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Russian servicemen arrive in Belarus for annual ‘Slavic Brotherhood’ drills

Source: Interfax

Servicemen from the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, a division of Russia’s Airborne Troops stationed in Pskov, have arrived in Belarus to participate in the 2020 Belarusian-Russian “Slavic Brotherhood” military exercises, the Belarusian Defense Ministry says. 

“In total, the practices will involve up to 1,500 servicemen [and] over 150 units of aviation, combat and special equipment. After the completion of the exercises, the Russian servicemen will return to their homeland,” the Belarusian Defense Ministry notes.

The exercises will take place at the Brest firing range, located a few dozen kilometers from the Belarusian border with Poland.

The joint “Slavic Brotherhood” drills take place every year. In addition to Russia and Belarus, Serbia traditionally takes part in these tactical exercises. In 2020, Serbia declined to participate — the Serbian Defense Ministry underscored that this decision was made under pressure from the European Union, which demanded that Belgrade restrict contact with Minsk under threat of blocking Serbia’s EU integration.

On the morning of Tuesday, September 15, it became known that the reserve contingent of Russian security officers, stationed at the border with Belarus since the mass protests began after the presidential election on August 9, was being demobilized. The officers began returning to their places of permanent deployment within a few hours.