Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said the attempt to blow up a Russian A-50 plane at Machulishchi airfield in late February was an “anti-terrorist action” carried out by “local supporters. He said so reacted to statement by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who accused Kiev of attacking a Russian Aerospace Forces plane.
“We have to define definitions. A terrorist attack occurs when missiles are launched from the territory of Belarus at Ukrainian cities. Sabotage – when DRGs enter through the Belarusian border. The strike on the A-50 spotter plane is an anti-terrorist act committed, by the way, by local supporters,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
On March 7, Lukashenko said that a “Ukrainian special service terrorist” involved in the sabotage against the A-50 had been arrested in Belarus. According to the Belarusian leader, he is a native of Krivoy Rog, who has Ukrainian and Russian nationality, and was recruited by the Ukrainian special services in 2014.
According to Lukashenka, Kiev was preparing sabotage against the A-50 with the help of the “CIA leadership”, the attack on the Machulishchi airfield was carried out using a “small” Chinese drone .
“Fortunately, the aircraft did not suffer any significant damage, except for (…) scratches and a hole in the hull, which does not prevent the military aircraft from carrying out its duties. We showed you this plane, ”added the Belarusian president.
Lukashenko said that “such operations are not carried out without the consent of the head of the country and the commander-in-chief”, and called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “moron”.
He also said more than 20 accomplices to the crime were being held in Belarus. Lukashenka noted that a few days ago he ordered “to carry out a brutal cleansing throughout the country”. According to him, the rest of the saboteurs “hid and sat down”.
“It will be like in 1941, what is there to hide: when the Nazis came here, these cells were there, there were accomplices. And then they put a bandage on their arm, a schmeiser on their shoulder and acted with these fascists. Nothing has changed. Therefore, we have to find them,” Lukashenko said.
On February 26, the telegram channel of the Belarusian opposition organization BYPOL reported that two explosions occurred at the Machulishchi airfield, following which a Russian A-50 early warning and control plane been damaged. BYPOL claimed the plane “is definitely not going anywhere”.
Belarusian authorities and state media called the reports false. In early March, footage of the A-50 in the air was released, while the shooting date was not specified.
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