‘If we wanted, we would invade you – like Crimea.’ Russia’s Kantemir division leaving Belarus

The Russian military, who took part in the Zapad-2017 war game in the territory of Belarus, seem to start returning home.

On Wednesday, the loading of armoured vehicles of the 1st Guards Tank Army’s Kantemir Division began at Veraytsy railway station (Asipovichy district, Mahiliou region).

Russian military vehicles in Veraytsy

“All enemies are defeated – and we are leaving,” joked a Russian captain whom we meet in a shop near the station.

A Belarusian patrol told us that the units that had performed their combat mission began loading before the official closing of the maneuvers. But part of the Russian military is still at the exercise area.

Russian military vehicles at Veraytsy station

On September 20, the soldiers with insignia of the Yampolsky motorized infantry regiment were seen at the railway station.

“We lived here in tents near the training ground. There were many of us. And now we coming back… The exercise went off without a hitch,” said Andrey, a private of the Yampolsky regiment.

Andrey is a contractor, he has been for 1.5 years . He was born Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk (now – Dnipro), but lives in Russia. Andrew has no doubt that Russia is the most powerful country in the world.

“If we wanted to invade you, we would have done it and you would not have even understoood what had happened. You would just wonder that you became Russians. As we did with Crimea … Russia is a great power. Nobody will ecer defeat it,” he stressed.

Russian military vehicles in Veraytsy


Russian military vehicles in Veraytsy

At the same time, our taxi driver recalled:

“A few days ago, the Russians drowned a tank in a pond- mushroom pickers were taking pictures of it and laughing a lot. They were having range pratice outside the training ground; everyone could see them shooting not far from the road,” the man told us.

This year, the Zapad-2017 military exercise grabbed the international community’s attention. The Belarusian side has accredited about 80 observers as well as hundreds of journalists.

At briefings, the Belarusian Ministry of Defense has repeatedly stressed the transparency of the war game. However, important details were not reported. For example, the official Zapad-2017 website failed to reveal information which units of the 1st Tank Army participated in the maneuvers. They did not specify on which airfield Russian aircraft landed.

September, 20 was the final day of Zapad-2017. Now, according to the Ministry of Defense information, Russian troops must leave the territory of Belarus within ten days.

Belsat TV will be monitoring their returning.

Іhar Ilyash, Кatsyaryna Andreyeva; belsat.eu

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