Late-night explosions and flashes at Zyabrovka military airfield, located in Belarus and used by the Russian military, were caused by live-fire exercises conducted by air force and air defense units, the Belarusian military said on Aug. 11.
According to the Telegram channel Belaruski Gayun, eyewitnesses reported at least eight flashes and explosions at the base during the night of Aug. 10-11.
This was nothing out of the ordinary, the Belarusian military said.
“From 12.25 a.m. to 12.32 a.m., explosions were heard, a shock wave was felt and a couple of times light flashes were visible through the clouds,” a release by the Belarusian Defense Ministry read.
The ministry said the cause of the explosions were military exercises of the Air Defense Forces and the Air Force, which involved active firing.
However, the ministry also said there had been a fire at the base.
“Considering the requests received by the Ministry of Defense about the flashes that occurred in the Zyabrovka area of the Gomel region, we inform you that on August 10, at about 11.00 p.m., during testing of one piece of aviation equipment, the engine ignited after it was replaced,” said the ministry.
“Fire extinguishing measures were taken by personnel in a timely manner. There were no casualties.”
At the same time, the local Telegram channel Flagshtok-Gomelshchyna, said the ministry’s statement doesn’t line up with eyewitness reports.
“The information of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus seems weird: the military admitted there was an emergency, but its description doesn’t correspond to the observations of the residents of the area, who heard several explosions and light reflections through cloud cover after midnight,” says the Flagshtok-Gomelshchyna message.
The Zyabrovka airfield was transferred to the full control of the Russian military by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko on July 7.