The fact that Yermak could disrupt the operation was announced in mid-November by the former head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Vasily Burba. According to him, on July 23, 2020, Yermak instructed to postpone the operation. “I received the answer that this is the president’s team. There was no written instruction, ”said Burba (quoted from“Interfax-Ukraine“).
In his opinion, then the operation could not be postponed and, perhaps, it was precisely because of this decision that it was failed. Among the reasons for the failure, he named the existence of a “mole” among the officials, which allegedly works for Russia, poor training and good work of counterintelligence in Belarus.
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Oleksiy Arestovich, advisor to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine and press secretary of the Kiev delegation in the contact group on Donbass, suggestedthat the blame for the failure of the operation may lie with Bourbe himself. According to Arestovich, Burba repeatedly postponed the operation, and made the decision on the active phase without the consent of the president.
The Russians, whom the Belarusian KGB called fighters of the Wagner PMC, were detained near Minsk on July 29. Initially, they were suspected of preparing a terrorist attack and riots before the presidential elections. However, later Minsk dropped all charges from the detainees and handed over to Moscow, despite Ukraine’s request for extradition.
Ukraine denied its involvement in the detention of the Russians, but later confirmed that it was collecting evidence on them. In June 2021, Zelensky said that the operation was planned by other states, and that they were trying to “drag Ukraine into it”.
How reported CNN, during the operation, Kiev received funding and technical assistance from Washington. In addition, the CIA advised the Ukrainian side on organizing an operation against “Russian mercenaries.” In Zelenskiy office, CNN investigation named fake.
In the FSB, on the contrary, confirmed information to CNN and reported that they regard the incident with the detention of 33 Russians as an act of state terrorism prepared by the special services of Ukraine. According to a representative of the department, the Ukrainian special services under the leadership of the CIA specially lured the Russians to the neighboring country in order to embroil Russia and Belarus.