Russian plane worth 475m destroyed at Belarusian airfield opposition says

Russian plane worth $475m destroyed at Belarusian airfield, opposition says

The Belarusian opposition in exile claimed on Sunday a Russian plane was destroyed at an airfield near Minsk in what they called the “most successful sabotage operation” since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.

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“The partisans (…) confirmed the success of a special operation aimed at blowing up a rare Russian aircraft at the Matchulishchy airfield near Minsk,” said Franak Viacorka, one of the main advisers to Belarusian opposition figure Svetlana , on Twitter Tikhanovskaya.

According to Mr. Viacorka, “two Belarusians conducted the operation” using drones. “They have already left the country and are safe,” he added.

He did not specify which Russian plane had been targeted, but said the cost of the plane was $475 million. According to media close to the opposition, it is an A-50 reconnaissance and command aircraft.

“I am proud of all Belarusians who continue to oppose the hybrid Russian occupation of Belarus and fight for the freedom of Ukraine,” Ms Tikhanovskaya said on Twitter.

These claims were unverifiable from independent sources and the Russian army did not respond immediately.

Belarus, Moscow’s only European ally against Kiev, is not directly involved in Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, but made its territory available for the first attack a year ago.

According to Kiev, Moscow also uses Belarusian airfields to attack Ukraine.

Russia and Belarus have stepped up military exercises in recent months, and Ukraine fears Minsk will enter the conflict.