The Armed Forces of Belarus (Belarusian: Узброеныя сілы Рэспублікі Беларусь - УС РБ, Uzbrojenyja sily Respubliki Bielaruś), (Russian: Boopyжённыe cилы Pecпyблики Бeлapycь, Vooruzhennye sily Respubliki Belarus) consist of the Army and the Air and Air Defense Forces, all under the command of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus. Lieutenant general Yurij Viktorovich Zhadobin is the Minister of Defense since December 4, 2009. Being a landlocked country, Belarus has no navy.
The previous Belarusian National Republic of March 1918 to 1919 did not have time to create armed forces in its brief existence, although attempts to create a military have been documented.
The Republic of Belarus has conducted effective military reforms within the last decade which have reshaped its armed forces as a relatively effective force for a small state in somewhat difficult economic conditions.
On September 20, 1991 the Supreme Soviet of Belarus passed resolution "On the formation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus" and on January 11, 1992 resolution "On the Armed Forces deployed in the territory of the Republic of Belarus." Practical steps followed the declarative resolutions. On March 18, 1992 the parliament passed resolution "On the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus" that bound the government "to start the formation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus as of March 20, 1992" and "to submit to the Supreme Soviet for approval the suggested structure of the Armed Forces, their size and order of their material and technical supplies".
On November 3, 1992, Belarus passed the law "On the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus" defining the status, structure and guiding principles of the Armed Forces. After the introduction of presidency the law was amended twice: on September 4, 1996 and on November 9, 1999 but on the whole the law retains its initial contents.
Until 1992 the Belorussian Military District of the USSR comprised the 5th Guards Tank Army, the 7th tank army, the 28th army, the 120th Guards Motor Rifle Division, the 51st Guards aviation division, the 72nd Guards United Training Center and also logistical units and formations. In addition to these troops Belarus was the area of deployment for units subordinated directly to the USSR Defense Ministry and chief commanders of different Armed Forces services, namely the 103rd Guards air-borne division, the 38th Guards air-borne brigade, the 11th corps of the 2nd Separate Air Defense Army, the 26th Air Army and also units and formations of the Strategic Rocket Forces, Long Range Aviation, the Navy and special forces.
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