Former head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense Vasyl Burba stated that on July 23, 2020 he received an instruction from the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak, to postpone the final stage of the operation to detain Wagner PMC militants.
"We were told that the Head of the Office would talk to us. We had a conversation, there were three of us: me, the first deputy Ruslan Baranetsky and the head of the Office. There was a planned report on changes in the situation and the next stage (operations to detain the Wagner PMC militants). Due to the fact that he was delegated by the President, I was instructed to postpone the final stage. I received the answer that it was the president's instruction," Burba said.
However, Burba noted that he did not receive a written instruction from the Office of the President.
Earlier, The Insider together with Bellingcat investigated the circumstances of the interception of the plane with Wagner militants.
It is said that more than 30 mercenaries of the Wagner PMC were detained on July 29, 2020 near Minsk. At the time, Belarusian law enforcement officials reported that mercenaries had allegedly arrived in the country to destabilize the situation ahead of the presidential election. Two weeks after the Wagner militants were detained, they were returned to Russia, although Ukraine requested extradition. It later turned out that the Wagner militants, some of whom had taken part in the hostilities in Donbas, were going to be detained by Ukrainian special services. But the operation failed. According to a number of media outlets, this happened after the leak from the President's Office.
However, the Temporary Investigation Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, judging by the conclusions previously voiced by its Chairman, MP from the Servant of the People Mariana Bezugla, did not find Ukrainian officials guilty in disrupting the operation or a confirmation that President Volodymyr Zelensky personally ordered the postponement of the operation.