Six people detained in Belarus after Machulishchy air base explosions

1 March, 11:53 AM
An A-50 plane at the airport in Machulyshchy (Photo:Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS)

An A-50 plane at the airport in Machulyshchy (Photo:Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS)

At least six people have been detained in Belarus after explosions damaged a Russian military surveillance plane at the country’s Machulishchy air base near the capital Minsk, Belarusian human rights organization Viasna said on Telegram on March 1.

The arrests took place in Dzerzhinsk, Minsk Oblast.

All the suspects were sentenced to two days in prison for “disobedience”, but they have since been freed. It is noted that during the detention people were beaten, but not by local policemen, but by other security forces.

Two expositions were reportedly heard at Machulishchy air base, which is 12 kilometers away from the Belarusian capital, the Belarusian opposition initiative BYPOL’s Telegram channel wrote on Feb. 26, referring to its own sources.

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A Russian A-50 radar early warning and control aircraft and snow cleaning equipment are said to have been damaged in the incidents.

Alexander Azarov, head of the Belarusian opposition initiative BYPOL, said that the sabotage was organized by Belarusian partisans.

As stated by BYPOL, as a result of two explosions, the front and central parts of the A-50 aircraft were damaged, with both the avionics and the radar antenna suffering damage. It is reported that the plane will no longer be able to operate.

The Belarusian resource Zerkalo reported that security forces are looking for Nikolai Shvets, a 29-year-old native of Russian-occupied Crimea, on suspicion of being involved in the attack on Machulishchy air base.

It was also reported that after the attack, Belarusian border guards increased checks on those exiting the country.

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