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Belarus claims Polish military chopper violated its border (VIDEO) — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Minsk has summoned the neighboring country’s envoy to demand an explanation from Warsaw

Minsk has accused Warsaw of a border violation after a Polish military helicopter allegedly flew hundreds of kilometers into Belarusian territory. The incident took place on Thursday, the Belarusian border guard said in a statement.

A Soviet-made Mi-24 helicopter of the Polish Air Force flew some 1,200km into Belarus before changing course and returning to Polish airspace, the border guard said, adding that “the Polish side was informed about the incident.” The aircraft was moving at “an extremely low altitude,” the statement added.

The Belarusian military did not reveal if it sought to contact the Polish pilots or scrambled any aircraft of its own to intercept the helicopter. It did publish a short clip supposedly showing the moment the chopper crossed the border between Belarus and Poland as it was returning to Polish airspace.

The Mi-24 is a strike helicopter capable of carrying fragmentation-demolition bombs, as well as incendiary bombs. Poland had at least 28 such aircraft back in 2010, but it is unclear how many of them are still in use now.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that it had summoned Polish Charge d’Affaires Wojciech Filimonovic over the incident. Minsk demanded that Warsaw “provide a relevant explanation and conduct a thorough investigation of the incident,” its statement said.

Poland denied any such incident had taken place at all. “These are lies and provocations from the Belarusian side. There was definitely no such violation,” Jacek Goryszewski, a spokesman for the Operational Command of the Polish Armed Forces, told AFP.

Relations between Minsk and Warsaw have been strained ever since the Russian private military company Wagner Group was redeployed to Belarus in the wake of an aborted mutiny its late founder, Evgeny Prigozhin, staged in Russia. The Wagner fighters were allowed to stay in Belarus as part of a deal struck between Prigozhin and Moscow and mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Poland claimed that the private military company is active along the border and is waging “hybrid warfare” against it. It also announced its own troop buildup in the regions bordering Belarus aimed at supposedly countering this alleged threat.

Minsk dismissed the allegations, while Lukashenko claimed Warsaw had “gone mad” with speculation surrounding Wagner.

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