Belarusian anti-government activists said last month they had blown up a Russian military surveillance plane in a drone strike.
Belarus has detained several people for what it calls an attempted sabotage at a Belarusian airport, President Alexander Lukashenko said.
Belarusian anti-government activists said last month they blew up an advanced Russian military plane — a Beriev A-50 reconnaissance plane — in a drone strike on an airfield near the Belarusian capital Minsk, a claim disputed by Moscow and Minsk .
“To date, more than 20 accomplices have been detained in Belarus. The rest are in hiding,” Lukashenko, a key Kremlin ally, said, according to state news agency Belta.
He identified the suspected main culprit as a dual citizen of Ukraine and Russia.
Lukashenko said the plane suffered only superficial damage during the attack, which was carried out using a “small drone,” Belta reported.
He described the prime suspect as a “terrorist” trained by Kiev.
“Apparently he was recruited in 2014 by the Ukrainian special services. He is an IT specialist or someone well versed in IT,” he added.
Lukashenko said he had ordered a nationwide “sweep” to round up other saboteurs involved in attacks in the country.
Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, allowed Russia last February to use Belarus as a launch pad to invade Ukraine.
“If you think that by not meeting this challenge you will drag us into a war tomorrow, which today is already raging all over Europe, then you are wrong,” Belta quoted him in remarks likely to be directed at Kiev and Washington .
He has previously said that Belarus would participate directly in the war only if its territory is attacked by Ukraine.
Kiev has long worried about another invasion from Belarusian territory, a risk that will force it to continue to protect its northern border at a time when its troops are fighting Russia in full force to the south and east.