Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

Lukashenka Reshuffles Top Military Leadership, Appoints New Defense Minister

By RFE/RL

Lukashenka Reshuffles Top Military Leadership, Appoints New Defense Minister
Lukashenka: "We are military men and times are complicated now."
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has reshuffled the country's top military leadership, including his defense minister.

Lukashenka said on January 20 that he decided to appoint Major General Viktar Khrenin, the commander of the Western troops, to the post of defense minister.

Khrenin's predecessor, Lieutenant General Andrey Raukou, was moved to the position of secretary-general of the Security Council, Lukashenka added.

The Belarusian president also said that he appointed Major General Alyaksandr Valfovich as the chief of general staff of the armed forces.

"Naturally, some offices have become vacant, and I considered it inappropriate to delay this," Lukashenka said when appointing Raukou.

"We are military men and times are complicated now. This doesn't mean there's going to be a war tomorrow and we'll have to fight someone, not at all. But a military organization cannot tolerate uncertainty," he added.