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Belarus border indeed crossed by helicopter, but there's a catch

Belarus border indeed crossed by helicopter, but there's a catch Belarusian helicopters (Getty Images)

The airspace of Belarus has indeed been violated. But it is premature to say that it was a Polish helicopter, according to the Belarusian Hajun monitoring project.

What happened?

On September 1st, Belarus claimed that a Polish military helicopter, the Mi-24, crossed the state border at a very low altitude. Afterward, it allegedly flew about 1200 meters into Belarusian territory and then returned.

Warsaw denied the accusations.

"This is a lie and provocation by the Belarusian side. There was no such violation, as can be seen from the pilot's reports and radar system recordings," said the Spokesperson for the Polish Armed Forces, Jacek Goryshevsky.

What does the Hajun say?

"The video from the Central Border Guard of Belarus could indeed have been taken on the Belarusian-Polish border on September 1st at around 4:00 pm. It was filmed from the Belarusian side from a gyrocopter that was patrolling the border at that time," the statement writes.

Presumably, as noted by a monitoring group, the helicopter was spotted by chance. However, the video does not allow for identifying its model, let alone its ownership.

Poland indeed has remnants of Soviet Mi-24 helicopters. Despite the fact that most of them were transferred to Ukraine, at least one was reportedly transferred to Białystok in August to reinforce the border. Mi-24 helicopters are also present in Belarus.

"According to our data, no interceptors or similar aircraft were launched into the air. This should have been done in the case of an illegal border crossing by a military helicopter. As for yesterday's aviation activity, it was related only to the military drills and ended by 2:00 pm," the Hajun noted.

The monitoring group adds that currently, two versions can be considered:

  1. The Polish helicopter indeed entered Belarusian territory.
  2. It's possible that the Belarusian helicopter crossed the border. Poland's statements and the absence of interceptor launches from the Belarusian side support this version.