The removal from Belarusian territory of both strategic
nuclear arms and tens of thousands of Russian soldiers is
as delicate and problematic as it is important if Belarus
achieve its stated constitutional goal of neutrality.
In 1993 there were an estimated 40,000 troops of the
air force in Belarus comprising one air division with 130
aircraft. This consisted of one regiment with thirty Su-24
fighter-bombers, one heavy bomber division of four
fifteen Tu-22M Backfire bombers and fifty Tu-22
bombers, and one regiment with twenty Tu-22M Backfire
fifteen Tu-16 medium-range bombers.
Most of these troops were engaged in work related to
seventy-two strategic nuclear missiles based at Lida and
and were scheduled to leave Belarus in 1995, the
deadline for transferring all nuclear weapons to Russia.
transfer depended greatly on housing being built for the
in Russia and in midyear was viewed as unrealistic. An
1994 announcement stated that two Russian nonnuclear
installations would remain in Belarus.
Despite the creation of a Belarusian army, Belarus had
contend with the fact that the bulk of its officer corps
composed of ethnic Russians. However, the reduction of
from 1993 to 1995 included a reduction in the number of
which meant fewer ethnic Russian generals.
Data as of June 1995