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Belarusian security services conduct searches in connection with partisan attack on Russian aircraft

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 6, 2023 3:22 AM 1 min read
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Belarus' security services are conducting raids and arresting individuals convicted of political crimes in Belarus since 2020 in connection with an explosion that occurred at an airfield near Minsk, believed to have been the work of Belarusian partisans, the Belarusian Viasna human rights organization reported on Telegram.

A Russian A-50 early warning and control aircraft in Belarus was damaged following an explosion at the Machulishchy airfield near Minsk, Belarusian opposition media Nasha Niva reported on Feb. 26.

Aliaksandr Azarov, leader of Belarusian anti-government organization BYPOL, said the attack was carried out by Belarusian partisans in the area using two drones as part of BYPOL's so-called "Victory Plan." At the time, Azarov said that those involved in the planning of the attack were safe.

According to Viasna, Belarus' security officials, also known as the KGB, "are arresting everyone prosecuted under political articles from 2020 to 2023." Those arrested are taken to pre-trial detention centers.

The organization said it had recorded at least a dozen of these arrests.

More than 30,000 people were arrested in Belarus during massive protests in 2020 that followed rigged elections by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko. Some protestors and journalists were handed long-term prison sentences for their participation in the protests.

Although Belarus has not officially declared war on Ukraine, Russian forces have been given access to Belarusian territory to launch attacks on Ukraine, including the failed assault on Kyiv in February 2022.

Partisans have been active in Ukraine's northern neighbor, sabotaging military, transport, and cyberinfrastructure.

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