A T-72 tank is seen during military drills in Belarus. (Photo Credit: Vasily Fedosenko)

Troops from Russia and Belarus switched to their combat cohesion as part of an inspection of the Union State’s Response Force on Belarusian soil, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.

“Units and military formations of the Eastern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus participating in an inspection of the Union State’s Response Force have switched to their combat cohesion at the Domanovsky, Gozhsky, Obuz-Lesnovsky, Brestsky and Osipovichsky training grounds,” the ministry said in a statement.

During the combat cohesion stage, the participating troops are practicing defensive operations and measures to fight illegal armed gangs, the ministry specified.

The motorized infantry, the crews of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, the teams of artillery guns and anti-tank missile systems are engaged in qualification tactical and gunnery exercises, combat vehicle driving and other drills, the statement says.

The troops of both countries “are practicing various techniques and methods of warfare in single combat formations,” the ministry added.

Inspection of Union State’s forces

The inspection of the Russia-Belarus Union State’s Response Force will run in two stages. At the first stage before February 9, the Belarusian and Russian militaries will practice deploying troops and creating task forces in dangerous directions on the territory of Belarus within a short period of time. During this stage, the troops will practice protecting and defending vital state and military facilities and protecting the state border in the airspace and checking the preparedness and capability of air defense quick reaction alert forces for accomplishing the tasks of shielding vital facilities.

At the second stage of the inspection that will run on February 10-20, the Union Resolve 2022 joint drills will be held, in which the troops will practice fighting and repelling external aggression, countering terrorism and protecting the interests of the Union State.

The troops will practice their joint operations at the Domanovsky, Gozhsky, Obuz-Lesnovsky, Brestsky and Osipovichsky training grounds and also on some terrain sections on Belarusian soil. The Baranovichi, Luninets, Lida and Machulishchi airfields will also be involved in the drills.

As the Russian Defense Ministry reported earlier, the number of participating troops and military hardware covered by the 2011 Vienna document does not exceed its parameters that require notification.