linked to Wagner on “Telegram” on Monday, about 7,000 of the group’s fighters are located in a field near the town of Asipovichi, 230km north of the Ukrainian border.
The leaders of NATO members Lithuania and Poland said they were ready for provocations from Moscow and Minsk.
Updates from Ukraine
On the last battlefield in Ukraine, Andrei Yermak, director of the Ukrainian president’s office, said on Monday that two people were killed in two rocket attacks launched by Russia which hit a residential building in the city of Pokrovsk, Dsk region, eastern Ukraine.
“So far, two people have been confirmed dead, a woman and a man. Ambulances have transported four injured people and rescuers and paramedics are still working,” Yermak said via Telegram.
On Monday, the commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny said the forces are creating the conditions for gradual progress and are also taking the lead on the battlefield.
He added in a statement on Telegram that the Ukrainian Defense Forces are standing still and have thwarted Russia’s attempts to launch a counterattack and divert the attention of Russian forces away from other areas of the front.
For its part, the Russian army has confirmed that it has advanced by 3 km in three days to Kobyansk in northeastern Ukraine, aarea liberated by Ukrainian forces last September and which has been under Russian attack for several weeks.