NATO: Russia is launching many air operations from Belarus

NATO on Thursday told CNN aboard a surveillance plane that Russia is launching many of their air operations against Ukraine from Belarus.

CNN joined NATO on its Airborne Warning and Control System (AWCS) plane that is used on the Ukrainian-Poland border to collect intelligence. The Russians know the planes are there and try to jam their radar, NATO’s technical director told CNN.

NATO mission’s technical director told the outlet the “vast majority” of Russian jets have been found coming to Ukraine from Belarus, a neighboring country and ally to Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHogan, Maryland legislative leaders agree to halt state gas tax for 30 days Overnight Defense & National Security – Senators grill Biden officials on Ukraine Biden warns Democrats it will be a ‘sad two years’ if Republicans take control of Congress MORE.

A US defense official said this week Russia is launching air operations from Belarus, the Black Sea, Russia and Ukraine.

The NATO members on the plane say it is hard to tell if Belarus has any of its own troops participating in the war as Russia, Belarus and Ukraine all use similar fighter jets.

NATO tactical director Denis Guillaume said Thursday that a dozen Russian jets were idling in Belarus. When asked by CNN if NATO is sharing this intelligence with Ukraine, he declined to answer.

“I can not answer that question,” Guillaume said. The technical director told the outlet, “The only thing I can tell you right now is that we, as NATO allies, are sharing the data with NATO countries.”

However, the technical director said the NATO countries can do with the intelligence what they want. Although it is not clear what information the US is sending Ukraine, it is known the country has been sharing intelligence to help Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

NATO countries have begun sanctioning Belarus’ banks and other individuals due to them letting Russia use their country in its invasion of Ukraine. Before the invasion, Belarus let Russia build up thousands of troops on its borders to eventually go into Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials have called for a no-fly zone in Ukraine to counter Russia’s air operations, but the request has been denied by NATO.

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