Belarus stepped up its military activity from Wednesday, saying it was in response to joint NATO drills between US armed forces and their allies.
Several statements from Belarusian defense officials and military leaders have confirmed that the Russian-aligned country is increasing its military readiness due to the Defender Europe 2022 exercises, Newsweek reported.
Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin announced on Tuesday that the country is taking the “second stage” of “snapshot readiness checks” of the armed forces.
“The United States and its allies continue to increase their military presence near the state borders of the Republic of Belarus,” Khrenin said.
“Over the past six months, the buildup of forces has doubled, both in quantity and quality.”
A video released on Tuesday showed that the Belarusian military had already implemented some of the new strategies.
“As part of the second stage of verification of the immediate reaction forces, battalion tactical groups were advanced to the western and northwestern operational directions,” Major General Viktor Gulevich said in a statement.
“To reinforce them, air defense, missile forces and artillery units are advanced to ensure their combat operation.”
These two statements alarmed the leaders of other nations because until recently Belarus remained outside the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Belarus has also announced that it will deploy special operations troops to three areas near the country’s southern border, which it shares with Ukraine. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has hinted that he could use Russian-made missiles to strengthen the country’s defenses.