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Belarus: Russian Troops
Country Study > Chapter 9 > National Security > Russian Troops


The removal from Belarusian territory of both strategic nuclear arms and tens of thousands of Russian soldiers is a task as delicate and problematic as it is important if Belarus is to achieve its stated constitutional goal of neutrality.

In 1993 there were an estimated 40,000 troops of the Russian air force in Belarus comprising one air division with 130 combat aircraft. This consisted of one regiment with thirty Su-24 fighter-bombers, one heavy bomber division of four regiments with fifteen Tu-22M Backfire bombers and fifty Tu-22 medium-range bombers, and one regiment with twenty Tu-22M Backfire bombers and fifteen Tu-16 medium-range bombers.

Most of these troops were engaged in work related to the seventy-two strategic nuclear missiles based at Lida and Mazyr and were scheduled to leave Belarus in 1995, the anticipated deadline for transferring all nuclear weapons to Russia. This transfer depended greatly on housing being built for the troops in Russia and in midyear was viewed as unrealistic. An October 1994 announcement stated that two Russian nonnuclear military installations would remain in Belarus.

Despite the creation of a Belarusian army, Belarus had to contend with the fact that the bulk of its officer corps remained composed of ethnic Russians. However, the reduction of troops from 1993 to 1995 included a reduction in the number of officers, which meant fewer ethnic Russian generals.

Data as of June 1995

Last Updated: June 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Belarus was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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