Detainees in Belarus were going to fly to Istanbul

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A group of Russians, previously detained in Belarus, were going to fly to Istanbul. This is stated in the commentary of the Russian Ambassador to Minsk Dmitry Mezentsev, circulated on July 30.

“They intended to fly from Minsk to Istanbul on July 25 and did not intend to stay in the republic for any length of time, and much later planned to return to the Russian capital from another state by plane, bypassing the territory of Belarus,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Earlier on Thursday, Mezentsev said that the Russians detained in the suburbs of Minsk were on their way to a third country, but missed their plane, so they were forced to stay at the Belorusochka sanatorium.

The day before, the Belarusian media reported that 32 employees of a foreign private military company were detained near Minsk. The head of the State Security Committee of Belarus, Valery Vakulchik, clarified that the detainees were employees of the Wagner PMC. Later, the Secretary of State of the Security Council of Belarus Andrei Ravkov stated that some of the detainees had “Ukrainian origin and also have Ukrainian citizenship”.

These events were allegedly associated with the arrival of more than 200 people in Belarus “to destabilize the situation during the election campaign.” According to Ravkov, the detainees are suspected of preparing a terrorist attack, a criminal case has been opened against them.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko instructed to contact the relevant structures of Russia for clarifications in connection with the incident.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry notified the Russian embassy in Minsk about the arrest of the Russians. Dmitry Mezentsev was summoned to the Foreign Ministry.

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