In 2017, the Russian army plans to significantly increase rail shipments to Belarus. Compared with 2015, the shipments will grow 33 times, 83 times if compared with 2016. In all, 4,162 rail cars with military cargo will enter Belarus from Russia. Apostrof reports Nov. 25.
Such massive shipments may indicate Moscow’s plans to deploy the bulk of the recently reinstated 1st tank army. The forces can be used to invade Ukraine or the Baltic states to create the so-called Baltic encirclement.
The arrival of such formidable force in Belarus will mean Russia’s total control over Minsk.
One can learn about Moscow’s plans by studying tender documentation on shipments of military cargo by the Russian defense ministry, Apostrof says.
Significantly more military traffic will go to TransNistria via Ukraine.
The traffic has not been stopped by Kyiv in view of the war in Donbas. The Russians used the Ukraine-based ‘First Cargo Company in Ukraine’ sister company for military shipments. This year, the shipments reached 20-30 rail cars. Next year, the Russians plan to increase the number to 131 cars, Apostrof says.