Russian Defense Ministry said Friday that Kremlin had planned to deploy Nuclear weapons in Belarus to Fight its Neighboring country Ukraine and that Moscow’s armies have finished training Belarusian Pilots to use tactical Nuclear weapons. The ministry has further shared a video of a Belarusian pilot who said that Minsk air force’s Su-25 ground attack jets’ crews had got training courses from Russia and essential skills required for using Nukes. Last month, President Putin announced the deployment of some tactical Nuclear weapons in Belarus, and this was an attempt by his administration to discourage the Western countries from supporting Ukraine in its war.
The Russian government has strong political, economic, and military agreements with Minsk. Kremlin’s forces have maintained their presence in Belarus and used the territory to invade Ukraine from the North in 2022. Moscow has deployed tactical Nukes in Belarus to become closer to its potential target Kyiv and other NATO members in Eastern and Central Europe. Belarus shares 1250 km of the border with NATO countries Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Tactical Nuclear weapons deployed in Belarus can be used against enemy forces on the battlefield. Nuclear warheads fitted to long-range strategic missiles are capable enough to destroy whole cities; on the other hand, tactical Nuclear weapons installed in Belarus have fairly short range and much less power.
“Respond Force with Force”
Russia has helped Belarusian to advance its warplanes and enhanced the capabilities of those jets to carry Nukes. Moscow has also provided Minsk with Iskander short-range missiles that could be equipped with nuclear warheads. Putin said the storage facilities for tactical weapons would be completed by July 1.
President Putin has emphasized that Moscow would keep control over weapons deployed in Belarus just like the US controls its tactical nuclear weapons installed in its NATO ally countries. Belarusian President Lukashenko said that tactical Nukes had been deployed in his country’s territory and Moscow might also install strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Minsk Defense Minister Viktor Gennadievich Khrenin mentioned the possibility and said if the West continued its aggression, the next step could be taken, and they would respond to the force with force. Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine had Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons stationed in their countries, but after the Soviets collapsed in 1991, they handed the Nukes over to Russia.