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Monitoring group: Russia withdraws almost all military aircraft from Belarus

by Martin Fornusek September 8, 2023 7:29 PM 2 min read
A Russian Air Forces officer poses for a photo at the Sukhoi SU-25 SM (NATO reporting name: Frogfoot) jet aircraft during the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon on July 21, 2021, outside of Moscow, Russia. (Photo credit: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
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The Russian Air Force has withdrawn almost all of its aircraft stationed in Belarus, leaving behind only one Su-25 attack plane, the monitoring group Belarusian Hajun reported on Sept. 8.

According to the anti-government group, Russia pulled back its aviation group on Aug. 5.

A total number of 11 helicopters, including four Mi-8 and seven Mi-24, reportedly flew from Machulishchy to Seshcha in Russia's Bryansk Oblast.

Nine Su-34 and Su-30SM jets were also re-deployed from Baranavichy airfield back to Russia, according to Belarusian Hajun.

Most of the departing helicopters and planes have reportedly been stationed in Belarus since January 2023. As of Sept. 1, only one Su-25 jet, which flew to Machulishchy on July 25 and then to Lida on Aug. 31, remains in the country, the group said.

Russia used the Belarusian territory, with the approval of Alexander Lukashenko's regime, to launch an unsuccessful offensive against Ukraine from the north last year, hoping to capture the capital of Kyiv.

Recently, the number of Russian troops stationed in the country was steadily decreasing and in July, Ukrainian officials reported that Russia had withdrawn almost all of its troops.

Belarus became a host to a number of Wagner Group mercenaries, who arrived following their short-lived rebellion against the Kremlin in late June. Although reports emerged that the contractors began to depart following their boss Yevgeny Prigozhin's death in a plane crash on Aug. 23, Minsk denied these claims, saying that the mercenaries will remain.

Lukashenko admits Russian troops invaded Ukraine through Belarus in 2022
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko admitted that Russian forces had invaded Ukraine from the territory of Belarus in February 2022 in an interview with a pro-Kremlin presenter published on Aug. 17.
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