Belarus, Russia to start ‘defensive in nature’ air force drills, Minsk says

MOSCOW, 16 January 2023, (TON): Belarus said its air force drills with Russia that start on Monday are defensive in nature to prepare for possible combat missions, but the move comes as concerns grow that Moscow is pushing Minsk to join the war in Ukraine.

“The exercise is purely defensive in nature,” said Pavel Muraveyko, first deputy state secretary of Belarusian Security Council, according to a post on the Belarusian defense ministry’s Telegram app.

“It will be a set of measures to prepare our and Russian aviation to carry out the relevant combat missions.”

Muraveyko added “the exercises which will last until Feb. 1 are to involve training for aerial reconnaissance, deflecting air strikes, air cover of important objects and communications.”

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