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Major Versions Of Attack On Airfield Near Homel

Major Versions Of Attack On Airfield Near Homel

Part of the division of Russian S-400 Triumf systems is out of order.

At about midnight on August 11, explosions were heard at the Zyabrovka airfield in the Homel region, Belarus. According to the Ukrainian authorities, Russian invasion troops were stationed there, shelling Ukrainian territory from there. Lately, the Russian Federation has taken control of the base.

Current Time collected the major versions of the attack on the airfield near Homel.

Eight bright flashes

The Homel telegram channel Flagstaff was the first to report on the incident at Zyabrovka. "From 00:25 to 00:32 explosions were heard. a [shock] wave was felt; there were a couple of flashes of light [seen] through the solid cloud cover. The direction was Zyabrovka airfield," said a subscriber.

One on social networks counted eight flashes. An eyewitness captured one of the explosions on video.

In early August, at least four military transport planes of the Russian Air Force arrived at Homel airport. Belaruski Gayun recorded the transportation of missiles for C300/S400 rocket launchers. The Belarusian Defense Ministry announced "operational and tactical exercises" of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces with live firing" from August 9 to 11. It did not specify the location of the firing. In early August, the location of the missile complexes also changed.

Main versions

Russian occupants have been actively transporting missiles for S-300 and S-400 air defence systems to Belarus in recent days, in particular, to the airfield in Zyabrovka, the Belaruski Gayun project informs.

Given the data available by now, Belaruski Gayun has offered the four most credible versions of the night-time explosions.

1. Night exercises of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces. The exercise was indeed planned by the Belarusian Ministry of Defense. However, the date and place were not specified. Moreover, the firing was not carried out so close to settlements.

2. The airfield could have been hit to destroy SAM/SAR systems deployed there.

3. The shooting down of UAVs by air defence was practised (but again, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus is silent about it).

4. Aircraft engine unstart is the official reason. However, there are no planes in Zyabrovka. Helicopter unstart is practically unnoticeable.

Defence Blog magazine, citing an intelligence source, published information that a Russian 92H6 fire control radar exploded in Zyabrovka at night. Similar radars had indeed been detected at the airfield earlier.

Belaruski Gayun monitoring group reports the explosions destroyed a T-72 tank and about ten shells. Also, the explosions may have destroyed the Russian 92H6E illumination and targeting radar (IRS), which helps anti-aircraft missile systems detect targets and destroy them.

If the information is accurate, at least part of the S-400 Triumf air defence missile division at the airfield is now disabled, the monitoring group says.

There is also information about casualties. All this requires official confirmation.

A grain of joke

Ukrainian commentators make sarcastic remarks about the incident in Belarus. Thus, Oleksiy Kopytko, advisor to the Ukrainian Defense Minister, urged to believe that the explosions were planned. "At the airfield Zyabrovka near Homel, the air defence and air force exercise repeatedly announced are taking place. Any pops, etc. are the part of these exercises," he wrote.

Konstantin Mashovets from the Informational Resistance is ironic over the statements of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus about the "control run" and lack of damage. According to him, "the undamaged remains of air defence systems Pantsir-1C and a couple of S-300 missile defence systems were being stolen at night.

Yury Ignat, a speaker of the AFU Air Force Command, recalls on air the Belsat TV channel about the Belarusian partisan movement. "We know they are extremely kind, intelligent and sharp-minded people who are already extremely good at helping our state, the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We only thank the brotherly Belarusian people who help Ukraine defeat the invaders and kick them out of our land. And from yours, too," the speaker noted. Nevertheless, he adds, regarding the situation in Zyabrovka, we should trust the official information of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, as in the case of the destruction of Russian aircraft in the Crimean Novofedorivka.

"The Russian military should treat the epidemic of technical accidents at military airfields in Crimea and Belarus as a warning from above: forget about Ukraine, take off your uniforms and leave," Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, wrote on Twitter.

Russia has been shelling targets in Ukraine from Belarusian territory since the first hours of the war. So far, there has been no knowledge of retaliatory strikes by the AFU against Belarus.

The second life of an airfield

Belarus has three active air bases (Lida, Machulishchi, Baranovichi) and three reserve air bases (Borovtsy, Luninets, Bobruisk). Zyabrovka (it is 20 km from Homel and equally far from the Ukrainian border) is not on the list.

In Soviet times, the 290th Guards long-range reconnaissance aviation regiment was based there. It used supersonic Tu-22R reconnaissance aircraft. In 1994, the unit was disbanded and the planes were sent to Russia for recycling. However, the concrete takeoff strip remained.

One recalled Zyabrovka last winter. Maxar photographs dated February 10, 2022, show military helicopters and vehicles, a field hospital on the abandoned airfield.

In May, the AFU General Staff claimed that Russian occupants had started engineering work at the Zyabrovka airfield, which was being prepared for use as a military base.

On July 7, Oleksiy Gromov, deputy chief of the Main Operative Directorate of the AFU General Staff, said Belarusian dictator Aliaksandr Lukashenka had given Zyabrovka under full control of the Russian forces. A missile division of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system and the S-400 Triumf division of the Russian Armed Forces were transferred there.

Military analyst Konrad Muzyka published satellite images taken by Rochan Consulting. The photo shows a division of ten S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems, two units of the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft system, radars and radar illumination and guidance systems. Next to it, there is an equipment container for operators under a camouflage net.

In addition, BMPs and camouflaged tanks deploy at the airfield.

On July 28, Belaruski Gayun reports at least 25 missiles launched from Zyabrovka at the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions. "If we assume that all launches were made from the Iskander missile launcher, there should be at least six of these systems at the airfield," analysts suggest.

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