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Helicopters and Tanks Instead of Roads and Clinics

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

This year, Lukashenko's Armed Forces will be receiving the following types of weapons: Mi-35M helicopters and Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile systems. The supply of radar systems, such as "Protivnik-GM" and "Vostok," as well as low-altitude radar systems like "Rosa," will also continue. Deliveries of modernized T-72BM2 tanks to the ground forces will commence, and the special operations forces will receive upgraded BTR-70MB armored personnel carriers.

Budget expenses on national defense will increase in 2024. However, Belarus has been experiencing a decline in its position in the Global Firepower Index, which ranks the world's strongest armies, for the third consecutive year. The attempts made by the Lukashenko regime to present itself as a militarily powerful state, despite the significant costs and the illicit deployment of Russian nuclear weapons on its territory, have ultimately failed.

Furthermore, arguments like "if you don't support your own army, you'll end up supporting someone else's" are irrelevant, considering that foreign Russian troops and nearly a thousand Wagner mercenaries are stationed in Belarus. These forces have already been integrated into the special forces detachments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The question arises: why are the internal troops, whose tasks are entirely different, being trained in artillery usage, sniper combat, and the operation of heavy equipment? Such skills are only necessary in actual combat situations.

During combat operations, the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are required solely to force those who refuse to fight into battle. It is possible that Karpenkov's special forces are barrier units intended to compel Belarusians to attack in the direction of a potential enemy.

However, who will bear the cost? That's right — the citizens of the Republic of Belarus. And if one does not wish to serve the junta, Lukashenko's security forces, in addition to the already existing extortion in the form of increased utility tariffs, propose the reintroduction of parasitism laws, reminiscent of Soviet times.

According to the Zerkalo news portal, Russia sells Mi-35M attack helicopters to its CSTO allies for approximately $20 million each. For comparison, the construction of a new clinic in Hrodna cost the budget approximately $10 million.

The delivery package cost for the new modifications of the Tor-M anti-aircraft missile system in 2020 was estimated by Russian sources at $50-60 million, equivalent to approximately 5-6 modern city clinics.

So, if we are a peaceful people and have no intentions of engaging in warfare, why all this? Wouldn't it be better to allocate these funds to medicine, education, housing and utilities, and transportation infrastructure instead of spending them on Wagner mercenaries and military equipment?


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