The Russian Air Force’s aircraft will participate in the July 3 Independence Day military parade in Minsk for the first time in history. Troopers of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division are also to take part in the parade.
The show will feature a total of 40 military aircraft, including Mi-2, Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters, MiG-29 fighters, Su-25 ground attack planes, an Il-76 cargo aircraft, and L-39 trainer jets, the press office of the Belarusian defense ministry told news agency BelaPAN.
For the first time, Russia’s Air Force will deploy its aircraft for participation in Belarus’ Independence Day parade, namely, Ka-52 attack helicopters and Su-34 bombers, the press office said.
Last week it was reported that Russia’s Tu-160 strategic bombers would be involved in the parade. However, the defense ministry’s spokesman described the reports as ‘conjecture.’
Apart from aircraft, the parade will feature Russia’s Iskander and S-400 missile systems and GAZ Tigr, a multipurpose, all-terrain infantry mobility vehicle.
The official Independence day is celebrated on July 3, on the day of liberation of the Belarusian capital from German invaders. Such decision was taken by the republican referendum held in 1996. Earlier the Independence day had been commemorated on July 27, its celebration being coincided with the day of passing the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1990.
The opposition does not recognise the official Independence Day. According to them it is the March 25, 1918 that should be taken as the starting point of the Belarusian independence. On March 25, 1918 the Provisional government (Rada) proclaimed the independence of the Belarusian National Republic that came into existence at the end of the First World War, when Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, the Communist government replaced the Rada; its members had to emigrate. Opposition activists and civil society actors celebrate the anniversary of the proclamation of the BNR annually.
www.belsat.eu/en, via BelaPAN