Issue 221, 14 December 2022 (Free access)

Today’s update only covers the situation in Belarus.

Military situation in Belarus

On 14DEC, most Belarusian generals and high-rank officers participated in the appointment ceremony of the new Air Force and Air Defence Forces Commander. During the event, the Secretary of the State Security Council, Lt. Gen. Alexander Volfovich, introduced Col. Andrey Lukyanovich to the Belarusian Armed Forces command personnel and officially nominated him to the new position. After the ceremony, Lukyanovich gave a short speech for the Belarusian Military Television VoenTV. He expressed his gratitude for the Commander-in-Chief and stated that all his future decisions would be made considering the state’s military security. Lukyanovich added that he would continue the development of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence Forces, especially in equipment modernisation and creating the joint Russo-Belarusian air defence system.

Besides, the First Deputy Chief of the Belarusian General Staff, Maj. Gen. Igor Korol and the Head of the Electronic Warfare Department, Col. Igor Danilchik, took part in a solemn event of handing new military equipment to the 228th Electronic Warfare Regiment and the 10th Electronic Warfare Battalion. Korol claimed that the event’s timing was correlated with the upcoming professional holiday of the Belarusian EW subunits and corresponded with the new tasks of the electronic warfare formations –  combating UAVs. New samples of Belarusian-made weapons systems would increase these formations’ capabilities and improve their combat potential.

The Deputy Chief of Logistics for Construction, Col. Sergey Shishov, provided more details about the upcoming new legal act regulating the issue of housing provision for Belarusian soldiers. Shishov stated that every service member would be able to receive a house after 25 years of service. However, the exact mechanisms will be adjusted by a new legal act. He stated that about 4,000 flats will be provided for this purpose in 2023.

On Wednesday, the Belarusian MoD informed about the continuation of the combat readiness check of the Belarusian Armed Forces. Practical actions were undertaken by the elements of the 11th and 19th Mechanised Brigades, which increased the combat readiness to the highest peacetime level and departed from their home garrisons.

Specifically, the 7th Tank Battalion of the 11th Mechanised Brigade marched towards the Gozhsky Training Ground. According to the Belarusian military monitoring team Belarusian Hajun, at least two tank companies (~20 T-72B tanks) left the formation’s garrison. However, two more mechanised (40th and 105th), and the engineering-sapper battalions were presumably involved in the drills. It must be noted that mentioned tank elements were also responsible for overcoming water obstacles on their way to the training ground. It was possible thanks to the personnel of the 557th Engineering Brigade, that prepared a bridge crossing over the Neman River. Commander of the Western Operational Command, Maj. Gen. Igor Demidenko, visited the site of the crossing and observed the event.

Regarding the 19th Mechanised Brigade, based on available footage, the unit presumably deployed a BMP-2-based company-sized element for a river crossing drill. The 7th Engineering Regiment set up the bridge.

On 14DEC, some of the Belarusian military formations were involved in what we assume were standalone training activities. This pertains to the elements of the 51st Artillery Brigade, which conducted practical fire control classes combined with a field exit, as well as the 72nd Joint Training Center, whose cadets took part in the engineering vehicle driving and firing exercises.

It should also be noted that the second-year cadets of the Belarusian Military Academy (Military Reconnaissance Faculty) finished their special-tactical exercises related to the reconnaissance activities during defensive actions that started on 12DEC.
Moreover, multiple flights of Belarusian fixed-wing and rotor wing-assets were observed. This refers to at least seven takeoffs from Baranovichi Air Base (fighters) and a few Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

On 14DEC, several noteworthy transfers of Belarusian military equipment were reported.
This pertains to:

  1. Two trawls with 2S1 SPH were moving from Zhodino towards Barysaw;
  2. Eight fuel trucks departed from Baranovichi towards Ivatschevichy;
  3. About 15 trucks were moving from Bobruisk towards Gomel (through Zhlobin);
  4. About 20 BMP-2 (or BRM-1) moving on the N8114 road;
  5. About 40 various trucks moving on the R63 highway towards Barysaw;

What is more, the unloading of the echelon with the equipment of the 103rd Airborne Brigade (27 BTRs, three Kayman vehicles, and about 30 trucks and light vehicles) was reported on the Brest-Vostochnyy Railway Station. At the same time, the presence of Belarusian soldiers was observed near Minsk-Passenger and Osipovichi Railway Stations.

