It turns out that in Russia and Belarus, despite more than 20-year cooperation in the military sphere, there is no clear structure for armed protection within the framework of the Union State (SG). And the Western Regional Grouping of Forces (ZRGV) of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) does not fully meet the new challenges and threats that have arisen in the last two or three years. This conclusion can be drawn from the results of the joint meeting of the ministries of defense of the two countries, which took place on October 21. This omission, according to Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, Moscow and Minsk will be eliminated in the next two years: “We approved a joint action plan for 2016 – 2018 years, which is aimed at forming the military organization of the Union State, creating a reliable mechanism for its armed defense” . Also, according to him, the board "identified priorities for further movement forward, taking into account the emerging foreign political realities." These realities, as it should be understood, look much more serious than a couple of years ago - Ukrainian and Syrian factors, increased NATO activity at the borders of the NG.
Against this background, it seems rather strange how, according to the NVO observations, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko regularly “spits” his “strategic ally” for not helping the republic in military affairs as do.
Leader Sineoka is going to discuss this “not very good state of affairs” with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. In the meantime, Alexander G. categorically refuses to place on the territory of the republic a Russian air base, on which Moscow has been insisting since the spring of 2013. At the same time, Lukashenko even agreed to the fact that he was completely unaware of the plans of the Russian Federation to create an airbase in his domain.
UKRAINIAN FACTOR: A VIEW FROM MINSK
Taking into account the Ukrainian factor, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation spoke quite clearly at the board: “The military security of Russia and Belarus equally depends on how the situation develops in this fraternal country for us.” The only possible way of national reconciliation in Ukraine, according to him, “is seen in direct dialogue between Kiev and representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, in the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.”
This is hardly just a formal accent. Shoigu clearly wanted to convey this fundamental position of Moscow to the ears of his Belarusian colleague, Lieutenant-General Andrei Ravkov. The fact is that the official Minsk in terms of its attitude to the “Ukraine-Donbass” conflict is not publicly “pro-Moscow”. Lukashenko unequivocally condemns both the Kiev junta, and Donetsk and Lugansk opposing it. “Militants who howl against Ukrainians need to be destroyed. But first, figure it out, or shoot your own ones, ”he said with conviction back in June of 2014. The Old Man does not exclude that Moscow can supply weapon those who are called in Kiev only as terrorists. According to him, weapons enter Ukraine both on the one side of the conflict and on the other: “After all, they are fighting because there are Soviet weapons, but there is enough such good in the world”. Therefore, they say, there are plenty of leaks and deliveries to Ukraine both from Russia and from the NATO countries (although I immediately made a reservation that he “did not do this research”).
“I absolutely do not support the presence of any troops in Ukraine, not only Russian, but also American, mercenaries from Poland, Sweden and others,” the Old Man once again outlined his position on August 4 in an interview with three non-governmental media accredited to the republic (Euroradio, Radio Liberty and portal tut.by). And he added ambiguously: “I know for sure - not from the Russian mass media, - that they are there”. This can be understood as if the Belarusian leader is known from some intelligence information that, in addition to all sorts of foreign volunteer militants, “well-concealed” Russian troops are fighting on the territory of Donbass. However, earlier Alexander Grigorievich, answering a question about the possible participation of Russian troops in the conflict in Ukraine, noted that “it’s wrong to blame Russia for the presence of regular Russian troops in Ukraine”: “Russians are not so stupid as to send troops there, to be substituted. In Russia, there are already enough people willing to go to Ukraine to fight — cool military specialists who have undergone certain training in Afghanistan and the Caucasus. There are thousands of them, and not only from Russia. ” He also considers "ridiculous, how the conflict in Ukraine is presented in the Russian mass media": "I once even spoke about this to Vladimir Vladimirovich." The Belarusian leader, no matter which side he fights on, “maybe some two dozen” Belarusians. “If you went to war (it means killing — it doesn't matter on the side of Donbass or against it),” Lukashenka said in September, “we will ask you.”
It is unlikely that such vague views of the closest ally on the situation in Ukraine in a certain sense do not annoy Moscow, including the military leadership of Russia.
Taking into account all the factors affecting the security of the IG, Sergei Shoigu is convinced that “we need not just a high level of defense cooperation, but coordinated positions on the main problems of global and regional security that will allow us to successfully solve the issues of strengthening the defense potential of the Union State” .
