Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that it was he who, back in 2018, initiated the operation to detain 33 Russians in Belarus, which took place in the summer of 2020. He said this on Thursday, December 31, on the air of the Ukrainian “Channel Five”.
“I want to emphasize that at the end of 2018, the then Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, authorized this operation,” he said.
Poroshenko added that then the special operation was thwarted by “specific persons” and accused them of high treason. He also called for the creation of a commission of inquiry to interrogate all participants in the process.
A group of Russians in Belarus was detained at the end of July. It was alleged that they were allegedly employees of the Wagner PMC. Moscow said that the detainees were on their way to Istanbul, but missed the plane. A criminal case was opened against them on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova called the detention of Russians in Belarus a provocation by a third state.
On August 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed the information that what happened in Belarus was an operation of the Ukrainian special services together with the American ones. According to him, the detainees were lured to Belarus under the pretext of leaving for third countries for the sake of legal work, and as a result “presented as a possible striking force for shaking the situation during the election campaign.”
Later in August, one of the detained Russians told about the order that the Belarusian security forces had for citizens of the Russian Federation, as well as about the meeting of the detainees with the son of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Nikolai.
In September, an employee of the competent department reported that Ukraine was preparing for a provocation with the export of Russians to Minsk and was practicing similar schemes in Donbass, but the operation received wide publicity due to a loud failure “and a large-scale international adventurous nature.”
In addition, the source cited new evidence of Kiev’s involvement in the provocation and revealed the scheme of the operation.