The military should have arrested the former director of the state farm for undermining the combat capability of the Belarusian army.
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus trace their history back to the glorious past of the Soviet army. After the collapse of the USSR, Belarus got a powerful military group of 280 thousand people, which includes all parts of the Red Banner Belarusian Military District, writes the Busel newspaper.
HERITAGE OF THE EMPIRE
The military property left over from the USSR is enormous, even by Cold War standards. The Belarusian Military District had 1,800 tanks, 2,600 armored vehicles, 1,615 artillery systems, 294 aircraft, and 80 attack helicopters. Such a quantity of weapons was excessive for young Belarus, therefore, most of the Soviet weapons are located at storage bases for weapons and equipment, becoming a reliable basis for the functioning of the Belarusian army.
After going through the stages of reforms, the modern army of Belarus was reduced to 65 thousand people, of which 14.5 thousand are civilian personnel. At the same time, the Armed Forces of Belarus are still recruited based on conscription, the service life of which has been reduced from 24 to 18 months.
The Armed Forces consist of five types of troops: ground forces - 16.5 thousand people, air force and air defense troops - 11.5 thousand people, special operations forces - 6 thousand people, transport troops and territorial troops.
The mobilization reserve of the army is estimated at 300 thousand people, and the number of territorial defense troops is 120 thousand people.
WHEN SMOOTH ON PAPER
If you look at the state of the armed forces from the point of view of statistics, then the small but well-armed Belarusian army looks quite efficient. However, not everything is as rosy as the official statistics tell us.
We decided to start our analysis with the backbone of the armed forces, the main type of troops working on the ground in direct contact with a potential enemy - these are ground forces.
According to the official rhetoric, the ground forces are designed to repel enemy strikes and defeat them in the event of aggression on their part. For this, the armed forces have formed four brigades: three mechanized and one artillery brigade, divided between two commands - Western and North-Western. The Western command is responsible for the Polish, and the Northwest - for the Baltic direction. There are 600 tanks for 16.5 thousand personnel, for the most part, this is the last Soviet modification "T-72B," there is also a small number (up to 30 tanks) of "T-72B3" (the last Russian modernization of the "T-72B"), as well as 886 infantry fighting vehicles and 192 armored personnel carriers. To a person versed in military affairs, such a volume of tanks and armored vehicles for 16 thousand personnel looks disproportionate and even fantastic. The indicated amount of equipment will be enough for three tank armies, but clearly excessive for three mechanized brigades. By the way, the Western Military District of the Russian Federation (OSK "West") has up to 500 tanks: 40 in each brigade and 31 in a tank regiment. Therefore, the real number of tanks in the army of the Republic of Belarus is no more than 120 units: 40 tanks per brigade, the rest are stored in the mobilization reserve.
In addition to the ground forces, the Belarusian land is protected by the Special Operations Forces, consisting of three brigades and two detachments, with a total strength of 6 thousand people. MTR, unlike the ground forces, do not carry the main combat load during an armed conflict. The use of spetsnaz as infantry in a large-scale conflict is inappropriate. These units do not have enough heavy equipment to provide them with combat stability. Spetsnaz can only be used independently in local operations, and even then in their initial phase. In a large-scale conflict against an enemy equal or superior in strength, the purpose of spetsnaz is reconnaissance, sabotage in the rear and enemy communications, and landing. In an open confrontation with a mechanized brigade, the spetsnaz brigade is doomed.
There is one more interesting point showing the real state of affairs in the Belarusian army. For 25.6 thousand soldiers and sergeants in the army, there are 14.5 thousand officers and 6.8 thousand warrant officers. That is, in Belarus, there is one officer for every two soldiers. Therefore, the real number of the combat strength of the ground forces is less than the declared one. In the first days of a large-scale military conflict, no more than 10 thousand privates and sergeants will be able to fight with weapons in their hands.
The Belarusian military machine is overburdened with officers. This state of affairs was due to Lukashenka's unwillingness to abandon the mobilization principle of army formation, in which a significant part of military units exist on paper, having in their real composition only officer positions and warrant officers who are entrusted with the responsibility of caring for canned military equipment. The deployment of such cadre units (they are also called "castrated") occurs only in case of a general mobilization at the expense of conscripts and reservists. The quality of the training of officers in cadre units raises serious doubts. Not being able to lead a full-fledged unit, to carry out its combat training, such officers very quickly lose their skills and often become alcoholics.
