Russia Starts Up Military Exercises in Belarus

Russia Starts Up Military Exercises in Belarus

( – Russia has had the world on edge with its increasing military presence on Ukraine’s border in recent months. Now, there may be an additional cause for concern as the Kremlin engages in war games with its other neighbor and ally, Belarus. World forces are keeping an eye on the situation as it unfolds.

Allied Resolve 2022

On Wednesday, February 9, Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, arrived in Belarus just one day ahead of the drills, expected to last 10 days. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that while Gerasimov’s presence isn’t unusual, US, Ukraine, and European forces shouldn’t ignore his presence. In fact, Kirby said to view the General’s arrival “in the context” of everything currently taking place.

Allied Resolve 2022 is the largest joint military effort between the two in years, raising eyebrows, considering the timing. Additionally, Russia has moved warships into the Black Sea.

In response, Ukraine began its own war games — Blizzard-2022 — on the same day. But, there might be a more strategic reason for Ukraine’s action — preparation in case Russia turns and decides to invade after all.

Russia/Ukraine Tensions

While the rest of the world watches with bated breath to see if Russia will indeed invade Ukraine, much as it did in 2014 when it annexed Crimea, the country denies any accusations it’s planning an attack. However, officials did indicate the Kremlin might take “military-technical” action should its demands of NATO and the US go unmet.

Talks between Ukraine and Russia took place over a 9-hour meeting on Thursday, February 10. They have, as of yet, been unfruitful, but both sides agreed to keep negotiating. The ongoing tensions have sparked other diplomatic talks throughout this week, involving Britain, Germany and France, with all sides trying to avoid escalating tensions.

The US has threatened Russia with severe sanctions should it invade Ukraine. President Joe Biden has even offered Ukraine $200 million in aid, including ammunition and other military equipment. He has been firm in his resolve not to deploy troops to Ukraine to evacuate Americans who want to leave, claiming that would be a “world war.” However, CBS News recently reported that the US is prepared to evacuate Americans to Poland if necessary.

Biden still maintains any American citizens in Ukraine should leave immediately because “things could go crazy quickly.” Diplomatic officials will remain in the country for now, while some individuals living in the country with their families are choosing to stay.

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