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Zelenskiy and Wagnerians: Bellingcat Releases Investigation Results

Zelensky knew about the operation. She was asked to postpone due to the conclusion of an armistice in Donbass.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky knew about the operation on & # 171; Wagnerians & # 187; long before the final stage – from June 15, 2020, reports with reference to.

This is stated in the investigation of the special operation on & # 171; Wagnerians & # 187; published on the Bellingcat website.

According to investigators, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky was first informed about the special operation on & # 171; Wagnerians & # 187; On June 15, 2020, during a security briefing with the leaders of the special services.

Zelensky approved the operation on June 26, 2020 and asked for a detailed plan. According to Bellingcat, this concept plan was prepared and approved on July 1st.

Intelligence needed the approval of the operation from the political leadership of the country, since it could significantly exacerbate tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Bellingcat investigators, referring to the former head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense Vasily Burba, write that the head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak suggested postponing the operation for a week.

On the eve of Ukraine reached an agreement on a new truce in the Donbass. According to Burba, the President's Office said that if the operation continues as planned and ends in detention on July 25, the ceasefire will end before it even starts.

Bellingcat investigators have not been able to independently verify the conversation, and the Office the president did not provide any comments.

Burba told the investigators that he replied then: a week's delay is impossible and will lead to a loss of confidence on the part of the mercenaries or to suspicion of the Belarusian or Russian counterintelligence services.

According to Burba, then representatives of the President's Office proposed to reduce the delay to at least four days, so the departure and capture of the “Wagnerites” postponed to July 29, 2020. This allowed a new truce to take effect.

When the first group of 33 mercenaries had already left Moscow, the GUR MOU was able to successfully rebook tickets not for July 29, but for the 30th. A second group of 13 mercenaries changed their tickets for Saturday, August 1st. According to investigators, Burba said that he gave Yermak information that the plan is still being implemented, albeit with a five-day delay.

& # 171; Neither President Zelensky nor his office responded to Bellingcat's request for comment the reason for the postponement of the operation. Earlier, Zelensky argued that & # 171; this was definitely not our operation. I understand for sure that the idea of ​​this operation was the idea of, let's say, other countries, definitely not Ukraine. And the fact that Ukraine was dragged into this issue as much as possible is true & # 171 ;. By other countries, some understood the United States, and some – Russia. Recall, however, that at all stages of preparation for this operation, Zelensky was informed about it and that her final plan was signed by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

The former operatives of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine who we interviewed expressed the opinion that one of the reasons for the failure of the operation could be prejudiced attitude of the president and his staff towards Vasily Burba, who already had frictions with the president's office. The triumphant completion of such a significant special operation would have made him a hero in the eyes of the general public and would have given him political weight, which Zelensky's apparatus allegedly wanted to avoid. Sources close to Burba confirmed that immediately after the arrest of the Wagnerites in Minsk, he invited everyone who knew about the special operation (except the president) to take a lie detector test to find out if the information had leaked to the Belarusians. A few days after the arrests, he was removed from his duties & # 187;, & nbsp;

– according to the investigation material.

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