Several dozen trucks of the Russian Guard were spotted on the E95 and M1 highways. They were probably heading towards Belarus, according to the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT).
Eyewitnesses publish photos and videos of the convoy of paddy wagons without markings and license plates on the Internet. A reader of the Russian news outlet "Fontanka" sent pictures of trucks that were driving on the St. Petersburg-Pskov road. In total, he counted about 30-40 trucks and several military SUVs.
Taking into account that one paddy wagon can carry about 20 people, at least 600 Russian guardsmen could be heading for Belarus. For comparison, the number of all riot police in Belarus is 1,500 people.
Two readers of Meduza also saw unmarked military vehicles on the Moscow-Minsk road. They said that the equipment is moving towards the Belarusian border.
The video with the same trucks "Ural" and Kamaz was published on social networks by journalist Vasily Maksimov. He said he received the recording from a colleague. According to the coordinates on Maximov's video, the cars were seen 83 km from the border with Belarus. Google Streetview images confirm the location.
Сегодня под Питером в сторону Луги (и белорусской границы соответственно) были замечены колонны грузовиков без номеров и обозначений. А это прислал коллега уже из-под Смоленска. Он видел, что внутри люди в черной форме без опознавательных знаков в сторону РБ. pic.twitter.com/ULEtpmdFR9— vasily_maximov (@maximov_vasily) August 16, 2020
The publication Mediazona found two more videos on YouTube, which were published yesterday, August 16. The first was filmed on the M-1 route. The author of the recording claims that inside the paddy wagons "there were soldiers." The second video was filmed in the town Golitsyno near Moscow.
The CIT added that it is not yet known whether Russian military equipment crossed the border with Belarus.
Acting President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that events in the country threaten Russia. Lukashenko and Putin held several phone conversations. They expressed confidence that "the current problems will be resolved soon."
Lukashenko held a meeting with the General Staff of Belarus, where he said that the country would not be surrendered to anyone. According to him, the military can provide security in the country.