Several explosions occurred in the area of the military airport “Zabrovka” in the eastern Gomel region of Belarus, located near the Ukrainian border. According to Kyiv, it was used by the Russian Air Force for attacks in Ukraine.
According to the information of the Belarusian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, eyewitnesses reported in Telegram about at least eight explosions.
Ministry of Defense of Belarus confirmed an incident, specifying that it was a “vehicle ignition” after replacing a damaged engine. The official announcement also says that the fire was brought under control quickly and no one was injured.
The Russian authorities reacted in a similar way, after two days ago at the air base “Saki” of the annexed by Moscow Crimean Peninsula several loud explosions rang out. Russia said it was an incident caused by a “violation of fire safety requirements”. However, satellite images released on Wednesday showed serious damage to Russian military aircraft. The footage also showed identical craters left after the explosions.
Last month, the Ukrainian military announced that Russia had deployed mobile missile systems Iskander-M and S-400 at the Belarusian airport “Zyabrovka”, using them for strikes against Ukraine.
Franak Vyachorka – spokesman for the head of the Belarusian opposition in exile Svetlana Tikhanovska, commented on Thursday that Russian military planes often land in “Zyabrovka”.
The information about the explosions at the Belarusian air base comes against the background of exercises of the country’s air forces, which are scheduled to end on Thursday. Minsk said earlier this week that the second phase of the exercises will take place between August 22 and 25 at the Ashuluk military training base in southwestern Russia, near the border with Kazakhstan.
The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko openly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Although Belarusian troops did not directly participate in the invasion, Minsk allowed the Russian military to use the country’s territory to enter Ukraine and shell Ukrainian cities.