Unmanned aerial vehicles in Belarus are targeting the Russian A-50 early warning and control [AEW&C] aircraft. The A-50 is one of Russia’s most advanced strategic air platforms.

As the Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues, Belarusian activists claim to have used an unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] to attack a Russian military aircraft. Belarusian anti-government activists claim to have carried out a drone attack on a Russian Beriev A-50 early warning aircraft at the Machulyshti Air Base near Minsk. Neither Russia nor Belarus have confirmed the alleged attack.

In a statement, Alexander Azarov, the leader of the anti-government organisation BYPOL in Belarus, said that the attack had taken months to plan and that the “guerrillas” would try to carry out more actions in the future. Azarov, said: “We are working to continue our war against the Russian occupiers and against the murderous regime of [President] Lukashenko, which illegally seized power on Belarusian territory.” 

BYPOL has so far provided no evidence to back up its claim of an attack.

According to Frank Vyachorka, an adviser to Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tsihanovskaya, two Belarusian “guerrillas” were also involved in the attack, with the UAVs damaging the front and middle parts of the Beriev A-50 aircraft, including the radar antenna and avionics.

“I am proud of all Belarusians who continue to resist the Russian hybrid occupation in Belarus and fight for the freedom of Ukraine,” said Viachorka while adding, the two people who carried out the attack were now safe outside Belarus.

Belarus, a Russian ally, has allowed Russia to attack Ukraine from its territory but has not been directly involved in the conflict. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, various sabotage operations have been carried out in Belarus and along Russia’s border with Ukraine, particularly on railway lines.

The Belarusian government considers BYPOL, which includes former law enforcement officers who support opposition politicians, to be a terrorist organization.