Multiple launch rocket systems "Polonaise"
at a military parade. Photo from www.tut.by
at a military parade. Photo from www.tut.by
FOR RARIABILITY PRODUCTIVE COLLEGE
The meeting that took place was not so formal, “boring” as such events are predominantly. In addition to plans to create the above mechanism, issues of the implementation of the agreement on the joint protection of the external borders of the “two” and the implementation of combat duty under the Unified Regional Air Defense System in Belarus were discussed. At the same time, the ministers considered the issue of further improving the integrated electronic warfare system (EW). Shoigu informed that “the necessary regulatory framework for this has been formed, and its functioning should ensure the high efficiency of the joint use of EW forces and means by the armed forces of our countries”.
In the near future - the organization of interaction in the field of innovative technologies and the development and signing of the relevant agreement on the exchange of information of this kind. Perhaps this will happen already in 2016 year in order to implement more than 120 events that are planned for this period.
The Belarusian Defense Minister, General Ravkov, reinforced the specifics of his colleague with the duty rhetoric that the annual "strengthening of the defense potential of the Union State is evidence of the irreversibility of the process of military integration of the two states." He cited some facts. Practically all the newest types of weapons and military equipment that are supplied for the needs of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus are produced in the Russian Federation. Currently, Minsk is in the process of purchasing four Yak-130 combat training aircraft from the Russian defense industry (by the four purchased this spring). It is also planned to purchase the BTR-82А battalion set from Russia, which, according to Ravkov, "is in service with the Russian army and showed itself very well during the fighting." The Belarusian defense ministry is ready to fork out for 900 thousand dollars only for the purchase of one such machine (while the overhaul of an armored personnel carrier armed with it will cost about 300 thousand dollars - with a resource of both 20 – 25 years). The training of Belarusian military specialists in deficient specialties is also carried out in Russia: over the past 17 years, 1126 Belarusian military personnel have been trained in military schools of the Russian Ministry of Defense; 374 people get knowledge in them now.
According to the Belarusian minister, who in every possible way avoids any political assessments, all this is “not only a reliable strong shield of the Belarusian-Russian relations, but also an important element of the collective security of the CSTO in the western direction.” As they say, who would doubt if in recent months certain “graters” did not occur in this field.
It is also interesting that, prior to the working meeting, Sergey Shoigu handed over to his Belarusian counterpart historical combat banner of the 214th airborne brigade (airborne forces). The relic was kept in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. For a small Belarusian army (50 thousand military personnel) this is a rather significant event. The brigade was formed back in 1938 near Minsk, in Maryina Gorka (now the 5th separate special forces brigade of the Mobile forces of the Republic of Belarus is deployed here). She took part in the liberation campaign of the Red Army in Bessarabia in the summer of 1940 and in the Soviet-Finnish war. In the summer of 1941, the paratroopers effectively acted in the rear of the Nazi troops. Subsequently, they participated in the Volokolamsk and Rzhev-Vyazemsky operations, were part of the legendary landing during the Vyazemsky airborne operation. Handing the banner, the Russian minister noted that "the fighters of this brigade, which laid the foundation for the creation of landing units on Belarusian soil, showed unparalleled courage and heroism in the fight against fascist invaders." In turn, General Ravkov said that he considered it deeply symbolic and significant that the transfer of the combat banner of the 214th Airborne Forces took place in the year of the 70th anniversary of the Victory. And he said that "this military relic will not take its place in the museum - it will become a memorial banner of the command of the special operations forces, symbolizing military honor, valor and glory." Indeed, already on October 23, on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the creation of special forces, giving the command of the special operations forces a combat banner, the minister handed over the 214th Airborne Forces “for eternal storage” and historical banner.
