In February 2023, the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces reported on «successful operational camouflage efforts» designed to convince Ukrainian intelligence that a new offensive against Ukraine from the territory of Belarus was possible. This comes from a classified document of the U.S. Department of Defense, which was released online as a result of a large-scale leak.
A document studied by the Russian service of Radio Liberty said that the «operational camouflage» operation was conducted from February 3 to February 10. According to the Pentagon, the leaders of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces stated that they «successfully convinced the Ukrainian intelligence services of the possibility of a joint Russian-Belarusian offensive from the territory of Belarus.» As evidence of the success of the operation, a representative of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces cited a report of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service about Ukraine’s reaction to reports about the joint military Airforce drills of Belarus and Russia (were held from January 16 to February 1), about the transfer of Iskander-M missile system to Belarus, and about the shift of focus of the Russian-Belarusian drills from «defensive» to «offensive».
We note that at the end of January 2023, we drew attention to the nature of the military Airforce drills. In the publication dated January 30, we wrote that (quote),
«the Airforce drills seem to be an information-psychological operation (IPSO) and a military stratagem by the Russian Ministry of Defense aimed at demonstrating the threat of a new possible invasion of Ukraine from the territory of Belarus (amid rumors of a new major Russian offensive, which would force Ukraine to keep additional forces on its northern border, which could be used on another front) and covering the transfer of some Russian troops from Belarus to the front in Ukraine.»
Thus, our conclusions (in terms of the nature of the Airforce drills) fully coincide with the information contained in the Pentagon documents that have been leaked.
Later, we also mentioned that the Airforce drills were also a pretext for strengthening the aviation group of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Belarus. The aviation that allegedly arrived to participate in the Airforce drills in January 2023 continues to be stationed at airfields in Belarus with minor changes.
На русском языке:
Слитые документы Пентагона: лётное учение в Беларуси — это дезинформация Генштаба РФ. «Беларускі Гаюн» писал об этом еще в январе
На беларускай мове: Злітыя дакументы Пентагона: лётнае вучэнне ў Беларусі – гэта дэзінфармацыя Генштаба РФ. «Беларускі Гаюн» пісаў пра гэта яшчэ ў студзені