Generally, the observed activity of the Russian Armed Forces deployed in Belarus was quite low.

Unofficial sources informed about the transfers of Russian military equipment involving:

  1. A single PAZ vehicle was moving in Vileika;
  2. Two covered KAMAZ were moving in Sinyavka;
  3. Seven covered KAMAZ trucks with two medical PAZ-32053 vehicles departed Slutsk in the direction of Bobruisk

What is more, the arrivals of a Russian A-50 AWACS plane (RF-93966), and other military echelons were reported. Specifically, the aircraft landed at Machulischy Air Base at 14:47 PM (Kyiv time). At the same time, the military train of at least 20 URAL trucks, about four BMPs, and a few more fuel trucks arrived at Polonka Railway Station from the Ostrogozhsk Railway Station. It should be noted that the arrival of a similar echelon (30-40 URAL trucks) was also reported on 12DEC in the same location.

The influx of Russian forces into Belarus is steady, but we have seen no indications that these forces are being moved to the border areas. Indeed, they are being moved to assembly areas only (training ranges). We have seen no Russian units in staging areas near the border. Therefore, despite Twitter hype, Russian forces are not in the final stages of preparations to attack Ukraine from the north.


Summary of main Belarusian training activities in December:

14DEC: Continuation of a sudden combat readiness check of the Belarusian Armed Forces
(7th Tank Battalion of the 11th Mechanised Brigade marched towards the Gozhsky Training Ground through the bridge crossing over the Neman River prepared by the elements of the 557th Engineering Brigade, while the presumably company-sized mechanised element of the 19th Mechanised Brigade departed from the home garrison towards water crossing created by the elements of the 7th Engineering Regiment and presumably towards the 227th Combined Arms Training Ground)

14DEC: Fire Control Exercises combined with a field exit (elements of the 51st Artillery Brigade, unspecified location – Osipovichi Training Ground?)

13DEC: Start of a sudden combat readiness check of the Belarusian Armed Forces (various locations, elements of the 38th Air Assault Brigade, 7th Engineering Regiment, 557th Engineering Brigade and presumably 103rd Airborne Brigade)

13DEC: Possible continuation of the 120th Mechanised Brigade combat readiness exercises (227th Combined Arms Training, elements of the 339th Mechanised Battalion involved)

??? – 13DEC: End of the UAV operators gathering (held at the 11th Mechanised Brigade,  attended by UAV operators from the Belarusian Army and other power agencies)

10DEC: Continuation of the combat readiness classes (?) (103rd Airborne Brigade)

10DEC: A field exit (230th Combined Arms Training Ground, 2S3 battery of the 11th Mechanised Brigade) – related to the combat readiness classes (?)

9DEC: Continuation of the combat and mobilisation readiness classes (?) (72nd Joint Training Center, 111th Artillery Brigade)

8DEC: Continuation of scheduled combat readiness classes (various unspecified locations, 11th Mechanised Brigade, 19th Mechanised Brigade, 38th Air Assault Brigade, 51st Artillery Brigade, 250th Security and Maintenance Battalion, Airfield and Material Support Battalion of the 61st Fighter Aviation Base)

(???) 8DEC: A field seminar (location unspecified, personnel of the 1134th Military Clinical Medical Center)

7DEC: Continuation of  scheduled combat readiness classes (339th Mechanised Battalion, Technical Maintenance Battalion of the 50th Mixed Aviation Base, elements of the 11th Mechanised Brigade and 72nd Joint Training Center).

6DEC: Start of scheduled combat readiness classes (no data).

Lines of advance in Ukraine


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