THE BELARUSIAN GENERAL STAFF AND IN THE HEAD OF RUSSIAN TROOPS
It is noteworthy that the collegium took place shortly after completion of the analysis of the joint bilateral operational exercise “Union Shield-2015”. It took place from September 10 to 16 in the territories of the Leningrad, Pskov and Kaliningrad regions, on which the ranges of the Western Military District (ZVO) are located. The doctrine was not as numerical as the similar maneuvers of four years ago: 8 thousand people and about 400 pieces of equipment, including 100 tanks, against more than 12 thousand military personnel and over 450 military vehicles in 2011. But, on the proposal of the head of the Russian military department, during the development of tasks, the thematic format of actions in the field was significantly expanded. This expansion was associated with a change in the situation around the borders of the SG, the unprecedented activity of NATO troops in the Baltic countries and in Poland. The Belarusian Ministry of Defense sent 2011 railroad trains and 28 air transports with troops (8 thousand soldiers and officers) and equipment to the Shield of the Union-1,3. Belarusian flew to Russian airfields aviation (five Su-25 attack aircraft, five Mi-24 helicopters and one Mi-8), which was included in the combined air group (more than 80 units of aircraft).
It is interesting, by the way, that four years ago a company of Ukrainian paratroopers participated in the “Union-2011 Shield”; now they are fighting in the Donbass and are learning military craft from the Yankees and NATO.
On the "Union Shield-2015" worked out things to which in other similar exercises "did not reach." And in this sense, as military experts note, the teaching can be considered unique. For example, along with the typical actions of motorized rifle subunits under the conditions of conducting highly maneuverable defense, opposition to a series of “network attacks” on communication channels of the Regional Russian-Belarusian Group of Forces was worked out with the aim of distorting and replacing the transmitted information. Even before the start of combat training, ZVO network operators established a radio relay communication line with a total length of more than 800 km from the village of Kamenka in the Leningrad Region to the Belarusian village of Lokti in the Vitebsk Region. At the same time, the frequency-adaptive mode was widely used, allowing the equipment to automatically pick up noise and independently switch to new frequencies. Thereby, noise immunity and secrecy of communication networks were significantly increased.
Another feature was the development of issues of information interaction of the general staff of the two armies during joint combat operations.
The zest was that the joint actions of the units of the Golden Military District and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus were led by the Chief of the Belarusian General Staff, Major-General Oleg Belokonev. That is, for the first time, the reassignment of units of the army of another state was tested and controlled while jointly carrying out combat training tasks.
At the board, Defense Minister Shoigu stressed that all this was worked out in the key to reflect possible aggression against the Union State.
In turn, the commander of the ZVO troops, Colonel-General Anatoly Sidorov, believes that the Shield of the Union-2015 exercise revealed the need for closer interaction in developing plans for building up the situation, marking the actions of the enemy and drawing of hostilities. “In the future, to achieve continuous and operational management, it is necessary to create a permanent channel for the exchange of electronic correspondence between the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus and the headquarters of the Western Military District,” he said at the board. He concluded: “The analysis of the work of the bodies during the exercise showed the expediency of including the regional group of troops of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation in the group of troops in the Western strategic direction.” He also noted that the weekly maneuvers had aroused the active interest of neighbors in studying the direction of training troops and the maintenance of the questions being worked out.
It was announced at the collegium that the two countries would conduct joint West-2017 strategic exercises in two years, in preparation for which the experience of this September training session at the training grounds will be developed.
OX ALREADY THIS AIR BASE! ..
As many observers noted, the board did not say a word about whether or not to be on the territory of Belarus a military Russian air base. Moscow has been insisting on this since April 2013.
The need for this arose for three reasons. In the summer of 2012, the Belarusian air defense failed to stop the flight of the New Rust: a light-engined plane that penetrated the republic’s airspace from the Lithuanian side flew to Minsk, threw off soft toys 900 with appeals against “tyranny” Lukashenko and returned to Lithuania. The Old Man then tore and threw metal, he dismissed several generals, but the fact remains: the military of the fraternal republic demonstrated their inability to protect the air border of the Union State in the western direction. The second reason is the extreme depreciation of the fleet, which has almost exhausted the service life. Planes are latched-upgraded, but flying them is clearly dangerous. What evidence is a series of catastrophes during 2009 – 2014, as a result of which the Belarusian military aviation lost six combat aircraft and one helicopter; in the crash killed eight experienced pilots and other crew members. In addition, part of the avia-PE happened because of the notorious "human factor", which is due to the fact that Belarusian pilots fly very little. For many years, most of them do not exceed 60 – 90 hours, with the required minimum of 120 – 150 hours. The lack of professionalism of the Belarusian pilots is the third cause of concern for the Russian military leadership.
