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New details about Ukrainian special operation on Wagner Group detention revealed by CNN

Source : 112 Ukraine

Bellingcat to release its own investigation soon too
22:35, 8 September 2021

Wagner group
Radio Liberty

Journalists of CNN learned new details about last year's special operation of Ukraine to lure into a trap the Wagner Group fighters (fighters of the so-called "Wagner PMC" - an unofficial group, whose representatives, according to media reports, participated as mercenaries in many armed conflicts, including in Donbas). It was these Wagner Group fighters who could become involved in cases concerning the hostilities in the Donbas and help in the investigation of the downed Boeing-MH17.

Related: Zelensky's office compares Ryanair landing to "Wagnerian special operation"

The special operation was thwarted by the sudden detention of the Wagner Group fighters in Belarus. The authorities of this country stated that the detainees were preparing provocations before the presidential elections.

As a result, the Wagner Group fighters were extradited to Russia. Official Kyiv protested and demanded that the soldiers be returned to him. After the disruption, the operation was called wagnergate and it was investigated who exactly leaked the details to the Belarusians and whether there was any data leak at all. So far, the results of the investigation have not been made public.

What details were revealed by CNN journalists, what else they say about the special operation in the world, and at what stage is the investigation into the failure of the operation in Ukraine, read on.

New details

CNN writes that three former senior Ukrainian military intelligence officials spoke exclusively about how they organized the operation. According to them, the Russian mercenaries were invited via the website to work on the protection of oil facilities in Venezuela.

Wagner PMC
Grey Dynamics

"Hundreds" of Russians responded to the proposal, which made it possible to single out those involved in war crimes in Donbas and even in the downing of Boeing-MH17.

"We started calling them and saying:" Hey friend, tell me about yourself, maybe you are not really a fighter, but a plumber ... And they began to talk about themselves, send documents, military cards and evidence that they fought ... And we are like: "Bingo, we can use this," said one of the interlocutors.

Related: Zelensky rejects involvement of Ukraine's special services in preparation of Wagner Group detention operation

Sources also provided a video in which Russian and pro-Russian militants are holding a fragment of a downed military plane.

Regarding the role of the United States: American intelligence was involved, but Washington officially denies this. CNN found out that the United States was in fact aware of the operation and helped the Ukrainian special services, including financially.

How the operation failed: at first it was planned to take them on a flight to Turkey, but due to epidemic restrictions in Russia, it was only possible to cross the border with Belarus. The mercenaries were taken by bus to Minsk, from where they were supposed to fly to Venezuela.

There was a delay in Minsk, during which the Russians were placed in the Belorusochka sanatorium. A few hours before they were supposed to take off, they were detained by the Belarusian special services. According to a former presidential adviser to Belarus, Minsk initially believed that the Russians had come to destabilize the country ahead of the elections.

Bellingcat to release its own investigation soon 

Bellingcat investigative journalist Christo Grozev announced the launch of an investigation into the Wagnerites. The text will be released within the next month, there will also be a two-hour investigative documentary and a short documentary.

It is also known that Bellingcat has decided to skip ahead of the CNN investigation. The Bellingcat team approached the Ukrainian authorities for comment, but to no avail - they waited six months for answers.

Open source

On July 29, 33 mercenaries from the Kremlin PMC Wagner were detained near Minsk. Ukraine asked to hand over the mercenaries to her, but Belarus handed them over to the Russian Federation.

The reason for the failure is being investigated without disclosing the data. However, there were also assumptions: for example, journalist Yuriy Butusov wrote that the Ukrainian special services allegedly developed a special operation, but some "mole" on Bankova tore it off. Zelensky called it nonsense.

Related: Zelensky's office compares Ryanair landing to "Wagnerian special operation"

On June 24, 2021, Zelensky said that the idea of ​​the special operation belonged to "other countries", and Ukraine was "dragged into it as much as possible."

In March, the head of the Office of the Prosecutor General, Iryna Venediktova, said that a case was opened in the RRG and a case in the SBU on the disruption of the special operation, the investigation was ongoing, there were expert examinations. Details and results have not yet been reported.

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