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Belarus Military - 2024


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Military and security forces

Belarus Armed Forces: Army, Air and Air Defense Force, Special Operations Force, Special Troops (electronic warfare, signals, engineers, biological/chemical/nuclear protection troops, etc)

Ministry of Interior: State Border Troops, Militia, Internal Troops (2023)

note: in early 2023, President LUKASHENKA ordered the formation of a new volunteer paramilitary territorial defense force to supplement the Army

Military expenditures

1.1% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.2% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.5% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.5% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $2.11 billion)
1.5% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $2.05 billion)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 45-50,000 active-duty troops; information on the individual services varies, but reportedly includes about 25-30,000 Army, 15,000 Air/Air Defense, and 5,000 Special Operations forces (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory is comprised mostly of Russian/Soviet-origin equipment, and in recent years Russia has continued to be the leading provider of arms; Belarus's defense industry manufactures some equipment (mostly modernized Soviet designs), including vehicles, guided weapons, and electronic warfare systems (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory military or alternative service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications, and 24-36 months for alternative service, also depending on academic qualifications; 17-year-olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2023)

note: conscripts can be assigned to the military, to the Ministry of Interior as internal or border troops, or to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (alternative service); as of 2020, conscripts comprised an estimated 40% of the military

Military - note

the military of Belarus is responsible for territorial defense; it is a mixed force of conscripts and professionals that is equipped with Russian or Soviet-era weapons; the Army’s principal combat forces are divided into two geographically based commands, each with two mechanized brigades and an artillery brigade; there are also separate artillery and surface-to-surface missile brigades; the Special Operations Forces has brigades of airborne, air assault, and special forces (spetsnaz) troops, which serve as the military’s high-readiness units; the Air and Air Defense inventory includes about 100 combat aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as air defense brigades and regiments with surface-to-air missiles

Russia is the country’s closest security partner, a relationship that includes an integrated air and missile defense system and joint military training centers and exercises; Russia leases from Belarus a strategic ballistic missile defense site operated by Russian Aerospace Forces and a global communications facility for the Russian Navy; in 2020, the countries signed an agreement allowing for close security cooperation between the Belarusian Ministry of Interior and the Russian National Guard, including protecting public order and key government facilities and combating extremism and terrorism; in 2022, Belarus allowed Russian military forces to stage on its territory for their invasion of Ukraine and continues to supply arms and other aid to the Russian military, including logistical support, medical care, and airfields for Russian combat aircraft; in 2023, Belarus agreed to permit Russia to deploy nuclear weapons on its soil

Belarus has been a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) since 1994 and has committed an airborne brigade to CSTO's rapid reaction force; the military trains regularly with other CSTO members (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Belarus on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belarus 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belarus 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.