If we proceed from the official statements made earlier by the military department of the Russian Federation, the air base would have to act. It was even reported about the places of its deployment: initially Lida, then they beat Baranavichy. However, everything remains only in words.
Literally the next day after returning from Moscow, where the collegium was held, Belarusian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov said in Baranavichy that there was no reason to deploy the Russian aviation base in the republic: “Why? Reflections are: our neighbors, especially the newly elected president of Poland, he asks NATO (and they agreed) to place four bases of various purposes, including aviation, in the immediate vicinity of the border of Belarus. And the answer is simple: so maybe we will take some means of destruction that can defeat these objects in the right place at the right time? It will be much more efficient than the air base. ”
The minister, in fact, repeated the words of Glavkoverha, spoken by the October 6: “There was never any talk about locating the Russian air base on the territory of Belarus. I don't know anything about that. ” After five days, being surprised again (“Lord, I don’t know anything about it!”), He said that he would discuss this issue with the Russian leadership: “If Russia sees something that we don’t see, then it will tell us.” Following this, the Kremlin reported that such a discussion could happen during the October 16 summit of the CIS summit in Astana in Astana, but it did not come to that point.
"Ignorance," but this seems rather strange. Suffice it to recall the chronicle of the discussion of this topic. The first who touched it was Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. 23 April 2013, following the results of communication with the Belarusian leader in Minsk, he said in his presence: “We are starting to consider a plan to create in Belarus a Russian air base with fighter aircraft. We hope that in the year 2015 there will be an aviation regiment. In 2013, we will create an aviation commandant's office here and put the first duty link of our combat fighters. ”
The concept of “air base” already strained the Old Man, and three days later he put it like this: “Maybe it sounded like a base. Not. We are talking about the supply of aircraft to our armed forces, and in what form - we will negotiate. I, as commander in chief, today lack two dozen modern aircraft. ”
In June of the same year, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Viktor Bondarev (now Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces) reported that the project had already begun in the Grodno region (Lida district center, where the 116-I assault air base of Belarusian air defense and air forces is stationed). Moreover, he spoke of this as “the result of the implementation of an intergovernmental agreement on strengthening the military component of the Union State”: “Russia is obliged to form and have its air base there. It will become an important element of the first strategic echelon of the defense of our Union, providing cover for the airspace of Belarus. ” It was about the deployment of X-NUMX fighters Su-24CM27 and the link of the Mi-3 helicopters.
29 November 2013, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said that the military departments of the two countries are preparing a draft intergovernmental agreement on a Russian air base in Belarus.
27 December 2013 Russia's ambassador to the republic, Alexander Surikov, at a press conference in the Belarusian capital said that Moscow and Minsk would determine the amount that the Russian side would pay for using a military airbase, which would settle under Baranavichy: “The Russian military will not only pay for use of the runway and parking, but also for electricity and water. " He even corrected the military leadership: they say, "the final point of formation of the military air base is 2014 year." And he said that the first link of Russian fighters had already arrived at Baranovichi airfield.
In fact, on December 9 2013, four modified Su-27СМ3 arrived at the airfield of the 61 fighter airbase, stationed in Baranavichy, and took over duty. Subsequently, every three months they rotated.
And 18 in March 2014 Russian aircraft appeared at the airfield of 83-th separate engineering-airfield regiment, which is in Bobruisk. Six Su-27Ps from the 159-th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the 105-th Aviation Division of the 1-th command of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Western Military District and three military transport aircraft with engineering personnel flew here. Such an increase against the background of events in Ukraine and the intensification of NATO at the borders of Belarus was seen by a number of Russian media as “Minsk asked Moscow for help”. Lukashenko was offended and blamed Ambassador Surikov: “Why are you doing this? You yourself ask us this. If you do this, we will do otherwise, because you cannot do that. ” But in fact, it was precisely at the request of Lukashenka that the Russian pilots ensured the safety of the World Hockey Championship, which was held in the country in May 2014. “I asked them: give or sell me a dozen planes on the cheap. World Cup - I need to provide security in terms of security, ”he admitted to 4 August 2015 journalists of the year. And indeed, just at the end of May, the hockey battles ended, as the 4 of June 2014, the entire Russian air group left Belarus. There was no public thanks to the Russian pilots from the Republican Palace of Independence.
