Necessity to keep the powder dry

A readiness inspection of territorial defence forces to be held in Belarus
A corresponding instruction has been given by Alexander Lukashenko as he spoke to a government session on territorial defence. The territorial defence forces are under the President’s command. Mr. Lukashenko underlined, “I instruct the State Secretariat that, within a particular period of time (which we must decide) we’ll be able, at my command, to deploy territorial defence forces to any district, city or territory within a region. We’ll see then how the territorial defence forces operate.”

The Head of State notes that Belarus has plans to use the territorial defence troops and sites have been determined for protection by these troops. Mr. Lukashenko asserts that he is concerned about our readiness, stating, “There are plans, there are sites, there are papers, people, commanders… but are we ready to act under military conditions and to involve all our territorial defences?”

In peacetime, the General Staff, local authorities and military commissariats are territorial defence command units. The President underlines that every general-governor and city executive committee chair should know how to act, having a clear idea of the numbers of territorial defence available and to know not only commanders but other ranks. The Head of State has additionally instructed an inventory of weaponry and other equipment available.

“We should master all these aspects, so that the governor knows about this as well as he knows about the agricultural sowing campaign,” asserts Mr. Lukashenko. He adds that chairs of city and district executive committees should also familiarise themselves. The President emphasises that those unaware should be taught and the rest should be given opportunities to refresh their knowledge.

Mr. Lukashenko mentioned the well-known historical truth that war victories are won by people. The territorial defence system was set up in Belarus more than a decade ago and has since been developed. At present, the Belarusian authorities face various economic and social tasks, but, according to Mr. Lukashenko, we shouldn’t forget the need for constant readiness to protect our Fatherland. This January, the Security Council session considered a draft project of a new Military Doctrine of preventive measures to ensure military security. The Doctrine aims to improve the territorial defence system, tackling the number and composition of forces. The President stresses that it’s necessary to more clearly determine the size of territorial defence forces available in each region and in the city of Minsk.

The President notes that the duties of territorial defence troops may be expanded, protecting more sites. He is convinced that further study is needed, saying, “In tackling this issue, we’ll see whether we have enough forces or not.” Mr. Lukashenko is confident that, during a period of danger or military law, local authorities would be able to gather subdivisions, taking into account economic demands and elements of mobilisation.

Mr. Lukashenko also tackled the topic of improving legislation, noting the need to eliminate problems, and warned against the creation of too much bureaucracy. He underlined, “One document should be enough for the head of territorial defence to see all rights and obligations, so they can act.” He has asked that the issue be studied and a single document compiled.

The President has also requested new methods of joint application of the Armed Forces, with internal forces, border guards and internal affairs agencies, as well as military formations of territorial defence, to ensure efficient manoeuvrability. Mr. Lukashenko stresses that the mobilisation element should be present in all power structures, not only in the Armed Forces.

By Vladimir Khromov
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