Belarus and Russia Set for Major Military Exercise in 2025

Written by Camilla Jessen

Feb.22 - 2024 4:21 PM CET

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Photo: exsilentroot / Shutterstock.com
Photo: exsilentroot / Shutterstock.com
Belarus has announced plans for a significant joint military exercise with Russia to be held on Belarusian soil in 2025.

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Viktor Khrenin, Belarus's Defense Minister, talked with Russian media about a big military drill planned for 2025.

the main goal of this exercise is to "ensure the military security of the Union State." Khrenin added, "The whole range of activities that we are planning and carrying out revolves around this task."

He explained, "The whole range of activities that we are planning and carrying out revolves around this task. The regional grouping includes almost all the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus. From the Russian Federation, we have a number of formations and military units from the Aerospace Forces. But it is not static, it can change based on the conditions."

A History of Joint Military Drills 

Belaruski Hajun highlighted that Belarus and Russia agreed in 2009 to host joint military exercises within each country every two years. The exercises named West and Shield of the Union were conducted as joint operational and strategic drills every other year.

According to the plan, the Shield of the Union exercise was expected in 2023, scheduled for September 22-26, but it was called off. There has been no announcement of joint operational/strategic exercises for 2024, skipping the two-year cycle.

Additionally, Belarus hosted an unexpected drill named Allied Resolve 2022 from February 10 to 20, 2022. Just four days after these drills concluded, Russia initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Belaruski Hajun speculated, "Based on the experience of the non-conduction of the Shield of the Union-2023 exercises, the exercises in 2025 in Belarus may not take place due to the continuation of the war in Ukraine.

The Russian Federation may simply not have enough soldiers for both the war and the exercises. We can also recall the Collective Security Treaty Organisation exercise Combat Brotherhood-2023, which took place in September 2023 in Belarus, in which a very modest Russian contingent took part.

However, even if the 2025 exercises are not cancelled, all troop movements in Belarus will be closely monitored to avoid a repeat of February 2022."

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