A separate point here is the joint Russian-Belarusian training, in which we showed good results. But there is also a banal explanation for this. Since Soviet times, the Armed Forces have suffered from the burden of army idiocy and ostentation. This military fetishism fully passed into the Belarusian army. During major Soviet training, when it was necessary to show high army skills to foreign delegations, instead of conscripts - ordinary military personnel and sergeants, young officers and cadets of military schools were involved, who played the role of tank crews, gun crews, drivers of infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers and others posts responsible for the equipment. Therefore, high marks for joint exercises cannot be used as a quality criterion for the Belarusian army. A different estimate based on the number of combat-ready units and the tactics of modern warfare is suitable here.
THIRTY KILOMETERS OF THE FRONT
Let's see what our armed forces are capable of, based on the standards of the past, for example, the Great Patriotic War. At that time, a division of 15 thousand people was intended to cover 20 km of the front, in some cases - up to 40. That is, the combined ground forces and the MTR of modern Belarus can qualitatively cover a maximum of 30 km of the front, which is very little given the length of the Belarusian borders. Modern combat operations on land are conducted according to somewhat different standards: these are the rules of maneuver warfare, which allow concentrating the required amount of forces in the right direction in the event of an attack or luring the advancing enemy into "fire bags" during the defense. The main unit of modern mobile warfare, tested by our neighbor and ally, is a battalion-tactical group (up to 400-500 people), formed based on a battalion with reconnaissance units attached to it - tank, artillery, and air defense. Its main advantages are mobility and autonomy, coupled with a modern command and control system. Such subunits, controlled from a single center based on operational data received from all reconnaissance assets, are able to cope even with a superior, but less maneuverable enemy.
But here, too, not everything is going smoothly. If we assume that we have a modern automated command and control system, then everything is bad with modern intelligence and target designation. The Belarusian army does not have reconnaissance drones that Poland and the Russian Federation have, and there is no access to space reconnaissance data. Without operational information about the advancing enemy, those thirty battalion-tactical groups that the army gathers will act blindly and chaotically, which will lead to their encirclement and destruction. In such a situation, the army will have to abandon mobile warfare and take up defenses along key settlements and roads, waiting for the mobilization of reservists. However, when defending against a numerically superior enemy, for example, the army of Poland (120 thousand people) or the Russian Federation, capable of forming a mobile grouping from the forces of the Western Military District of 150 thousand people in a day, a quick defeat is inevitable. The enemy will simply bypass the main centers of resistance (after all, the reader has not forgotten that the Belarusian army is capable of defending a maximum of 30 km of the front) and will seize the main administrative centers of the state without waiting for the mobilization of reservists. In the event of a military confrontation with the Russian Federation, the complete seizure of the state will take place in less than two days, the Russian military machine is capable of acting almost instantly, and in the case of Belarus, even without time to prepare for a conflict.
Belarus also has internal troops, numbering up to 13 thousand people, but they, again, do not have heavy weapons. Even 500 thousand employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will not be able to change the military balance: this mass is only able to beat confessions out of people, which does not work in a war against a modern army.
VIRTUAL UMBRELLA OF THE AIR DEFENSE FORCES
In addition to the ground forces, doing the main work on the country's defense on the ground, Belarus also has the Air Force and Air Defense Forces, which were disgraced on July 4, 2012, during the so-called "plush landing." Two Swedish citizens in a light-engine Jodel aircraft were able to enter the airspace of Belarus and dropped hundreds of plush toys over Minsk with inscriptions condemning censorship and repression. The altitude and flight path of this aircraft was very similar to those of cruise missiles - the American Tomahawk or the Russian Caliber. For the Belarusian air defense, they went unnoticed.
These events occurred before the entry of the air defense of Belarus into the unified air defense system of the Russian Federation, which significantly increased the capabilities of the air defense of Belarus, both through the supply of weapons and the introduction of a modern control system, which united all air defense systems into a single network.
Currently, the Air Force and Air Defense of Belarus have twenty S-300 divisions of all modifications and four S-300V divisions with some anti-missile capabilities. Taking into account the fact that in one division there are usually 32 missiles ready for launch, the total number of missiles on alert exceeds 640. In addition to the relatively modern medium-range S-300, the Belarusian air defense received 17 short-range "Tor-M2E" air defense systems from the Russian Federation.
