MINSK, 1 December (BelTA) – Aerial units of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry have returned to Belarus from Türkiye where they had provided assistance with fighting fires, the ministry told BelTA.
Mi-8 helicopters landed at the Lipki airfield. While in Türkiye they rendered assistance with fighting fires in mountainous areas. They departed from the Turkish airport Trabzon and had to make stopovers in Mineralnyye Vody, Astrakhan, Volgograd, Saratov, Kaluga, and Vitebsk. Deputy Emergencies Minister Igor Bolotov greeted the crews.
This year Belarus has lent two Mi-8 helicopters with water discharge devices and a Mi-26 transport helicopter to Türkiye. The Belarusian aerial units helped fight massive forest fires in the vicinity of the cities of Izmir, Antalya, Alanya, Seferihisar, Marmaris, and Kas. The Belarusian aviators flew a total of 265 missions spending 460 hours in the air, dropping water on fires over 1,135 times. They dropped a total of 4,833 tonnes of water and transported 41 passengers.
The Emergencies Ministry noted that Belarusian rescue workers have helped other countries deal with emergencies for nearly 15 years already. Emergencies Ministry aerial units have been used to fight forest fires in Greece, Russia, Latvia, and Georgia and provided assistance to people affected by floods in Serbia.