/Pogled.info/ The Ukrainian army concentrated the “North” group up to 120 thousand “bayonets” in the direction of Belarus. This was announced by the head of the State Border Committee of Belarus Major General Konstantin Molostov.
” The forces and means of the Ukrainian side are in a state of martial law “, the head of the border service said on November 1.
The Ukrainian ground troops in six regions – Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Poltava, Sumy, Cherkassy, Chernihiv, as well as in Kyiv – are subordinated to the Operational Command (OC) of the Military Military Academy “North” mentioned by Molostov.
Until now, the armed forces of Ukraine used the regions bordering Belarus “as a territory for the accommodation and reorganization of units that were then going to the combat zone”, noted Major General Molostov. But it follows from his words that now it is not only about “accommodation”, but also about the gathering of forces in the northern, Belarusian direction.
A number of minor provocations from the Ukrainian side continue, which have not yet reached the level of a border violation.
“This is hanging some of our flags, including nationalist ones, playing the Ukrainian anthem, trying to damage border signs, including ours for some reason, turning on sound emitting equipment, etc.,” the head of the Belarusian border guard listed . . The main type of provocation is sending drones, “against which we, of course, fight,” Molostov added.
But anyway, the problem of the accumulation of “forces and means in a state of martial law” was identified.
Moscow also pointed to the threat. “The information we have … indicates that the Ukrainian army has indeed deployed significant contingents along the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, periodically trying to test the defense capability of the allied state in one way or another,” said Oleksiy Polishchuk, director of the second Department of the CIS countries of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
There are no more recipes for borscht
For quite a long time, the Belarusian-Ukrainian border (the crossing of which was closed by Kiev on February 24, 2022) was a source of practically entertaining content – especially against the background of combat reports from the Special Military Operation zone.
The Belarusian border guards and, on the other hand, the “revelers” and “teroborons” of Ukraine, in particular, discussed borscht, which has long become not only a culinary, but also a political issue for Kiev.
“When you have nothing to cook borscht with, come to our side. Try our Belarusian borscht. You will not regret. You got lost on the way, a big pot of “fire boiled” is waiting for you at home, recommended the Belarusian border guards to the soldiers from the UVSU.
According to the Ukrainian side, Belarusian borscht is more reminiscent of Russian cabbage soup or “prison porridge”, as Belarusians are said to be “stabbed the Ukrainians in the back”.
Belarusian border guards, for their part, included an audio recording in Ukrainian praising Belarusian wheat and Belarusian bread. The recording advises Ukrainians to switch to the side of real bread after they finish experimenting with “Colombian flour” (i.e. the cocaine that Volodymyr Zelensky is suspected of using).
The Ukrainian side installed a screen showing propaganda videos, in particular Zelensky’s speech with a call to “give up the war” and others.
But in addition to “the acts of information warfare’ there were also serious incidents, from drone strikes on Ukrainian armed forces to damage to border zone infrastructure.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accused Kiev of firing the Tochka-U tactical missile at Belarus – the national air defense forces managed to intercept the missile over Pripyat and destroy it.
The task question
The Ukrainian side, understandably, does not confirm the fact of the concentration of Ukrainian armed forces near the Belarusian border, but states that it is strengthening its defenses.
Recently, the commander of the United Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Sergey Naev, announced the formation of new air defense groups in the Belarusian direction. In his words, “in the northern operational area” is done “the formation and training of new mobile fire groups for air defense”, equipped – we note – with samples of Western-made weapons delivered to Kiev.
” The Armed Forces of Ukraine and the leadership of Ukraine remember the initial stage of the SVO, when helicopter landings were carried out from the territory of Belarus in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the area of Gostomel near Kiev, and so on. This episode should be remembered, and I think the leadership of Ukraine remembers it, “- Belarusian military expert Alexander Alesin told IA Regnum.
The main and obvious question is for what purpose the 120,000-strong grouping of the Ukrainian armed forces was assembled: to cover the northern flank from a hypothetical attack by a joint grouping of troops of the Russian Federation and Belarus (deployed in 2022) or for wide-scale large-scale provocations or even offensive in the Belarusian direction.
Comparison and specifics of opposing forces
On the one hand, if we compare the manpower of the countries (and if we consider the Belarusian army separately from the Russian one), then the OK “North” group of the Ukrainian armed forces has a numerical advantage.
