Lithuanian balloons versus Belarusian military helicopters

On Monday (24 August), the Belarusian defence ministry claimed it used Mi-24 military helicopters to stop eight air balloons “with anti-state slogans” from crossing the border during the Freedom Way demonstration in Lithuania.

On Sunday, thousands of people in Lithuania formed a human chain from Vilnius to the Belarusian border to express solidarity with protesters in the neighbouring country. During the event, several air balloons were also launched.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said a military helicopter breached the country’s airspace, and presented a protest note to the Belarusian ambassador. “[The helicopter] was seen visually. We have all the information from our air traffic controllers [confirming] that there has been a violation,” said Linkevičius.

Meanwhile, Belarusian social media space was filled with images mocking the “war” between the Belarusian armed forces and balloons. (Benas Gerdžiūnas |

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