MINSK, 20 January (BelTA) – Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Andrei Ravkov has been appointed State Secretary of the Security Council. The decision was announced by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.
“Yesterday I made a decision to appoint you State Secretary of the Security Council. Naturally, when some positions became vacant, we had to fill them fast. We are military people and the time is not easy. This does not mean that a war will break out tomorrow and we will have to fight someone, no way. However, there should not be any uncertainty in the military field,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president noted that the State Secretariat of the Security Council is the agency that helps him communicate with the defense and law enforcement agencies where the army is a key element. The army is always led by a very experienced person, therefore a decision was made to transfer Andrei Ravkov to the Security Council. “It is good that our administration chief [Igor Sergeyenko] is very familiar with these matters. I believe that it will be a bit easier for me in this regard now. Nevertheless, the state secretary has very big powers and can act independently within a broad range of matters,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also appointed a new defense minister and head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus on 20 January. Major-General Viktor Khrenin, who led the troops of the Western Operational Command, was appointed Belarus' Defense Minister. Major-General Aleksandr Volfovich, who previously served as First Deputy Head of the General Staff, has been appointed Head of the General Staff.
According to the head of state, it took several months to select the candidates for the post of Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff. The negative feedback was also taken into consideration. “I see that they are very experienced people loyal to Belarus. They love Belarus and cannot live anywhere else. I think we have common goals. We are facing common tasks and we should address them,” the head of state said.
Lieutenant General Andrei Ravkov was born in the village of Revyaki, Beshenkovichi District, Vitebsk Oblast in 1967. He finished Minsk Suvorov Military School in 1984 and graduated with honors from Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School in 1988. In 1999 he graduated with honors from the Command and General Staff Faculty of the Military Academy of the Republic of Belarus and in 2005 he graduated, also with honors, from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Andrei Ravkov started out as a platoon commander in 1988 and rose through the ranks to become a battalion commander. In 1999-2003 he was head of staff and commander of the weapons and equipment storage base.
From 2005 to 2012, he served as commander of an independent mobile brigade, chief of operations section-deputy chief of staff of the Western Operational Command, and chief of staff-first deputy commander of the North-Western Operational Command.
In 2012-2014, Andrei Ravkov was Commander of the North-Western Operational Command.
In November 2014 he was appointed Defense Minister.