Russian and Belarus troops on brink of civil war as tensions explode

Belarus: Tank crews cross Neman River on pontoon bridge

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A major conflict between Belarusian and Russian troops is threatening to break out due to “uncontrolled tensions” between the soldiers of both armies. Recent weeks have seen increased speculation that Vladimir Putin intends to launch another strike on Kyiv from Belarus. The Russian military has been steadily transferring troops to its neighbour, as it continues to build up its presence in the country.

The Ukrainian Resistance Centre said on November 25 that 12,000 Russian soldiers were stationed in Belarus.

Ukraine’s military intelligence, the GUR, also claimed in September that Lukashenko was preparing to accommodate as many as 20,000 mobilised Russian conscripts.

Russian troops are currently being put through their paces by Belarusian military instructors at the 230th Combined Arms Obuz-Lesnovsky Training Ground in Brest.

They are also receiving instruction at military bases located near Mozyr, Gomel, and Mogilev.

However, tensions are reported to be rising between the Russians and their Belarusian hosts and are threatening to boil over into a major conflict.

Sources indicate Russian soldiers have infuriated their Belarusian counterparts by using ethnically charged insults towards them.

In a recent intelligence update, Ukraine’s GUR wrote: “Tensions between the militaries of the two states are also growing in Belarus.

“Numerous conflict situations are connected with precedents of contemptuous attitude of the Russian military towards Belarusians.

“The military police of the Republic of Serbia are unable to restrain the illegal behaviour of Russians.

“In particular, the reports submitted by senior officers of the SSR based on the complaints of their rank-and-file servicemen indicate disparaging expressions and behaviour of Russians towards Belarusians.

“Specifically, using insults based on ethnic characteristics.

“The number of precedents is growing rapidly, which leads to an uncontrolled escalation of tension in Belarus.”

Further reports suggest an increasing number of Belarusian officers are unhappy with their country’s political-military leadership over the prospect of becoming embroiled in Putin’s war.

Lukashenko is reported to be coming under more and more pressure to commit troops to Ukraine and appears to be readying his army for deployment.

The Belarusian military is believed to have drafted 10,000 conscripts into the army over the autumn and there were reports recently that Belarusian doctors had received their call up papers.

The moves towards combat readiness has provoked a backlash among sections of Lukashenko’s army, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.

In a Facebook post on December 7, they wrote: “There is growing dissatisfaction with the activities of the military and political leadership of Belarus among the border service soldiers and the armed forces of this country, due to the threat of dragging the republic into the war with Ukraine.”

The UK’s Ministry of Defence also noted an uptick in Belarusian preparations for war.

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The military analysts reported that Lukashenko’s army had carried out a snap combat readiness inspection of its forces on December 13.

They said: “The exercises are reportedly taking place in the north-west of the country, away from the Ukrainian border.

“In addition, Russia has recently deployed extra units of mobilised reservists to Belarus.

“Belarus played a key enabling role in Russia’s assault towards Kyiv from 24 February 2022.

“However, the exercising Belarusian troops and Russian units are currently unlikely to constitute a force capable of conducting a successful new assault into northern Ukraine.”

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