Monday, 3rd October 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Belarus dismisses reported explosions at airfield near Ukraine

Moscow's ally Belarus on Thursday played down reports of overnight explosions at a military airbase near the border with Ukraine that is said to be used by Russian troops.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 19, 2022, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko watches, alongside his Russian counterpart, training launches of ballistic missiles as part of the Grom-2022 Strategic Deterrence Force exercise, from the situational centre of the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow. – The US on MArch 15, 2022, reauthorized sanctions against Lukashenko as it seeks to punish countries that supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The US Treasury described Lukashenko as “the head of a corrupt government in Belarus whose patronage network benefits his inner circle and regime,” and Washington also imposed sanctions on his wife. (Photo by Alexey NIKOLSKY / Sputnik / AFP)

Moscow’s ally Belarus on Thursday played down reports of overnight explosions at a military airbase near the border with Ukraine that is said to be used by Russian troops.

“On August 10, at around 23:00 (2000 GMT), during a test run, a piece of equipment that had its engine replaced caught fire,” the Belarusian defence ministry said in a statement.

It added that the fire was extinguished “in a timely manner” and there were no casualties.

Earlier, a Belarusian Telegram channel that monitors military activity said “explosions” were heard near the Zyabrovka airfield in southeastern Belarus.

“At least eight flashes” were seen in the night of Wednesday to Thursday, it added.

Franak Viacorka, a senior advisor to Belarusian exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, said Russian military aircraft are often stationed at the airfield.

Zyabrovka is around 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the border with northern Ukraine.

The incident comes after a series of blasts at a key military airbase on the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula, which Moscow said were caused by exploding ammunition rather than Ukrainian fire.

Western countries have slapped ex-Soviet Belarus with new sanctions this year for its role in Russia’s Ukraine offensive launched on February 24.

Russian troops entered Ukraine from several directions, including from Belarusian territory.

Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko relied on his Russian ally Vladimir Putin to suppress the 2020 protests against his re-election for a sixth term.

He welcomed Russian troops under the pretext of military exercises in the months before Moscow launched its military operation.

In this article