The purpose of "Tor-M2E" is to protect against high-precision weapons, to put it simply, it is capable of shooting down guided missiles, bombs, and drones. The number of delivered "Tors" approximately corresponds to the number of S-300 divisions on combat duty of the Air Force and Air Defense of Belarus, that is, one "Tor" covers the illumination and guidance radar and the control center of one division. This combination is standard for the RF Aerospace Forces and is capable of providing combat stability when building an echeloned defense. The armed forces still have a certain number of Buk air defense systems - four divisions and six divisions of the Osa air defense system, but they belong to the air defense of the Ground Forces and are morally outdated, as shown by the latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The combat strength of aviation has also been significantly reduced since the days of the USSR. All Su-27 fighters were put into reserve due to exhaustion of the resource. The MiG-29 fighters remain the workhorse of the Belarusian Air Force - there are 34 units, these are two air regiments. Some of the aircraft were upgraded to the level of the MiG-29BM; financial constraints did not allow modernizing the entire fleet of aircraft.
Starting in 2019, modern Russian Su-30SM fighters began to arrive in the Air Force, their number is estimated at 8 units with 12 ordered. Attack aircraft, providing direct support to the troops, is represented by 22 Su-25 attack aircraft (20 in storage), six Mi-24 helicopters, and twelve Yak-130 combat training aircraft.
For peacetime of a peaceful country, such a composition of the Air Force is quite sufficient, but in conditions of tense relations with neighbors and Belarus being in the middle of the confrontation between East and West, this is clearly not enough. In the event of actions against the closest countries of the NATO bloc, which are very fond of bombing their opponents with high-precision weapons, the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense, recreated with the help of the Russian Federation, look worthy and are capable of inflicting significant losses on the enemy, the Poles, for example. But in the event of a confrontation with the Russian Federation, the Belarusian air defense as a single system will simply fail. After all, the air defense of Belarus is integrated into the air defense of the Russian Federation. In the event of a conflict with an eastern neighbor, the air defense control system can simply be blocked, which will turn the air defense into a bunch of scattered uncontrollable elements that are not able to exchange information and are doomed to systematic destruction by a qualitatively superior enemy.
Lukashenka, as a former director of a collective farm, who does not understand anything about military development, but is good at counting the collective farm's treasury, came up with his own defense know-how. The Belarusian army, financed at the level of 1% of the country's GDP, with a budget of $ 680 million in terms of the level of funds allocated for it, can compete only with Latvia and Estonia. The defense budget of Lithuania is already $ 1.2 billion. This is probably why Lukashenka, suffering from natural greed, decided to shift the burden of the country's defense from the state onto his people in the literal sense. The collective farm "genius" of the last dictator of Europe gave birth to a virtual monster in his mind - the Territorial Defense Troops of the Republic of Belarus, the number of which is as much as 120 thousand people! Their duties include protecting facilities, ensuring the mobilization of reservists, sabotage, guerrilla warfare, and everything that a "healthy person's" army should do. Officially, the territorial defense troops are recruited from residents of administrative-territorial units capable of military service. Troops are led by local regional executive committees. But in reality, they recruit everyone in a row: collective farmers, workers from state factories, and factories accused of "partisan" activity, forcibly.
According to Lukashenka's logic, the mass of "volunteers" in the event of war will have to unite in an impulse to defend the state.
Existing only on paper, the troops of the Territorial Defense are a classic paper tiger and simply amuse the sick vanity of Aliaksandr Ryhoravich, whose psyche has no feedback from reality. In the event of a large-scale conflict in the conditions of Belarus, the Territorial Defense will physically not be able to assemble into units and will not even have time to receive small arms. And the formed units run the risk of repeating the fate of their brothers-in-arms from Ukraine - turning into gangs of marauders and alcoholics engaged in terror and robbery of the civilian population. Some of them can even quietly surround a few rich houses of friends of the regime.
Summing up the brief results under their small research, the team of Busel concluded that the army of Belarus in the current military-political conditions is not capable of fighting. The reforms carried out by the absolutely incompetent Lukashenka led to the creation of a military organization, in principle unable to solve the tasks assigned to it. Napoleon Bonaparte, being a more successful dictator than the villager Lukashenka, once said: “The people who do not want to feed their army will feed someone else’s.” In our time, this expression has not lost its relevance.