Belarus says Russian Iskander missiles now in service
Belarus said on Wednesday that its armed forces were now in autonomous control of Russian-supplied nuclear-capable Iskander mobile guided missile systems after completing training in Russia as well as exercises on home soil.
The missiles are capable of hitting targets at a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles), Minsk’s defense ministry said.
The commander of Belarusian rocket and artillery forces told Minsk’s Military TV that they had until now lacked a strike weapon with a range of more than 300 km.
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In comments posted on Military TV’s Telegram channel, Ruslan Chekhov praised the Iskander for its “simplicity of use, reliability, maneuverability and firepower.”
Russian forces used Belarus as a launchpad for their abortive attack on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in February last year, and a recent flurry of joint military activity in Belarus has fanned speculation that Moscow may be leaning on Minsk to join its war in Ukraine - something Minsk has ruled out.
The Iskander-M, codenamed “SS-26 Stone” by NATO, replaced the Soviet “Scud.” Its range reaches deep into Belarus’s neighbors Ukraine and NATO member Poland, whose relations with Belarus are badly strained.
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