Belarusian opposition leader takes credit for damaging Russian plane in Belarus

27 February, 06:50 PM
Russian aircraft A-50U (Photo:Беларускі Гаюн/Telegram)

Russian aircraft A-50U (Photo:Беларускі Гаюн/Telegram)

Belarusian partisans reactivated to damage a Russian A-50U aircraft stationed at the Belarusian Machulyshchy military airfield, the head of the opposition Association of Security Forces of Belarus (BYPOL), Alexander Azarov, told the Belarusian service of U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on Feb. 27.

While the partisans had laid low after Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko intensified repression against them following sabotage of a number of rail lines used to supply the Russian military, they could not pass up “such an interesting object.”

According to Azarov, the damaged plane was a “flagship” of the Russian air forces, which carried out reconnaissance of Ukrainian territory and directed Kinzhal hypersonic missiles at Ukrainian targets.

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“Reportedly, there are only nine such aircraft in Russia, I even read that there are less — four of them,” said Azarov.

“Each such plane costs $330 million. Of course, it cannot be said that we’ve decided to blow up Lukashenko’s residence. We do what works. Everything depends on the circumstances.”

He confirmed that the attack was carried out by drones, but did not specify their number. Several people took part in the action, but now, according to Azarov, they have already left the country and are safe. He added that the evacuation of these people was the most difficult stage.

Azarov noted that what happened in Machulyshchy is a “strong blow to the image” of Lukashenko and the Russian army.

“People from Lukashenko’s entourage are not needed for such an action,” he stated.

“But, of course, (we have) our people in different places and structures. You can't do anything without people... ‘Lukashists’ (pro-Lukashenko citizens) say that we are controlled by special services of foreign countries, this is not true. Belarusian partisans act independently. Let the ‘Lukashists’ wait for more.”

On Feb. 26, explosions rang out at the Belarusian military airfield Machulyshchy, which is used by Russian military aviation. According to preliminary data, a Russian A-50U long-range radar detection and control aircraft was seriously damaged.

According to BYPOL, as a result of the explosions, the front and central parts of the plane were damaged, as well as its avionics and the radar antenna. It is reported that the plane will no longer be able to operate.

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