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Russian Air Force significantly reduces presence in Belarus, Monitoring Group reports


In a significant development, a monitoring group in Belarus, known as the Belarusian Hajun, has reported that almost all Russian helicopters have departed from Belarus. On August 5, a group of ten helicopters from the Russian Air Force took off from the Machulyshchi airfield in Belarus, marking a notable reduction in the Kremlin’s military presence in its neighboring client state.

According to the information provided by Belarusian Hajun, four Russian Mi-8 helicopters and six Mi-24 helicopters have now left Belarus. These helicopters were observed flying in a southeasterly direction and later crossing the border into Russia, where they landed at the Seshcha air base in Bryansk Oblast. This departure has significantly diminished the Russian Air Force’s aviation group in Belarus.

Belarusian Hajun reminded readers that the presence of the Russian Air Force in Belarus had been more substantial, with at least 11 helicopters previously stationed there. During their stay in Belarus, one of the Russian helicopters was destroyed in June when a Mi-24 helicopter crashed near Ivatsevichy, in the southwestern part of the country.

Approximately 20 Russian servicemen are believed to have left Belarus aboard the departing helicopters.

Earlier, Andriy Demchenko, the spokesman of the State Border Service of Ukraine, reported that Russia had withdrawn almost all of its troops from Belarus as part of regular troop rotations. However, Demchenko did not rule out the possibility of additional Russian units being redeployed in Belarus in the future, although no such activity has been observed at present.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s regime had allowed Russian troops to mass on Belarusian territory, from where they attempted to capture the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, without success. Belarus was also implicated in the launch of missile strikes on Ukrainian cities from its territory, leading Ukraine to consider both Russia and Belarus as aggressor states.

As of now, Belarusian troops have not directly participated in hostilities, but there are concerns that Minsk may still employ its armed forces to support a potential second Russian attack on Kyiv from the north.

Lieutenant General Serhii Naev, the Commander of the United Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has stated that the current threat of a new attack from Belarus is low. Nevertheless, the situation remains closely monitored, and Ukraine remains vigilant in ensuring its security and territorial integrity.

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