MINSK, 10 May (BelTA) – Shifting the focus on increasing the mobility of Belarus' Armed Forces about ten years ago has been justified. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during the government conference held on 10 May to discuss this year's state defense contracts, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I once again refer to lessons and experience of the Ukrainian conflict. I'd like to emphasize that T-72 tanks are very popular with the military. Our modernized tanks are a good weapon. As for lightly armored vehicles Cayman, you must remember that we'd decided in favor of making our army mobile after all. Ukraine's lesson once again. Mobile groups turned out to be most effective, including mobile groups of Ukraine's Armed Forces. They could unexpectedly and instantly approach the enemy, which massively outmatched them.”
The president continued that for that means of transportation are necessary in order to approach any location identified by the reconnaissance forces at night or within 2-3 hours and carry out a strike. Belarus' well-developed road infrastructure allows it. “In other words, we need mobile army units. And we have to focus on it. Certainly, S-400 air defense missile systems are a good thing as well as state-of-the-art aircraft and the rest. But a lesson has been learned. You can see that major highly technological forces such as the USA or NATO have a colossal potential and can destroy all kinds of airfields and the rest within 1-2 hours. Where will you land your aircraft then? Moreover, the survivability of these aircraft is next to nothing these days. This is why focus on mobility is unavoidable,” he stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded he had convinced the army to follow this path about ten years before. “Today it turns out we were right. We've won in this regard. Our army of 65,000-70,000 people may seem small. It is very mobile. Surprise has always played an important role in any war. And you have to be mobile for that. This is why we've been building and rebuilding our Armed Forces, our army for the third time or the fourth time,” he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the need to ensure reliable communications was another lesson learned from the conflict in Ukraine. “There were a lot of issues with means of communications. But it is our field of expertise. God forbid if our army units lose communications in peace time, during an exercise or during a surprise inspection (we also have communication suppression systems). This is why take a look at that. There is no army without communications. You need no weapons, you need nothing if there are no communications.”
Speaking about the state defense contracts, the president remarked that major purchases of weapons had been contemplated during a recent discussion about this matter in the strategic control center in the Defense Ministry. It is now obvious that a different approach is needed. “We've taken a look at it, we've learned lessons, and see that we need to adjust. We don't need so many weapons we wanted to purchase and we don't need that kind of weapons,” he said.
In his words, weapons primarily have to meet capabilities of the Armed Forces and the conditions the army units will have to fight in, god forbid. “We are not going to assault anyone. And Belarus is not Syria, not Iraq, not an open desert. Belarus is all forests and swamps. Yes, Belarus' territory has changed a lot after the last war but nevertheless, there are plenty of forests and rivers, which are a hindrance for any army, particularly an aggressor,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.