Russia moves 30,000 troops and military equipment to Belarus

Daily Sabah, grounding its info from various sources, reports that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern Thursday (February 3) that Russia is continuing its military buildup around Ukraine, pointing that Moscow has now deployed more troops and military equipment to Belarus than at any time in the last 30 years.
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BMPT "Terminator" Tank Support Vehicles (Picture source: Russian MoD)

More high-level diplomacy was expected in Moscow and Kyiv amid deep uncertainty of Russia’s intentions. Russia now has more than 100,000 troops stationed near Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders, raising concern that Moscow might invade again, as it did in 2014, and destabilize the Ukrainian economy. Russian officials deny that an invasion is planned. "Over the last days, we have seen a significant movement of Russian military forces into Belarus. This is the biggest Russian deployment there since the Cold War”, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He said that Russian troop numbers in Belarus are likely to climb to 30,000, with the backing of special forces, high-end fighter jets, Iskander short-range ballistic missiles, and S-400 surface-to-air missile defense systems.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Minsk on Thursday, February 3, to check on preparations for major Russia-Belarus wargames scheduled for Feb. 10-20. Shoigu met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Speaking about the drills, Lukashenko said the goal was "to reinforce the border with Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision on Wednesday to send 2,000 United States-based troops to Poland and Germany and shift 1,000 more from Germany to Romania, demonstrating to both allies and foes Washington's commitment to NATO’s eastern flank.

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S-400 "Triumf" air defense system (Picture source: Russian MoD)