October 15 2014 in Kazan, Colonel-General Viktor Bondarev again made adjustments: the air base for Su-27 fighters will be created in Bobruisk - already in 2016 year.
8 September 2015 in Grodno, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made it clear that "Russia is ready to consider the question of further opening its airbases in the states with which it has allied relations, whether CSTO or CSTO plus the Union Treaty, as with Belarus." Shortly thereafter, the Russian government submitted to the president a proposal submitted by the Russian defense ministry to sign an agreement on a Russian air base in the republic.
On September 19, Vladimir Putin ordered the Defense Ministry to hold talks with Minsk on this topic with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and upon reaching an agreement to sign the relevant agreement.
And after all this, Alexander G. was "completely unaware"? The legend is fresh, but it's hard to believe. Especially if you take into account the words of the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, General Ravkov (October 23): “The consultations on the conditions for the deployment of the Russian air base in Belarus have been completed. However, the final decision was not taken by the head of state. ”
“We do not need a base today,” the Old Man categorically refuses. “Especially since the air force! .. Two years ago I asked the president of Russia: give us 20 airplanes.” No, we can not, do not produce and so on. I invited the managers of our 558 aircraft repair plant in Baranavichy and set the task: to commission the 10 aircraft this year. In November, will give 10 th aircraft. Beautiful aircraft, modernized fighters that worked "air-to-air", and today work on the ground. We figured it out ourselves! Next year - we will put 10 airplanes on board! ”Like, we’ll get out without Russia. According to Lukashenko, he doesn’t need an airbase, but some kind of effective weapon, about which he “also spoke publicly to Putin, and earlier to Medvedev.”
The hint is transparent. Ever since 2009, Minsk wants to get Iskander-M operational-tactical missile systems (PTRK) from Moscow. “We have never asked the Iskander from the Russians. We will buy them ourselves, Lukashenko told 23 on April 2009 of the year in his annual address to the people and parliament of Belarus. - We will make them ourselves, if necessary. Besides rockets, we will buy rockets. ” He was so optimistic that the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT) had been producing the MZKT-1998 Astrologer for this OTRK since 7930. Apparently, the Belarusian leader believes that this is already the half of “Iskander”. Such an approach cannot but look amateurish. But, be that as it may, a permanent financial crisis, which has been going on for almost a decade, does not allow either “at least” the chassis to be made, nor even more so to buy missiles. Yes, and Moscow said: for the time being we will not supply the 120 complexes (12 for the brigade) to our troops, - not a single Iskander for export.
"STICKS" FROM BATCHI LUKASHENKO
Meanwhile, the Old Man is very proud of the fact that Belarus is independently engaged in the development of weapons. “You, probably, saw on the parade“ Polonez ”that excited the whole world! - he “enlightened” 4 opposition journalists of August of the current year, not losing the opportunity to “sting” Moscow once again: - We created our own rocket. Russia did not help us. ”
This year, two volley fire jet systems (MLRS), the Belarusians were taking to the parade dedicated to the 70 anniversary of the Victory. But "the whole world has stirred up" is, of course, a clear exaggeration. Although this promising MLRS is positioned in the republic as a high-precision weapon corresponding to the best world analogues. Details about the “miracle weapon of Lukashenka’s Old Man” with Gulkin’s nose. All information - from the words of the commentator at the parade. "Polonaise" hits the distance to 200 km and can simultaneously deliver pinpoint strikes on eight targets. The MLRS also runs exactly on the same chassis of the native MZKT as the Russian Iskander-M OTRK.
In the expert community, however, they doubt that Polonez is exclusively Belarusian know-how. The fact is that currently only a few countries can boast of ammunition for such fire systems. And, according to the Internet portal "Military Review", "there is reason to doubt the ability of the Belarusian industry to develop and master the production of weapons with such high performance." And consequently, it is logical to ask the question: who helped Belarusian designers in the creation of the Polonaise?
16 June, Chairman of the State Military Industrial Committee Sergey Gurulev, reported to the president that the novelty had successfully passed regular tests. At the meeting shown on national television, a special emphasis was placed on the fact that these tests were held in China (is it not a Middle Kingdom co-author?). On this occasion, the Old Man again did not fail to exaggerate: “Our ally, Russia, is not so active in supporting our aspirations. We will talk separately about this with the President of Russia. But thanks to the People’s Republic of China, its leadership for this support. ”