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26 May 2022, 14:18

Lukashenko: Ukraine conflict prompted Belarus to revisit army modernization plan

MINSK, 26 May (BelTA) – The recent events in Ukraine have prompted Belarus to revisit the modernization strategy for its Armed Forces, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting in the Defense Ministry of Belarus to discuss military security issues on 26 May, BelTA has learned.

“Look, when we met, it was before Russia's military operation in Ukraine, we had a different idea of how to improve and modernize our Armed Forces. Three months of the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, of the military operation have passed, and we have realized that we need to drop our initial modernization strategy as it turned out to be too expensive and overall unacceptable for our country. We have built a better understanding of what kind of army we should have,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin informed the head of state that in line with the task, taking into account the current developments and the assessment of the hostilities in Ukraine, the ministry revised the approaches to the improvement of the Armed Forces. This work will be carried out in several directions.

At the government meeting held on 10 May to discuss this year's state defense contracts Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Belarus had learned its lessons from Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. “The military operation of the Russian Federation in Ukraine taught us a lot,” he said.

According to the president, the decision taken about ten years ago to increase the mobility of Belarus' Armed Forces turned to be right. “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 the focus on mobility is unavoidable,” he stressed.

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,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

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