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Belarus partisans blow up Russia’s $330 million Beriev A-50 aircraft

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February 27,2023 2116
Belarus partisans blow up Russia’s $330 million Beriev A-50 aircraft

On Sunday, Russia’s Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft was damaged on the Machulischi military airfield 12 kilometers from Minsk, the Belarus capital.

According to Aliaksandr Azarav, the leader of former Belarus law enforcement officers’ anti-government group ByPol, the attack was carried out by participants in the Peramoha (Victory) Plan using drones. “They are now in safety abroad,” Azarav told the Poland-based Belsat News channel.

There were multiple reports of at least two explosions on the airfield in the early morning. Later, ByPol reported that a Beriev A-50 was seriously damaged and “will certainly never more fly anywhere.”

The plane (NATO reporting name “Mainstay”), worth $330 million, according to media reports, is one of only nine such aircraft in Russia and one of only six upgraded ones. It arrived in Belarus 55 days ago and has taken off 12 times to identify Ukrainian air defense systems locations.

Azarav said preparations for the operation took several months. He doubts that the current authorities in Minsk will use this attack as a casus belli for direct participation of the Belarus army in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“They can say anything, but I don’t think it’s beneficial for [Belarus dictator] Lukashenko to attack Ukraine now. Actually, he can use this action to blame Ukrainians for everything, but now they don’t have enough Russian troops in Belarus to launch a new attack on Ukraine from the territory of Belarus,” Azarav pointed out.

The Ukrainian World Congress acclaims the fearless partisans, who prove that the people of Belarus do not support the pro-Russian stance of their self-proclaimed president. “We applaud the brave Belarus Resistance for its fight for freedom and dignity of their country,” UWC tweeted. “Today, hundreds of Belarusians are fighting alongside Ukrainians against Russian imperialism. Freedom of Belarus must be another outcome of the Ukrainian-Russian war. Long live Belarus! Glory to Ukraine!”