Ukraine-Belarus conflict: State of alert declared after mysterious aerial incidents
Conflict Ukraine-Belarus: State of alert declared after mysterious air incidents
- 1 Ukraine-Belarus conflict: State of alert declared after mysterious aerial incidents
1. Unrecognized aerial incidents
The dispute Ukraine-Belarus got worse over the weekend when four Belarusian aircraft were reportedly shot down in the skies of Bryansk, a Russian region bordering Ukraine and Belarus. None of the camps concerned has acknowledged the facts.
On Saturday, Russian news agencies reported that a helicopter crashed in the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, citing an "engine fire". Other sources, however, reported four aircraft shot down by Ukraine in total in the sky of Briansk, two helicopters and two planes, which the Russian army, not very forthcoming about its losses, has never confirmed, nor reversed.
2. The state of alert declared by the Belarusian leader
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko announced on Monday that his country has been on "high alert" since "four aircraft were shot down" over the weekend in Russia, which Moscow has not officially acknowledged.
3. The Russian position in this Ukraine-Belarus conflict
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday his country was on “high alert” after “four aircraft were shot down” over the weekend in Russia, which Moscow has not officially acknowledged.
On Saturday, Russian news agencies reported that a helicopter crashed in the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, citing an "engine fire".
4. The vagueness around Lukashenko's state of health
These statements attributed by the presidency to Alexander Lukashenko come as his absence from several public events in recent days has fueled speculation about the state of health of the 68-year-old leader.
The Belarusian presidency released three photos of Alexander Lukashenko in an apparent effort to counter such speculation. In these shots, the leader has a fixed look and a tired look, his left hand wrapped in bandages
Alexander Lukashenko's last filmed public appearance was on May 9, when he traveled to Moscow to attend ceremonies commemorating the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
Several Russian journalists then pointed out that he looked tired. Moreover, he had not attended a lunch hosted by Vladimir Putin, had not addressed Belarusian veterans on May 9 in Minsk, breaking with tradition, and had missed national festivities in Belarus on Sunday.
Asked about the Belarusian leader's state of health, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called on journalists on Monday to "trust only official information".
5. Potential repercussions of the conflict
On Monday, the leader of the Belarusian opposition in exile, Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, underlined the "many rumors circulating about the state of health of the dictator Lukashenko", calling on her fellow citizens to "be well prepared for any scenario".