Amid the rising tension at the Poland-Belarus border where migrants and soldiers are accumulating in large numbers, Belarus is accused of undertaking a 'hybrid attack' by encouraging migrants to use the frontier to enter into the European Union.
EU is accusing Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of using migrants as pawns in retaliation as the authoritarian government is facing sanctions after a large number of Belarusians were jailed and beaten following Lukashenko's win in the 2020 election. This is Lukashenko's sixth term in power. The opposition and the West considered the election rigged.
According to Polish authorities, some 4,000 migrants have camped along Belarus' border with Poland hoping to cross. A day after a group of migrants tried to storm through from the Belarusian side on the Eastern frontier in a tense encounter, Poland strengthened the border further with more riot police on Tuesday, November 9. The tension between the two countries is expected to increase further in the coming days.
Here's how Poland and Belarus stand against each other in terms of military strength:
According to ArmedForces.eu, while Poland's $13 billion military budget amounts to 2.1 percent of the country's GDP, Belarus lags far behind with $0.8 billion sanctioned for military expenditure. Belarus' military budget amounts to 1.2 percent of the country's GDP.
Talking of manpower, Poland has 140,000 active military personnel and 515,000 reserve personnel. Belarus, on the other hand, has a total of 62,000 active military personnel and 344,750 reserve personnel.
Ground Vehicles and Artillery
Poland has almost double the number of tanks in its fleet as that of Belarus with 1,009 and 532 respectively. With around 2,573 armored fighting vehicles, Poland stomps far ahead of Belarus, which has only 1,460. Belarus, however, treads forward in the rocket artillery department with 336 in its armory while Poland has only 180.
Poland has a total of 416 aircraft, while Belarus has 200. Poland has a strong air force fleet with 30 fighter aircraft, 32 attack aircraft, and 182 helicopters, in comparison to Belarus, which only has 39 fighter aircraft, 4 attack aircraft, and 63 helicopters.
Naval forces play a vital role in turning a military dispute towards either side. While Poland has a total of 46 naval assets with 3 submarines, 2 Frigates, and 1 Corvette, Belarus has zero naval assets as it is landlocked from all sides.
Both Belarus and Poland do not have nuclear weapons.