According to Yuri Butusov, editor-in-chief of the Ukrainian portal "Censor.net", the sending of "PMC militants" to Belarus was initiated by the Security Service (SBU) and the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Ukrainian Pravda writes about this, referring to its sources in the GUR and the SBU.
The publication indicates that the special operation was allegedly organized in order to get the Russians who participated in the hostilities in Donbass, and was launched more than a year ago. Sources of "Censor.net" and "Ukrainska Pravda" told the publications that the detainees were supposed to be used to exchange prisoners with Russia.
Intelligence officers allegedly contacted the "militants" and offered to guard oil facilities in Venezuela. Ukrainska Pravda and Censor.net claim that the group was supposed to fly to Istanbul on July 25, and then an emergency landing was planned for the liner on the territory of Ukraine, allegedly due to poor health of the passenger. The role of the "sick person" was to be played by an SBU agent. The Russians would have been detained after landing, Ukrainian media sources say.
The interlocutors of Censor.net and Ukrainska Pravda also reported that the final phase of the operation was allegedly reported to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on July 24, several people were present at the meeting, including the head of the office of the head of state, Andriy Yermak. According to sources, he asked to postpone the operation due to the fact that the detention of the Russians would interfere with the start of a truce in Donbass, which was to enter into force on July 27. Zelensky allegedly gave the order to postpone the operation to July 30, at which time the Russians were placed in a sanatorium near Minsk. On July 29 they were detained. Ukrainian media write that the Russian FSB had learned about the special operation by this time.
On August 3, the publications write, Zelensky allegedly again convened a meeting, at which the head of the GUR, Vasily Burba, reported that the operation had failed "due to betrayal," and demanded that an investigation be conducted and everyone who attended the meeting should be polygraph tested. Censor.net and Ukrainska Pravda indicate that the matter did not come to an audit, but Zelensky fired Burba himself.
Recall that at the end of July the Russians were detained in Belarus, the authorities of the republic called them "militants of the private military company Wagner." Criminal cases were initiated against the detainees on the preparation of a terrorist attack and mass riots. The BelTA agency wrote that the “militants” were going to destabilize the situation in Belarus before the presidential elections on August 9.