Posted 8 сентября 2021,, 08:28

Published 8 сентября 2021,, 08:28

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

CNN: US paid for Ukraine's operation against Russian mercenaries caught near Minsk

CNN: US paid for Ukraine's operation against Russian mercenaries caught near Minsk

8 сентября 2021, 08:28
Фото: EPA
The detention of 33 Russian mercenaries, whom some media outlets called fighters of "PMC Wagner", was planned by the special services of Ukraine and funded by the United States, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to sources of the publication, the United States provided technical assistance and advised employees of the Ukrainian special services, who created a dummy private military company (PMC). The purpose of organizing a dummy PMC was to collect information about Russian mercenaries. With the support of the United States, the Ukrainian special services selected 33 Russians who had a "clear connection" with the operations in Ukraine.

The selected mercenaries were promised a new high-paying job in Venezuela, allegedly related to the protection of oil facilities. They were supposedly going to deliver them there through Turkey. Each candidate was promised a monthly salary contract of $ 5,000.

As noted by Kommersant, in fact, there was no “work” for Russian mercenaries in Venezuela. Militants with a "dark past" were recruited specifically to detain them demonstratively.

“It was originally planned that the Russians would be detained on the territory of Ukraine, but the plan fell through due to the closure of the borders in the coronavirus pandemic”, - the statement said.

When the borders began to close, the organizers of the operation decided to quietly gather the mercenaries in the Belorusochka sanatorium near Minsk, and then transport them further for a demonstrative arrest. However, the KGB of Belarus unexpectedly intervened in the carefully planned game of the Ukrainian and American special services, who ruined the whole operation by detaining the Russians on their territory.

Sources of CNN note that the recruitment of Russian militants, "spotted" in the hostilities in Ukraine, took place through a specially created website. During the "recruiting conversations", intelligence officers found out exactly where the candidates fought. In the course of conversations, some of the Russians, who wished to fight for money for a dummy PMC, confirmed their involvement in the incident with the downed passenger Boeing 777 of the Malaysian Airlines. As a reminder, on July 17, 2014, in the sky over the Donetsk region, 50 km from the Russian-Ukrainian border, a Boeing passenger plane, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

On board the liner, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, there were 280 passengers and 15 crew members - they all died. In September 2016, the Joint Investigation Team concluded that the plane was shot down by a missile launched from the village of Snezhnoe in eastern Ukraine, and the anti-aircraft complex belonged to the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade stationed in Kursk. At the same time, Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the crash of MH17.

After a group of 33 mercenaries was detained near Minsk, the Belarusian special services called the Russians employees of the Wagner PMC and accused them of preparing terrorist attacks and riots on the eve of the presidential elections.

However, 32 detainees were soon returned to Russia, and one more, who had dual citizenship of the Russian Federation and Belarus, was left behind. At the same time, Ukraine has repeatedly demanded that the detained mercenaries be handed over to it, indicating their probable involvement in the commission of crimes against the citizens of the country.

Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko admitted that he gave the go-ahead to conduct an operation to detain Russians back in 2018. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly announced that the Russians were faced with "completely legal goals", and they were used "in the dark".

At the same time, the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation contains Article 359 "Mercenary", which states that a mercenary is a person who acts in order to obtain material remuneration and who is not a citizen of a state participating in an armed conflict or hostilities, does not reside permanently on its territory, but also not a person sent to perform official duties. The legislation of the Russian Federation provides for punishment for mercenary activity in the form of imprisonment for up to 15 years.