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Belarus puts half of army in combat ready mode - Belta cites leader

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko chairs a meeting on industrial development, in Minsk, Belarus August 27, 2020. Sergei Sheleg/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

MINSK (Reuters) - Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on Friday ordered half of the country’s the army enter combat preparedness in response to what he said were threats from the West, the Belta state news agency reported.

“(NATO) have launched exercises right by our borders. What am I supposed to do? I also rolled out some divisions, put half the army into combat preparedness mode. That’s not cheap,” Lukashenko was cited as saying.

Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Toby Chopra