Amid NATO Tensions, Russia Dispatches Two S-400 Missile Defense Divisions To Belarus For Military Drills

Russia has sent two divisions of the air missile defense systems S-400 to Belarus to test the preparedness of the Unified Regional Air Defense System of Belarus and Russia and joint military exercises, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday.

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Earlier in the week, Russian deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin said that as part of the operation to test the Union State unified air defense, Russia will dispatch to Belarus 12 Su-35s aircraft alongside two divisions of S-400 air defense and the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile systems.

“Two divisions of S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system of the Air Force and Air Defense units of the Eastern Military District, involved in the examination of the Union State reaction forces, marched to the loading station in Khabarovsk Region, where they loaded the equipment on railway platforms,” the ministry said.

File Image: Biden and Putin

Testing of the Union State unified air defense system will be held in two stages. During the first stage until February 9, the troops are planned to be redeployed at the Belarusian territory to organize the protection of essential state and military facilities. Preparedness of the air defense forces to cover Belarusian critical infrastructure will also be checked.

The second stage will be held from February 10 to 20, with Union Courage 2022 joint exercises being held, aiming to “practice tasks of suppressing and repelling external aggression during a defensive operation, as well as countering terrorism and protecting the interests of the Union State.”

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According to the ministry, during the exercises, efforts will be made to enhance the Union State border protection, for cutting off the channels of weapons delivery, preventing the armed militias intrusion and wiping out “sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the enemy.”

s-400 Missile
File Image: S-400 Missile

Union Courage 2022 exercises will be held across Belarusian training ground, including Domanovsky, Gozhsky, Obuz-Lesnovsky, Brestsky and Osipovichsky, with the involvement of Baranovichi, Luninets, Lida and Machulishchi airfields.

The ministry said that the number of military personnel and equipment engaged in exercises, which fall under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence and Security Building Measures in Europe, does not exceed the limits set, and does not require the OSCE notification.