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MINSK, June 15. /TASS/. Command and staff exercises of the Gomel Region defence forces have started in southern Belarus on the border with Ukraine, the Belarusian Defence Ministry said on Monday.
"The exercises aim to practice the issues of strengthening the Belarusian state border in the southern direction stage by stage and taking decisions on control of forces and resources in accordance with the exercise training situation," the Belarusian Defence Ministry said.
The defence exercises are being held under the command of Deputy Defence Minister, Major-General Mikhail Puzikov.
The exercises involve an operational group of the headquarters of the Gomel Region defence area, the headquarters established in the Yelsky district of regional defence and a separate motor rifle company of regional troops comprising servicemen called up from the reserve.
Gomel Region border guard and interior units are also taking part in the exercises, which will last until June 18, the Defence Ministry said.
Two mobile companies of the 38th Guards Separate Mobile Brigade of the Belarusian army were earlier placed on full alert and assigned to the State Border Guard Committee to accomplish tasks for strengthening the protection of the southern section of Belarus’ state border. Units of the 103rd Guards Separate Mobile Brigade were also involved in the effort.
Belarus has been holding a check of the system of strengthening the protection of its southern border and the Gomel Region defence since June 2 on instruction of the Belarusian president.