UNKNOWN LOCATION, BELARUS – FEBRUARY 08: Russia and Belarus will start a joint military exercise on Thursday amid tension around the Ukraine border.
According to the Belarusian Ministry of Defense, the joint military exercise “Allied Resolve 2022” will take place till February 20.
The military units of the Russian Armed Forces from the Eastern Military District and some military units of the Belarusian Armed Forces will take part in the exercise.
Russia has sent Pantsir-S air defense missile systems and 12 Russian Su-35 fighter jets to Belarus ahead of the joint drill.
The exercises will be held at the Obuz-Lesnovskiy, Osipovicskiy, Brestskiy, Gojskiy, Domanovskiy polygons and Baranovic, Luninets, Lida, Machulishchi military airbases located on the territory of Belarus.
It was reported that the exercise was not subject to notification within the scope of the 2011 Vienna Document, according to the parameters related to the number of personnel involved and weapons and equipment systems.
On Thursday (Feb. 9) Kremlin spokesperson Dmitriy Peskov stated that President Vladimir Putin has no plans to attend the drills.
“It is obvious that these are serious joint maneuvers,” Peskov pointed out, adding that the nature and the concentration of threats to Russia and Belarus are currently far more serious than before.
Moscow and Kyiv have been locked in a conflict since hostilities in the eastern Donbas region broke out in 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
Russia has now amassed thousands of troops near Ukraine’s borders, prompting fears it could be planning another military offensive against the former Soviet republic.
The US and its allies have warned Russia of “severe consequences.”
Moscow, however, has denied it is preparing to invade Ukraine and said its troops are there for exercises.