The British Royal Marines have concluded a two-week peacekeeping training exercise with Belarusian forces.
Under the peacekeeping training exercises, Green Berets from Plymouth-based 42 Commando worked with the Peacekeeping Company of the 103rd Guards Airborne Division at the Losvido Training Areas in northern Belarus.
During Exercise Winter Partisan, commandos were trained by the Green Berets on general tactics and abseiling employed by Royal Marines for peacekeeping missions.
In exchange, the Belarusian troops shared their survival, navigation and tactical skills at the training area located near Vitebsk.
It was the first time Belarusian troops had offered training to any country in its recent history.
The training was conducted in two mixed troops of Belarusians and commandos. It concluded in an exercise under the cover of darkness.
The final phase of the training programme included tests on a 25km yomp. This phase tested the skills learned by the commandos during the training programme.
Lima Company commanding officer Major John Whiteman said: “Exercise Winter Partisan was a great experience for Lima Company, where the exchanges of tactical and survival skills enhanced the company’s abilities for the future.
“Visiting the Khatyn Memorial was a memorable visit. This was a very sobering affair and highlighted the brutality that was experienced on the Eastern Front. The company also visited the Afghan museum and Partisan museums in Vitebsk.”
The combined training peace-making mission is aimed at building trust and mutual understanding.
Lima Company had also visited museums and the Khatyn Memorial during the training.
The memorial is a tribute to almost three million Belarusians who died during World War II.