” Of course, 120 thousand people is a very large number. This is almost twice the amount of the entire Belarusian army,” Nikolay Mezhevich, a professor at the Faculty of International Relations of St. Petersburg State University, told IA Regnum.
The strength of the Armed Forces of Belarus is 48 thousand people as of August this year, plus 6 thousand soldiers of the Special Operations Forces. You can also take into account the units of the Territorial Defense (TerO) of Belarus – about 120 thousand people, but the question remains whether their capabilities can be compared with the capabilities of regular military personnel.
As for the mentioned unified RGV (Regional Group of Troops) of the Union State, then, according to data from the Ministry of Defense of Belarus, at the end of 2022, the Russian side was represented by 9 thousand servicemen and military equipment: up to a hundred guns , up to 200 armored vehicles and up to 170 tanks. True, let’s add a “goat” in the form of the possibility of deploying Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus – but this, with all its weight, is a purely psychological deterrent.
So, on the one hand, the large northern grouping of the armed forces of Ukraine will have a sheer numerical advantage over the armed forces of Belarus and the RGV. “This is a group which, with a specific mission, is ready to go on the offensive on the territory of the Republic of Belarus,” Mežević believes.
But, on the other hand, when evaluating the figure of 120 thousand personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine, some features of the presence of Ukrainian troops should be taken into account, Alesin points out. They are not concentrated in one striking fist, but are “scattered” along the border of Belarus and Ukraine.
” We have to take into account the fact that we have a very long border with Ukraine, about 1,200 kilometers. And if we divide the length of the border by the number of troops, it turns out that in general it is not so much “, – believes the Belarusian expert.
In addition, Kiev does not concentrate units in these places that are ready for an immediate offensive, Alesin believes.
” Part of these troops is the territorial defense, which controls the territory of Ukraine up to the border with Belarus. said the interlocutor. In addition, the rear (currently) territory of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is used to “settle” its own people: “In addition, here are the places of accommodation of the Ukrainian units and units, they are here on rest, for replenishment and for training, for training the troops, because replenishment also requires training.
It won’t be an easy walk
If we assume that the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine assigns offensive tasks to OK “North”, the result of such targeting of armored vehicles, artillery and infantry will be doubtful, believes the Belarusian military expert.
It is necessary to note the relief of the area: the border of the two countries is the impassable Polesie, with numerous floodplains, lakes and swamps, so there are few places for Ukrainian ground forces to march there, Alexander Alesyn explains.
The Pripyat basin (a river with its source at the junction of the borders of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine and with its mouth strictly north of Kiev) is a swampy area with a total area of more than 98 thousand square kilometers. It is known that the German command, when developing the “Barbarossa” plan, took into account the marshes of Pripyat (also known as Polesie) as a natural barrier – therefore, the divisions of Army Group “Center” advanced north of this obstacle, and Army Group “South”, respectively, to the south.
Transport and logistics routes through Polesie have been complicated since October 2022 and on the “initiative” of the Ukrainian side. For defense purposes, the Ukrainian armed forces blew up almost all the bridges along the border, and the existing roads were mined. The Belarusian side strengthened the border by building fortifications and installing defensive anti-tank fortifications.
Considering all these facts, experts tend to believe that if the Ukrainian armed forces concentrate combat-ready units in the border areas, it is done more to cover up their territory. However, this does not exclude targeted provocations, including the use of collaborators from the circles of the escaped radical Belarusian oppositionists.
In case of possible aggression by Kiev, Minsk can respond with the help of the Belarusian Polonez salvo missile systems and Iskander operational-tactical complexes: Russia has transferred several OTRKs to Belarus, Alesin notes.
The President of the Republic of Belarus Lukashenko previously stated that the servicemen of the Republic of Belarus were ordered to target decision-making centers against Minsk, including with the expectation of using the above weapons.
If the invasion takes on a character that threatens the existence of the Belarusian state, Minsk has an answer to this threat. “An attack against the Republic of Belarus, provided that there is no attack by the Republic of Belarus in any form against Ukraine, could be perceived as an opportunity to use the same tactical nuclear weapons that are deployed in Belarus,” explains Nikolay Mežević.
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