On August 1, the Polish Defence Ministry confirmed that two Belarusian helicopters had violated Poland’s airspace during “exercises”.
This was reported by the press service of the Polish Defence Ministry.
The two helicopters crossed the Polish border near Bialowieza at a very low altitude, so detecting them with radar systems wasn’t easy. Because of this, the Polish army said in the morning that they had not recorded any airspace violations.
Poland summons the charge d’affaires of Belarus
The Polish Defence Ministry said that the regime of Belarusian dictator Lukashenka had previously warned of the exercise.
The head of the defence ministry, Mariusz Blaszczak, ordered to increase the number of soldiers on the border and to allocate additional forces and means, including combat helicopters.
NATO was informed about the incident. The Polish Foreign Ministry will also summon the charge d’affaires of Belarus for explanations.
The ministry also called for “responsible dissemination and commenting on the information”, warning that the regimes in Russia and Belarus could use it.
Belarus disavowed the Polish claims
The Belarusian Defence Ministry disavowed the Polish side’s claims, saying that Warsaw needed the allegations of violations of Polish airspace to justify another build-up of forces and means near the Belarusian border.
The Defence Ministry of the Republic of Belarus considers the message, which is not confirmed by the data of objective control by Poland, and notes that there was no violation of airspace by Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters.
On February 23, Poland stepped up security measures on its border with Russia and Belarus.
Belarus’ violation linked to Lukashenko’s guard
The helicopters of the Republic of Belarus, which violated Polish airspace on August 1, could have done so by accident, as they were guarding self-proclaimed President Alexander Lukashenko, who was staying at the Viskuli residence, 7.5 km from the border, – Belarusian Radio Gayun.
The first reports that two helicopters of the Belarusian Air Force had crossed the border with Poland began to arrive around 10:30 a.m. Minsk time. At that time, Mi-8 and Mi-24 were patrolling the border.
Poland and Belarus, a deteriorating situation
In June, a car with Polish border guards, including two officers, came under fire on the Polish border with Belarus.
It is currently unknown who fired at the car. On June 16, Polish border guards called the shelling of the car at the border an escalation of the situation.
Following the mutiny of Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in late June, the Kremlin reported that mercenaries had been relocated to Belarus.
Poland reinforced its border with Belarus in early July with five hundred police officers.
On July 8, it was reported that additional forces, including more than 1,000 soldiers and about 200 pieces of military equipment, had been sent to the border.
Later, on July 23, self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced the desire of mercenaries from the Russian Wagner PMC stationed in his country to “go on an excursion” to Poland.
The same day, it was reported that the tenth column of Wagner’s mercenaries, which included at least ten pieces of equipment, arrived in Belarus.
On July 29, it was reported that Poland and Lithuania may close the border with Belarus due to provocations by the Wagner mercenaries.