Russia Donatea BTR-82A APC To Belarusian Army To Prepare For Invasion Through Belarus

According to Belaruski Hajun, an independent Belarusian military monitoring media outlet, the Belarusian army has received another 34 BTR armored vehicles from Russia, which were sent to the Brest district of Belarus.

In addition to BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, a BTR-80K (the commander’s version of the BTR-80 with additional communications and staff equipment), and armored medical and repair and evacuation vehicles based on the BTR-80 have arrived from the Russian Federation. The news comes amidst Moscow’s increasing pressure on Minsk to aid its invasion of Ukraine, now in its 10th month and with no end in sight.

An echelon with 34 pieces of equipment (corresponding to a battalion set) headed towards Brest on January 5. Analysts assume that the new BTR-82As will enter service with the 38th Air Assault Brigade. “It is worth noting that the BTR-70MB1 (Belarusian modernization of the BTR-70) was put into service with one of the battalions of the 38th Separate Guards Air Assault Brigade only in 2019. The brigade also operates BTR-80s. Later, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus confirmed the information about the transfer of equipment: the BTR-82A should replace the BTR-80 in the 38 Separate Guards Air Assault Brigade.

This is the third BTR-82A battalion set in the Armed Forces of Belarus. Thus, the transfer to BTR-82A (from BMP-2 and BTR-80, respectively) affected not only mechanized but also special operations forces units.”

During his visit to the Obuz-Lesnovsky military training area, Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko said that the experience gained from merging Russian and Belarus military units and formations is of great importance for Belarus, the Belarusian ministry of Defense published on its Telegram channel. Recently, speculation has increased that an attack by Russian troops in Ukraine could again take place via Belarus. The Obuz-Lesnovsky military training area is located near the large town of Baranavichy in western Belarus.

The joint task force, which was created in the fall of 2022, officially serves to protect the external borders of the Russia-Belarus union, especially in the west. The unit also includes 9,000 Russian soldiers, who are permanently stationed on Belarusian territory. This unit is seen as the possible spearhead for a new attack on Ukraine. The arrival of larger armored units has been documented by the Belarusian Ministry of Defense in recent days. In this perspective, the recent delivery of 34 additional BTR armored vehicles to Belarus might just be a smoke screen to equip the binational unit in view of a future offensive against Ukraine.

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