Inside the anti-Lukashenko group that destroyed out a Russian plane

Belarusian rebels have praised a secretive group for completing a successful “special operation” against Putin and his ally Lukashenko. Yesterday, a group called BYPOL, which recruits through the social media platform Telegram, claimed they had destroyed a Russian spy plane near Belarus’s capital Minsk.

BYPOL describes itself as a “union of Belarusian security officers”. Its leadership is made up of former law enforcement officers who now oppose Lukashenko.

Meanwhile, its recruits are allegedly from all over the world including the US, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Australia and elsewhere.

The group’s sole purpose is to restore democracy in Belarus by replacing Lukashenko with self-proclaimed National Leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and introducing presidential and parliamentary elections.

Ms Tikhanovskaya, who lives in exile in Lithuania, stood for election in 2020 after her husband Surgei Tikhanovskaya was arrested by Belarusian authorities.

BYPOL leader Alexander Azarov claimed today that participants of a strategic operation known as the “Victory Plan” downed a Russian A-50 plane near the Machulishchy air base using two drones. He said they quickly fled to Belarus after the attack.

Multiple blasts damaged the front and centre of the plane, according to the organisation.

Ms Tikhanovskaya commended the “brave actions” of the BYPOL cell that attacked the Russian surveillance plane.

Mr Azarov said the attack had been prepared for months, according to BYPOL’s Telegram Group.

“These were drones. The participants of the operation are Belarusian”, Mr Azarov said.

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What is the Victory Plan?

Strategic Operation PERAMOGA or “Victory Plan” is a strategic operation consisting of several “stages” created to “prevent a threat to the territorial integrity of the Republic of Belarus”.

Opponents of the Belarusian regime or supporters of Ukraine can participate in the plan by messaging the group’s “chatbot” on the app Telegram, according to the group.

Once a recruit signs up anonymously, a BYPOL division known as the Situational Analytical Center assesses the skills and resources of new recruits and then groups them together into smaller “cells”.

BYPOL states on the Victory Plan website: “There is an open part of the plan that is available to everyone. And closed, to which a limited number of people from the Situational Analytical Center are allowed.”

Recruits receive a “mobilisation order” or an electronic message which designates them “tasks” to do and briefs them on the overall operation.

After receiving their order, the cells then complete their “tasks”, such as the recent spy plane attack, according to the plan’s website.

As well as creating a website, the leaders of the Victory Plan have created comprehensive YouTube videos explaining how to get involved with the organisation.

Since the spy plane attack, Belarusian security forces are said to be searching social media to try to identify who was responsible for the attack.

BYPOL receives funding through its website where people can donate Bitcoin, Ethereum or PayPal.

But it also receives support from other transnational organisations supporting Ukraine, such as the Commonwealth Movement. The Belarusian group recently received tactical vests, helmets, boots and other gear from the group.

The Commonwealth Movement states on its website: “The joint movement is an independent, voluntary association of Belarusians and interested foreigners who, through military, physical and theoretical training, strive to protect the independence of Belarus and Ukraine, restore law and order on its territory, and revive Belarusian military and national traditions.”

The partisan group BYPOL also helps spread awareness about other partisan groups’ work. On its Telegram, BYPOL recently showed its support for Belarusian so-called “Rail Guerillas”.

The Rail Guerillas are a partisan group sentenced to 66 years for burning electrical equipment on a railroad in Svetlogorsk, Russia, according to BYPOL.

The attack is said to have slowed the Russian movement of military equipment to the border of Ukraine.

BYPOL shared a link to the group’s funding page where they are said to be raising money for legal fees.

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