Belarus to conduct military mobilisation exercises near Ukraine border -BelTA

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(Reuters) - Belarus will conduct military mobilisation exercises in June and July in the Gomel region, state news agency BelTA reported on Monday.

The Gomel region of Belarus borders Ukraine in the south and, in places, the exclusion zone around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. To the east, it borders Russia.

On June 22-July 1, planned exercises with military commissariats - military administrative agencies - and armed forces will be conducted, BelTA reported, citing Andrey Krivonosov, military commissar of the Gomel region.

"Events of this kind are traditionally held to increase the combat and mobilization readiness of military commissariats, and improve military knowledge and practical skills of those liable for military service," BelTA quoted Krivonosov as saying.

On June 28-July 16, military training will take place with those liable for military service for territorial defence formations, Krivonosov said.

A close ally of Russia, Belarus said in March that its armed forces were not taking part in what Moscow calls its "special operation" in Ukraine, but it did serve as a launchpad for Russia to send thousands of troops across the border on Feb. 24.

On May 26, Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko ordered the creation of a new military command for the south of country bordering Ukraine.

(Reporting in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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