13:08 30.11.2021

Yermak says he provides testimony to SBI in Wagner PMC case

3 min read
Yermak says he provides testimony to SBI in Wagner PMC case

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak has visited the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), where he testified in the case of a special operation to detain mercenaries of the private military company (PMC) Wagner.

"As a law-abiding citizen, today at 8:30, I visited the State Bureau of Investigations. I testified in the case of the Wagner PMC members. I told all the information I knew. I don't consider it necessary to make a show out of this, so I didn't make it public," Yermak wrote on his Facebook page.

Yermak also added that "it is very important that the investigation establish the truth and dot the i's in this case."

As reported, on July 29, some 33 members of the Wagner PMC were detained near Minsk. On August 12, the Prosecutor General's Office (Ukraine) applied to the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Belarus with requests to extradite 28 people from the Russian Private Military Company Wagner. The Ukrainian side said that these persons "took an active part in hostilities on the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as part of the terrorist organizations 'LPR' and 'DPR (Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples' Republics')."

However, on August 14 it became known that Belarus handed over to Russia 32 of the 33 detained Wagner members.

On August 18, a number of Ukrainian media reported that SBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense were preparing an operation to detain members of the Wagner PMC. According to the media, they were supposed to fly from Minsk to Istanbul, but during the flight one of the passengers had to simulate deterioration in health, as a result of which the plane had to make an emergency landing in Kyiv, where the Wagner members were to be detained.

On November 17, 2021, a report was published by Bellingcat, which was conducting its own investigation into the failure of the operation to seize Wagner PMC members in July 2020. According to the report, prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense, an operation plan to detain a group of mercenaries suspected of participating in hostilities in Donbas was approved by the political leadership of Ukraine in July 2020.

On November 19, 2021, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense (2016 - 2020) Vasyl Burba said that the command to postpone the capture of the so-called Wagner PMC members was given by the President of Ukraine in July 2020, as reported by head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak.

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