The number of Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Ukrainian troops deployed and being deployed along the Belarusian border is approaching 40,000 by my count.

Foreign military contingents on way to Belarusian-Polish border

Preparations are in progress for the arrival of foreign military contingents at the Belarusian-Polish border, BelTA learned from Defense Minister Aide for Ideology, Chief of the Central Ideology Office of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, Major-General Leonid Kasinsky.

The press service of the Belarusian Defense Ministry quoted Leonid Kasinsky as saying: “We continue evaluating in detail the situation evolving around our borders due to the buildup of military activities of Poland and the Baltic states….In addition to previously mentioned unfriendly steps to deploy troops and infrastructure for the sake of considerably and promptly increasing the combat composition and creating force groupings, we see that our neighbors take further actions to escalate the situation. Preparations are being made in anticipation of the arrival of foreign military contingents at the Belarusian-Polish border. We’ve noticed the arrival of Estonian military personnel, who will be tasked with preparing lateral roads among other things. It is totally unclear how these engineering measures are related to the migrant crisis. Speaking in military terms, these measures are on the list of preliminary preparations for combat actions and are designed to accelerate the movement of troops along the Belarusian border.”

Leonid Kasinsky also drew attention to military activity of Lithuania. About 4,000 military personnel are deployed in the Lithuanian direction. In the southern direction Ukrainian defense, security, and law enforcement agencies are carrying out a special operation codenamed Polesie. Unscheduled exercises for reservists have been organized. Flights of the USA’s strategic reconnaissance aviation, electronic reconnaissance aircraft, aircraft for scouting ground targets as well as flights of recon drones and strike drones have been registered this past week. All the flights get as close as 20-35km to the state border.

Due to more frequent NATO flights near the Belarusian border and in order to prevent border violations the Belarusian Defense Ministry has decided in favor of joint air space patrols using mixed tactical groups of Belarusian and Russian Su-30SM aircraft.

“While stepping up reconnaissance efforts, Belarus’ Armed Forces continue routine operations as planned. The existing system for responding to such challenges allows us to promptly deploy forces in any direction if necessary. On our own and together with a strategic ally – the Russian Federation,” the Belarusian defense minister aide summed it up.