The Ministry of Defense of Belarus is building a new military camp 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian border that’s currently defensive but could be an attack base targeting Chernihiv and then Kyiv if Minsk unites with Moscow politically, Radio Liberty reports.
Radio Liberty’s independent service in Belarus reports that the first stage of construction is to be completed in March 2024. Construction should have begun in 2023 and be completed in 2027. The construction is in the Gomel region on the territory of several former children’s camps.
At the beginning of last year, Radio Liberty reported that 500,000 Belarus rubles ($152,000) would be allocated from the budget for the construction of a new military camp and training ground in 2023, and 10 ($3 million) and 40 million ($12million) in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Journalists guess that the construction of the new military facility may be related to statements made by Alexander Lukashenko in May 2022, when he announced the creation of the “Southern Operational Command.”
Ukrainian military expert Oleh Zhdanov told Radio Liberty, the new military camp is likely to locate a garrison whose task will be to cover the international border with Ukraine.
Zhdanov is quoted in Radio Liberty saying: “In my opinion, Belarus still has a defensive military doctrine, unlike the Russian one. But if the political unification of Belarus and Russia takes place, then the doctrine will change to an offensive one. Then it will be a military base for attack.”
According to him, it’s also likely that several more such facilities will be built along the border.
A former Belarusian officer cited in the Radio Liberty report, who is currently a member of Kalinowski’s battalion, said his opinion is that the construction in the Gomel region could be advanced bases in case of a possible attack on Ukraine from the north, to be used by Russia to capture Ukraine’s Chernihiv.
In his opinion, in the future, the Russians may plan to capture Chernihiv for a further offensive against Kyiv.
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