Russia to send paratroopers to Belarus for joint drills starting on Monday: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will send troops from its Pskov division of paratroopers to Belarus for joint military drills starting on Monday, the RIA news agency cited Russia’s defence ministry as saying on Sunday.

The drills come amid tensions in Belarus as President Alexander Lukashenko faces a groundswell of public anger over an election last month that his opponents say was rigged. The protests have tested the loyalty of his security forces.

The “Slavic brotherhood” joint military drills are due to run from Sept. 14-25, the defence ministry said, adding that the Russian paratroopers would return to Russia once they are over.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Catherine Evans