Explosions have apparently rocked a military airfield in Belarus where Russian jets are allegedly stationed.
According to reports from eyewitnesses, there were “at least eight explosions” overnight on Wednesday near the airfield in Ziabrovka, in the Gomel region, according to the Belarusian Hajun project, a social media channel that monitors the Ukrainian conflict.
A vehicle caught fire after having its engine rebuilt at around 11 p.m. local time, according to the Belarusian defense ministry, but no one was hurt.
However, the Hajun Project tweeted a clip of one of the explosions that it said was captured 16 miles away from the airstrip and “shows a big light” that “doesn’t appear like a ‘engine fire’.”
At Ziabrovka, which borders the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, military equipment from Russia was visible in satellite photographs acquired at the end of June. Since the spring, Belarusian journalists have also kept tabs on the transit of this equipment, according to independent Russian-language news source Meduza.
The airfield had been transferred from Belarus to Russia, according to the Ukrainian armed forces, who also stated that “steps are being conducted to equip the Russian military installation” there.
The locations of the live-fire drills were not specified, and it is unclear whether they are related to the explosions, according to a prior report from the Belarusian Ministry of Defense, which was cited by Meduza.
The airfield near the Ukrainian border, where “Russian military planes are routinely stationed,” had experienced “at least eight explosions,” according to Franak Viaorka, a senior advisor to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the head of the opposition in Belarus.
There has been no proof, he continued, “as to whether these explosions are related to any military exercises carried out on Belarusian soil by the Russian and Belarusian militaries.”
The alleged explosions may have been carried out by Belarusians assisting Kyiv’s military, according to the Ukraine.
The Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces spokeswoman, Yuriy Ignat, told Belsat TV that “we know that they are exceptionally friendly and brilliant people who are already assisting our state…extremely well.”
“We also want to express our gratitude to the fraternal Belarusians, who will aid Ukraine in driving the occupiers from their territory. Likewise from yours, “According to the Hajun project, Yuriy Ignat added.
Russian and Belarusian defense ministries were contacted by Newsweek for comments.
Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, depended on Vladimir Putin to keep him in office despite a 2020 election that was widely regarded as illegitimate. Since the start of Putin’s invasion on February 24, he has let the Russian military to assault Ukraine from his nation’s soil.
This week, Tsikhanouskaya said that shortly after the battle began, Belarusians sabotaged crucial Russian supply channels.
Tsikhanouskaya told the German news agency DPA that “rail partisans held down military movement and intelligence was relayed to Ukrainian forces about bases from which Russian missiles were fired.” She predicted that Belarusians will fiercely resist any attempt by Lukashenko to compel their nation to take a full part in the conflict.
She warned the publication that “our partisan movement will undermine this.” Orders will be turned down.
This week’s claimed attacks on Russian aviation bases have not been limited to one. The Saki air station in Russian-occupied Crimea came under attack on Tuesday. Although Kiev has not formally accepted blame for the strike, Ukrainian armed personnel have insulted Russia.
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